We can’t go anywhere without being bombarded with diet concerns – the radio, the TV, newspapers and internet all recite the same monotonous warnings. Fads and myths are inescapable: cheese is bad for nightmares, chocolate gives you spots, etc… the list is endless. But what about those little known health benefits of food? Here’s a list of the food we eat every day without knowing to the full extent of the goodness they do for our bodies.
Filled with sulphur compounds, Garlic is full of a wealth of goodness for your body (as well as putting vampires off). It can help protect you from cancer and heart disease (two of the deadliest diseases in the world today), and it has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Aim to have at least one clove of garlic a day; which isn’t as difficult as you think, most cuisines are complemented by garlic. Alternatively, if you don’t like garlic try to eat other allium vegetables such as onions, shallots, leaks or chives.
The second most popular beverage in the world, second only to water. It is no surprise that millions of us consume at least a cup of tea a day. There is, however, a very important benefit to drinking all of those cuppas and that is the high level of anti-oxidants. Buying loose leaf tea, rather than tea bags, is better as the content of anti-oxidants are a lot higher. If you want to go even healthier then green tea contains even more anti-oxidants!
Since our childhood, we have been told again and again that chocolate is bad for us; it is high in calories, contains too much sugar and can bring about bad moods. However, chocolate has now been proven to lower cholesterol and thin blood, which reduces the risk of having a stroke; it also triggers endorphins, which make us happy, and it is also believed to be an aphrodisiac.
Despite wine’s reputation for costing us a large stake in our daily calorie intake, red wine is said to be healthy for us in terms of anti-ageing, being anti-inflammatory and containing antioxidant properties. This nifty little healthy benefit derives from the polyphenol compound known as reservatoral. So you can enjoy your glass of red wine after a hard week at work without the guilty conscience!
Yoghurt is great for their high level content of probiotic organisms, which reinforce beneficial bacteria in our bodies protecting us from any health problems further down the line. Yoghurts also contain a lot of calcium which strengthens our bones. As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than a cure.” So, eat yoghurt and you’ll spend far less time being ill!
Perhaps surprisingly, honey has been proven to increase the strength of our immune system by helping to fight off any bugs or colds that are going around! This is due to the unique blend of compounds that it contains; these protect you from oxidative stress – an imbalance that can lead to heart failure.
Fermented foods improve digestion, as well as restoring the proper balance of bacteria in your gut. Yeast infections, allergies and asthma are all linked with a lack of good bacteria in your gut; so eating fermented foods, which generally contain good bacteria, is a good way to avoid suffering from the above – and other – health problems. Fermented foods are also rich in enzymes which your body finds it hard to produce as it ages.
About the Author
Josh Hansen writes for XXPress PCR an innovative biotechnology company based in the UK.