|Spices improved their health|
That wasn't the first time that I was introduced to the idea that food was more than just how it tasted.
|Orange peels have health benefits|
We all know that whole, non-processed foods are Eco-friendly and have nutritional value (vitamins, minerals, etc.). Many of them can also help us prevent illness, heal, and even keep us warm/cool. Let's take a look at some of them:
Foods that help prevent illness
|Tomatoes may slow degenerative diseases|
- Tomatoes contain lycopene, a potent antioxidant which stimulates immune function.
- Spinach contains vitamins A and C, folic acid, and magnesium. In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, it blocks free radicals and may help prevent osteoporosis.
- Oatmeal contains both soluble and insoluble fiber which may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Foods that heal
|Rosemary might stop tumors|
- Rosemary contains carnosol and rosemarinic acid, powerful antioxidants which destroy HCAs (heterocyclic amines). HCAs are potent carcinogens which are associated with several cancers and, when they bind with DNA, are the first step in tumor formation.
- Apricots have fiber, sodium, and potassium which help prevent minerals from accumulating in urine and forming calcium oxalate stones (Kidney stones).
- Ginger cures nausea by blocking the effects of serotonin (a chemical produced by the brain and stomach when you are nauseated) and by stopping the production of free radicals, a common cause of stomach upset. Because ginger regulates blood flow, it might also decrease blood pressure, arthritis pain, and cancer risk.
Foods that warm us up
|Cinnamon increases metabolism|
- Cinnamon increases blood, oxygen, and nutrient circulation, thereby increasing metabolism. Increased metabolism makes us feel warmer.
- Root vegetables (carrots, turnips, potatoes, etc.) require more energy to digest than other vegetables. As the body works to break down these foods, the energy generated keeps us warm.
- Turmeric increases metabolism in two ways: 1) by cleansing the body of waste which can damage cells, and 2) by producing bile, which stimulates the gallbladder and improves digestion. Increased metabolism generates warming energy.
Foods that cool us down
|Cucumbers reduce body heat|
- Cucumbers contain a lot of water and help to keep our cells hydrated. This, in turn, helps the body keep cool.
- Green leafy vegetables are packed with calcium which acts as a thermoregulator in the body. Basically, signals are sent, between your body and brain, which help regulate your temperature.
- Lentils, which contain tannins, are an astringent food. They cause the tissues of your body to shrink and increase water absorption. As the tissues absorb water, your body feels cooler.
We choose foods because they taste good and nourish our bodies. Holistic living looks for products which do more than simply fill our stomachs. It looks for high nutritional density and properties which assist our bodies to realize maximum health and comfort.
It's a fascinating thought that food can do so much!
What are the health benefits of the foods you enjoy?
Tomorrow we present another challenging Eco-friendly activity. Will you join us and change the world?
The information presented in our holistic living series is not, and should not be used as, a substitute for medical advice.
Posted at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop, Small Footprint Fridays, From the Farm and Natural Family Friday