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Special Foods For Better Health
Nutritionists believe that food is a natural pharmacy and that the answer to a lot of our health problems lies in what we eat. Scientists have identified properties in individual foods which appear able to keep specific diseases at bay and which are essential for maintaining a healthy diet. Scientists are still in the early stages of understanding how the various nutrients in food interact with our bodies to contribute to good health.
Olive oil is an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that may lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol. It contains Vitamin E and antioxidants and excellent replacement for unhealthy saturated fats like butter. Although olive oil has great health benefits, it also has a lot of calories. It’s 100 percent fat, and like all liquid oils, contains about 120 calories per tablespoon.
Essential fatty acids are key constituents of cells and the nervous system. Researchers say that 2 spoonfuls should be consumed with each meal to supply the daily fatty acid requirements during pregnancy. Women with the highest risk of breast cancer had the lowest intake of monounsaturated fats, of which olive oil is the most important. Vitamin E in Olive Oil is thought to be responsible for this anti-ageing effect on both skin and bone.
Orange and yellow-hued veggies like winter squash, carrots and sweet potatoes and leafy greens contain carotenoids, a pigment our body converts to vitamin A. Eating lots of these vegetables will help maintain healthy skin and hair, protect against prostate cancer, promote healthy vision and even provide protection from sunburn. Although garlic and onions may lack the vibrant colors of other vegetables, they contain diallyl sulfide and saponins, compounds that add distinctive flavors to our recipes and fight cancer and heart disease.
Green vegetables like broccoli and spinach are sky-high in potent anti-cancer compounds like sulforaphane and quercitin. Broccoli, a member of the cruciferous family which also includes cabbage and brussels sprouts, is a rich source of vitamin C and betacarotene. Broccoli is another source which is believed to prevent cancer cells.
The tomato is an excellent food for fighting cancer. The valuable ingredients are betacarotene (converted into Vitamin A in the body), vitamin C and E, potassium and a compound called lycopene. These nutrients are believed to fight the harmful effects of free radicals, rogue molecules that cause cell damage, a precurser to heart disease and cancer.
Most fruits are also loaded with fibre, important vitamins and minerals, and cancer-preventing substances called phytochemicals. Apples, known as a cleansing food, contain fibre, antioxidants and fruit flavonoids. The most important of the flavonoids contained in apples is quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory as well as anti-cancer actions. Apples contain vitamin C as well – more so in green apples than in red ones.
Benefits of apple
1. Apple cleans teeth and strengthens gum.
2. Will make the cholesterol level lower.
3. Detoxify the body and has an antiviral property.
4. Apple will also prevent constipation because it helps digestion.
5. One large apple supplies almost 30% of minimum amount of fiber that should be consumed daily.
Both red and black grapes contain powerful antioxidants and resveratrol, which helps to prevent both the narrowing and hardening of the arteries. Ellagic acid, which has anti-cancer properties, is also contained in grapes. They do, however, have a very high sugar content.
This is a cereal plants that is considered to be soothing food for the nerves. It is one of the best sources of Inositol, which is important for maintaining blood cholesterol level. Oats are amazingly high in calcium, potassium and magnesium, together with lots of B complex – all are vital to a healthy nervous system.
Benefits of Oats
1. Eating oat regularly will lower your blood cholesterol level.
2. Buy and eat oats if you're feeling sad. It’s a natural antidepressant - will make you feel calmer and normally used to treat depression, anxiety and nervous disorder.
3. Unrefined oatmeal can be eaten on regular basis to reduce stress while cooked oats will relieve fatigue.
4. Because of its high fiber content, the other benefit of oats is in protecting us from bowel cancer.
Soybeans are the most nutritious beans of all, containing all the essential amino acids. Fermented soybean products provide many nutrients and flavourings. The best known and most widely used fermented soybean products are miso, shoyu and tamari. These are used as flavourings for soups, stews and casseroles.
Tea is the second most popular drink in the world . Black, green, herbal - no matter what your cup of tea, this ancient brew could be the remedy to many of your health problems, including hypertension, heart disease and cancer. Today tea comes second only to water as the most commonly drunk beverage on earth. Recent studies have shown drinking green tea might boost metabolism, oolong teas can lower blood sugar, and black teas can promote oral health.
Polyphenols like the other antioxidants assists in protecting the cells from "oxidative stress." The inclusion of these polyphenols is one of the great benefits of tea, and studies have shown that this chemical substance has definite cancer-fighting properties. In some lab stories, reports have shown that polyphenols are able to prevent blood clotting and lower cholesterol levels, another one of the benefits of tea drinking.
There are many other benefits of tea, and the best ones for antioxidant power are those brewed from loose leaves or tea bags of the black, green, or red tea varieties. Tea also contains fluoride for strong teeth and has half the amount of caffeine in the same size cup of coffee.
Protein is an important part of every diet and is found in many different foods. Lean protein, the best kind, can be found in fish, skinless chicken and turkey, pork tenderloin and certain cuts of beef, like the top round. Protein is crucial for tissue repair, building and preserving muscle, and making important enzymes and hormones. These are not only essential for building bones, and forming and maintaining nerve function, but also for fighting cancer, forming blood cells and keeping immune systems robust.
We all know that the calcium in milk helps build strong bones, but milk is loaded with eight other essential vitamins and minerals. Drinking milk also helps reduce the incidence of tooth decay. There is no evidence that drinking the required servings of dairy products such as milk contribute to a person being overweight.
Calcium: Helps build and maintain strong bones. It's also vital for nerve function, muscle contraction, and blood clotting.
Protein: Important for a number of bodily functions — vital to brain development and the growth of body tissues.
Vitamin A: Maintains normal vision and skin. Helps regulate cell growth and integrity of the immune system.
Vitamin B-12: Essential for the growth and health of the nervous system. Linked to normal activity of folic acid and is involved in blood formation.
Vitamin D: Promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and influences bone mineralization, the strengthening of bones.
Potassium: Regulates the body's fluid balance and blood pressure. It also is needed for muscle activity and contractions.
Phosphorus: Helps generate energy in the body's cells and influences bone mineralization, the strengthening of bones.
Niacin: Keeps enzymes functioning normally and helps the body process sugars and fatty acids. It is also important for the development of the nervous system.
Riboflavin: Helps produce energy in the body's cells and plays a vital role in the development of the nervous system.