How you eat is how you live. To eat is not just to please your taste buds but also to replenish, repair and rejuvenate. Since historic times food has been famed as the best medicine and with research giving it a sound scientific footing you can be rest assured.
The most common foods that one might find in the kitchen pantry are actually the healthiest and often neglected too. We've plucked up six foods that make you feel fantastic from within and should top your grocery list.
Pomegranate - These fabled fruit packs more benefits that what you'd imagine. The power of pomegranates lies in its anti-oxidant activity. Anti-oxidants prevent ageing and inflammation of cells. It is a good source of Vitamin E & C and improves blood circulation, which gives a glowing skin (a reason why most beauticians would suggest drinking pomegranate juice). Due to its iron content it acts as a remedy for anemia.
Key ingredients: It contains polyphenols which help the body get rid of cancer causing agents (breast and prostate cancer), lower blood pressure, and combat heart ailments.
Banana - Here's a surprising super food, a fruit that is rarely praised for its qualities. First things first - it's a myth that bananas are fattening. Nature's very own energy bar, it fuels your need for dietary fiber and charges you up. I'd like to call them the 'smart carbs'. In fact with all the fiber that bananas contain, they help you feel full for a longer time thus soothing away the untimely hunger pangs and aiding in weight loss.
Key ingredients: Fiber and potassium. It is one of the best recognized sources of potassium which helps in lowering the blood pressure, prevents strokes and promotes overall heart health. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that acts as a mood enhancer and has a calming effect on the brain. Eating a banana at bedtime is known to trigger a sound sleep.
Broccoli - Are your calcium stores low? Bring home some broccoli! Broccoli is loaded with calcium, Vitamin K and all essential bone-building nutrients. Consider this - 100 grams of broccoli contains about 47 mgs of calcium, which makes it a great way to sneak calcium in your diet. Recent research also proves the anti-cancer properties of these floral greens. A good source of folate that keeps heart diseases at bay.
Key ingredients: Lutein is an anti-oxidant that delays degeneration caused as one ages. It also contains a phyto-chemical sulphoraphane, known for its specific anti-cancer properties.
Walnuts - A cracker of a nut that you should definitively be having more of. Walnuts parcel high quantities of omega 3 fatty acids. These can lower the bad cholesterol levels and slash the risk of heart attacks. Walnuts have the highest amount of anti-oxidants than all the other nuts. Latest research suggests consumption of about six-seven walnuts, five times a week. Of course most of us know of its brain boosting powers, courtesy, Omega 3s.
Key ingredients: Omega 3 and alpha- linolenic, both are essential fatty acids.
Oatmeal - I know, I know. You've been reading up and know that oats are great for your health. But what I am saying here is why do we have to serve it only on the breakfast table? Let's be a little adventurous and put it on our plates more often than just as the morning meal.
For the uninitiated - It contains beta-glucan, a soluble fiber which traps substances with high cholesterol and flushes them out. This makes it a super hero for the heart. They also have a low glycemic index (a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels rise) which makes them longer to digest and thus imparts the feeling of fullness. Besides this, they are a great source of B Vitamins that provide energy & enhance the nervous system. And finally, oat meal boosts positive energy as it is considered to be a serotonin enhancer, a chemical that makes you happy.
Key ingredients: Beta-glucan, avenanthramide (anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer) and magnesium (aides energy production, boosts mood, prevents heart attacks by relaxing blood vessels and regulating heart muscles).
Mushrooms - What's so super about it? Besides being one of my most loved stir-fry ingredients, mushrooms are one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D (the deficiency of which has become more of a lifestyle disease for women all ages). They contain no fat and are a valuable source of fiber. It is also a good source of selenium which you don't find in most fruits and vegetables.
Key ingredients - Ergosterols in mushrooms are known to convert to vitamin D on being exposed to light. According to a latest study, lentinan present in shiitake mushrooms has been claimed to increase the survival rate in cancer patients.