Hippocrates once said, “Let food be your medicine.”
With today’s advancements in beauty and wellness, certain practices come to mind.
Starting from within is the very foundation of true beauty, and we begin with the basics.
- Berry power—What a wealth of antioxidant power there is in berries, from blueberries, blackberries, cherries and strawberries, to maqui berries from the Patagonia region near Chile and acai, the high-energy berry from a special Amazon palm tree.
The secret is in its color. Nature provides a clue to the nutrients in any fruit or plant—the deeper the color, the richer the antioxidant content. Anthocyanins, and oleic acid in the purple hue of berries, are rich in omega-3 (like olive oil and fish oil) and phytosterols to promote cardiovascular and digestive tract health.
- Allium—This is the family of garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, shallots and chives which contain flavoroids that play a role in the production of glutathione. This tripeptide is the most important of antioxidants found and produced by the liver.
Garlic lowers cholesterol and raises HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol. It minimizes the risk of blood clots and is a natural antibiotic against bacteria and viruses. Also a tumor fighter, garlic reduces the risk of stomach cancer, lowers blood pressure and risks of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, and fights neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Onions inhibit the growth of cancer cells, increase HDL when eaten raw, prevent colds and lower blood sugar. Onions contain quercetin and sulfur which both help in neutralizing free radicals in the body.
Aside from making food more flavorful, leeks are high in B6, C, fiber, manganese, folate and iron. Its direct benefit to the body is to stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Barley—The ancient grain is a low-glycemic grain. This means it is good for diabetics as source of carbohydrate and protein. If gladiators survived on barley, so can modern man and woman. You can add barley to your soups, or drink it as a prepared tea concentrate in powder form.
- Healthy greens—The greener the vegetable, the higher the chlorophyll content. This is the phytochemical responsible for giving algae and plants their green color. One of the direct benefits is the sweetening of one’s breath, so they’re best for oral care.
- Seeds and grains—Surpassing rice, wheat and corn is buckwheat, a low-glycemic carbohydrate. Consider groats (hulled buckwheat) oats. Its roasted version is called “kasha,” which is famous in the Middle East. Cultivated in China, Korea and Japan, buckwheat is the stuff soba noodles are made from. What’s more, it is high in protein. Buckwheat has blood pressure-reducing capabilities, specifically addressing hypertension.
- Beans and lentils—These high-protein, high-fiber foods can only do you good. If you are fond of rice, all you need to do is to mix in legumes, and the high-glycemic index of rice goes down.
One cup of cooked beans is enough to provide 15 grams of fiber.
- Chili peppers—Whatever form your hot peppers come in, if they’re hot, they must be good for you (unless you have ulcers, of course). Even the sweet bell peppers are healthy because all peppers contain capsaicinoids. Chilies can raise your metabolism and boost the immune system. So if you want to lose weight, add a dash of chili to your food. Capsaicin, the headache reliever, is the chief compound in chilies. It also clears sinuses.
- Nuts and seeds—Apart from being a great source of protein, these nutty treats can help reduce the risk of heart disease. There is a famous Seventh-day Adventist study with its 30,000 church members over a 12-year period which found that those who ate nuts five times a week cut their risk of dying from coronary heart disease by as much as 48 percent! Most nuts contain heart-healthy oils like omega-3 and 6, plus vitamin E.
Enter phytic acid, a natural plant antioxidant found in nuts. It reduces the risk of colon cancer and other bowel disorders.
Beta-sitosterol and campesterol, two of the phytosterols in nuts, appear to assist in the suppression of breast and prostate tumors. What’s more, elagic acid and selenium have been found in nuts (especially in Brazil nuts).
- Sprouts—These are among the most nutritious foods you can eat. It is the early stages of a seed when it starts to grow into a plant. Famous sprouts are alfalfa, radish, beans and buckwheat. The fresher, uncooked sprouts you include in your diet, the more live and powerful enzymes you are ingesting.
- Kefir and yogurt—Fermented food and cultured milk harness the power of probiotics. Despite being considered functional food, we tend to overlook these in our daily life. The more good bacteria we take, the more beneficial it is to our health. Probiotics help to restore the natural flora in the intestinal tract after a round of antibiotics. It improves digestive and bowel functions.
This week’s affirmation: “I claim a world of goodness in my life.”
Love and light!
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