Body boosting foods
Published 04/02/2011 | 12:22
Mother Nature has her own pharmacy. Our body’s organs require effective nutrition in order to function at their optimum level. However, certain foods actually benefit specific parts of the body.
Ever wondered if carrots will really help you to see in the dark? Or why Cleopatra indulged in baths of milk? Is it just a coincidence that the kidney bean is shaped like the human kidney?
Nature has the answers, and even matched the shape of some foods to the organ most beneficial to them. The walnut, for example, is shaped like the brain; two hemispheres and a wrinkly structure resembling the cortex. Scientific evidence points to the brain-boosting properties induced by this super-food.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Centre discovered that a diet regularly containing the ‘brain nut’ can reverse brain degeneration and other brain-related ailments.
The study also noted an improvement in the development of motor and cognitive abilities in rats. We’re all aware of the necessity for a diverse, wholesome diet. Many foods will help each body part to fight disease and remain strong and healthy.
There is truth in the saying: ‘Healthy body, healthy mind’ - and the following foods will encourage both from inside: For powerful peepers Carrots, cabbage, lettuce and apricots are full of vitamin A, essential for healthy eyes. And yes, it’s the beta-carotene in carrots which has been proven to boost night vision. Spinach contains lute to protect against eye disease, cataract and visual degeneration.
The sulphur in garlic and onions makes the lens more resilient, whilst eggs, salmon, sardines and broccoli contain components which protect the eye’s blood vessels and help combat cataracts.
Brain boosters Wild salmon and walnuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids which will boost your mood and your brain function. The blueberry has been hailed the ‘brain berry’ and will assist healthy brain activity. Eggs and broccoli improve memory. Wholegrain products assist blood flow to the brain and encourage healthy circulation.
And a little dark chocolate and the humble coffee bean can boost focus and concentration.
For a happy heart Cholesterol and fatreduction are vital for a happy heart. Apples contain a flavanoid which seems to prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood.
Other top foods preventing a build-up include garlic, plums, prunes, brown rice and oats. Lecithin, a natural substance derived from the soybean, reduces cholesterol. Sardines, mackerel, salmon, walnuts, avocados and olive oil contain essential Omega- 3 fatty acids which are all necessary for health heart function.
Bone builders Foods which replenish the skeletal system are calcium-rich foods such as low-fat dairy and green veg (kale, spinach, broccoli). Rhubarb, bok choy and celery strengthen bones as they contain necessary levels of sodium.
These are all helpful in fighting osteoporosis.
His & hers foods
If a woman consumes one avocado per week, it can help to balance hormones and shed unwanted birth weight. Interestingly, it takes nine months to grow an avocado from blossom to fruit, and the fully formed fruit has 14,000 beneficial constituents.
Eggplant, pears and nuts are also good for a lady’s overall health. Olives are said to assist the functioning of the ovaries. Research also believes that figs encourage a healthy sperm count in men. Kelp and seaweed foods have long been known to balance thyroid function.
Smooth digestion A healthy excretion system is essential for overall health and boosting energy levels. Choose high-fibre foods such as wholemeal breads, rice and cereals, apples, onions, beets and red and green vegetables.
Beans and unsalted seeds and nuts will all assist nature’s cleansing process. Flexible joints If you suffer from arthritis, pineapple contains bromelain which can reduce inflammation.
Red peppers, ginger, sesame seeds and oily fish such as tuna, sardines and mackerel increase flexibility and reduce pain. If you can handle it, raw cabbage juice reduces symptoms of swelling and arthritic pain.
Beautiful skin is an indicator of inner health and outer beauty. The body’s largest organ requires a daily handful of berries which have powerful anti-oxidant properties for radiant skin.
Low-fat dairy products contain high levels of vitamin A, which strengthens elasticity, and salmon, walnuts and flax will moisturise and soften the skin. Milk, poultry, eggs, bananas, honey and green veg give you a natural glow. Our mothers correctly told us to finish our carrots.
Cleopatra was aware of the nourishing properties of milk and honey. So, experience the benefits of nature’s menu and you too will become healthy and beautiful from top to toe.
MOTHER NATURE’S CLUES
It appears that nature left clues because, amazingly, the foods that benefit a certain body part often resemble it in shape and structure.
Walnuts truly are a super food and resemble a little brain, with both hemispheres and a wrinkly structure imitating the cortex. They have been proven to improve brain function.
Onions look like body cells and research has shown that they clear waste from the body. They even produce tears which can release stress hormones from the eye.
Tomatoes resemble the heart’s structure as they have four red chambers - and yes, the chambers assist the flow of blood through the arteries.
A sliced carrot looks like the human eye and science has proven that carrots improve blood flow to the eyes and greatly assist night vision.
Kidney beans have the obvious shape of the kidney, and like many beans maintain healthy kidney function.
Sweet potatoes assist and resemble the pancreas and can help to balance the glycemic index for diabetics.
© Sunday World Magazine