We all know that the market is replete with food brands which are always endorsing their products through various mediums. Be it an organization of awareness campaigns, conferences and seminars, promotions on media, advertisements et cetera, healthy eating is the new “in” thing. And why not? Who wouldn’t want a healthy body? In this fast-paced world, people neither have the time nor the inclination to stop and observe the unhealthy habits that they pick up to indulge a particular kind of lifestyle. As a result, health issues have climbed up drastically in all the countries. It ranges from obesity, asthma, high blood pressure to heart problems and even cancer. We have always been told what we “should not” eat. Have you ever wondered if that is the case, then, what should we eat that would not only satisfy our taste buds but also prove to be healthy to our bodies? Yes, we all are victims of mouth-watering dishes and ever delicious chocolates but do they really come under healthy food items? A truly healthy diet provides the body with essential fluids. It’s not very restrictive to develop healthy eating habits. Nobody is prohibiting you from eating the forbidden fruit. In fact, healthy eating is a lot about fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. As has been oft quoted, “you are what you eat”. This adage certainly holds its footing. Unhealthy food will ultimately make your body unhealthy too. Who says healthy eating can’t be delicious? There are some food items that are not only full of nutrients but fairly simple too. Down below is a list of ten food items that are just right for your health if consumed daily.
Yes, humans it’s our plain old yogurt! Did you know it has more nutrients than milk? Since it is produced through bacterial fermentation, it is rich in probiotics. These probiotics decrease the rate of harmful bacteria in our intestines. In addition, yogurt is packed with various nutrients like protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. It effectively keeps ulcers, urinary tract infections, inflammatory bowel diseases and vaginal infections at bay. It also simply cools the body on a hot and humid day. You have to have it every day!
Oh, I can see you all making faces at the name of broccoli but it is true that it is a fighter. Not any simple disease fighter, my friends but a fighter of cancer. Yes, broccoli is associated with anti-cancer benefits. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. In fact, steamed broccoli reduces the level of cholesterol a lot faster than raw broccoli. It also detoxifies your body by activation, neutralization and elimination of harmful contaminants. It builds up the immunity of the body and reduces any risk of heart related diseases. This is one food item that you not only have to but you “need” to include in your daily diet.
Don’t smirk and giggle, ladies and gentlemen. We have all heard N number of jokes on nuts. Now you are finally going to learn various health benefits that are associated with them. Replete with protein, fibre and essential fats, nuts present a complete package. Nuts are loaded with mono unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoelic acids which help reduce bad cholesterol. They are a rich source of antioxidants which shield the body from heart ailments, cancer and degenerative nerve diseases. Their level of vitamin E helps us maintain our skin by warding off harmful oxygen free radicals.
Garlic as an ingredient in your daily meals will not only spice up the flavour of your food but will also benefit at various levels. It is one of the most common ingredients in Indian cuisine. It consists of a sulphur compound called Allicin which contains excellent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti- oxidant properties. Ajoene, one of the other compounds present in garlic prevents blood clot formation in the body. Thus, the question which arises after the study of garlic is not what it can do but rather what it can’t. It seems it embodies every beneficial property.
Do you have frequent bouts of cold and sore throat?
Don’t worry, garlic’s anti-bacterial properties treat sore throat and reduces upper respiratory tract infections.
Have you been diagnosed with high blood sugar levels?
Eat garlic. It Increases insulin release.
Do you have anaemia?
Garlic has Diallyl Sulphides which increase the production of ferroportin (thus, helping in the absorption and release of iron) and improves iron metabolism to a great extent.
Toothache, you say?
Yeah, its anti-bacterial and analgesic properties help relieve frequent toothaches.
We all have (well, most of us) grown up watching “Popeye: the sailor man”. Do you remember the secret behind his super-human strength and amazing power? A can of spinach was enough to raise him from an average man to an all-powerful one.
Spinach has an anti-oxidant called alpha-lapoic acid which lowers sugar levels and increases insulin production. As it is a green vegetable, its chlorophyll blocks the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines which are generally produced when we cook food at a high temperature. It lowers the blood pressure as it has a high potassium content. Not only this, it also comprises of vitamin A and vitamin C which keeps the hair moisturized and collagen maintained for a better skin and hair.
5. Flax seeds.
Flax seeds are also known as linseeds. They are rich in micro nutrients, manganese, vitamin B1, fibre and essential fatty acid alpha- linolenic acid (ALA or omega-3). Flax seeds are excellent in improving the symptoms of acne, eczema and rosacea. A daily dose of these seeds will keep your body and hair hydrated. It has also been found that daily consumption of flax seeds not only lowers the level of cholesterol in the body but also improves obesity.
Lignans (anti-oxidants) present in flax are beneficial to women who are going through menopause (since lignans have estrogenic properties). They also regulate menstrual cycles to a great extent.
Flax seeds in your daily meals or in the form of essential oil can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
4. Olive oil.
Olive oil is used extensively in the Mediterranean diet. It is high in monosaturated fats which help in lowering cholesterol. It slows down the aging of the heart by improving the function of the arteries. As it is rich in antioxidants, it seems to prevent skin cancer from occurring. Extra virgin olive oil is said to be more effective in its functions as compared to normal olive oil. This is because extra virgin olive oil is less refined and is complete with various nutrients and vitamins.
Yes, you can easily pop these delicious and tiny berries without having to think about their repercussions on your body. It has too many benefits to count. Unlike, other general fruits and vegetables, it has many antioxidants which guard against heart disease, memory loss, cancer and some other age related ailments. They also have high amounts of fibre which are necessary for a healthy digestive system.
Beetroots are said to have a very positive and healthy impact on the body for they contain multiple nutritional health benefits. Since they are rich in nitrates, they reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke. They help in preventing dementia in elderly people and contain a very effective antioxidant called beta cyanine which reduces bad cholesterol. They help in boosting up our immune system and also lead to increased production of blood cells.
Believe it or not, water is the most essential item in our day to day life. We need water to live. All the other food items that we eat provide us with nutrients but it is water which helps in carrying these nutrients to our cells and in flushing out the toxins. Since water too gets flushed out with the toxins, it is necessary to replenish water in our bodies. Doing so daily will not only maintain all the functions of our bodies but will also remove harmful toxins.
Someone has rightly said that healthy eating is equal to smart eating. You don’t need to go on diets or to tire yourself out through exercise every day. You cannot focus on one kind of food and its respective nutrients as it will only lead to a deficiency of other important nutrients. What is required is a healthy way of consuming food; a way that does not deprive your body of necessary nutrients and minerals. To achieve this, you simply need to follow a smart food chart. Make sure that you get all types of nutrients and minerals in your body. Of course, only smart eating does not make you healthy. Exercise or any other kind of physical activity is also a must.