It is no brainer that eating healthfully can reduce the risk of certain illnesses such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancer and diabetes. In this article, we give you information regarding the potential health benefits of popular foods.
There is a reason why apples are referred to as ‘nutritional powerhouses’. Apple’s nutritional profile is impressive no wonder the saying, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Apple contains about 14 per cent of the recommended daily needs of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, minerals such as calcium and potassium, dietary fiber and phytonutrients, which are crucial in protecting the body from the destructive effects of free radicals.
Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason. While bananas are rich in potassium, they are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. By eating bananas, you are lowering your risk of blood pressure. It also reduces the risk of developing childhood leukemia and cancer. Bananas additionally support heart health.
Broccoli’s reputation as one of the healthiest veggies rings true and thus should always be at the top of your grocery list. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like broccoli decreases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and overall mortality. Studies have suggested that eating a high amount of cruciferous vegetables which include broccoli has been associated with a lower risk of cancer; particularly lung and colon cancer. Other health benefits of this super food include: improves bone health, helps fight skin damage and protects from chronic diseases.
One of the most widely known nutritional benefits of carrots is that it is a great source of vitamin A. For the longest time, people have been urged to eat carrots as they help prevent vision loss, which is true thanks to the vitamin A. Evidence suggests that eating more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, can help reduce the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Carrots are also rich in minerals and fiber.
Chocolates have been linked to weight gain. However, according to a review of chocolate’s health effects published in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine, it’s not all bad news. The authors point to the discovery that cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, contains biologically active phenolic compounds, which are great antioxidants. These benefits include: lowering cholesterol levels, preventing cognitive decline and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems. The higher the cocoa content, as in dark chocolate, the more benefits there are.
A cup of coffee in the morning may provide more than just an energy boost. Health benefits, say some researchers, may range from helping prevent diabetes to lowering the risk of liver disease. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that an increased intake of coffee reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 11 per cent. On liver cancer, Italian researchers found that coffee consumption lowers the risk of liver cancer by almost 40 per cent. Yet another study found that coffee consumption can lower the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver for alcohol drinkers by 22 per cent.
Sukuma wiki (Kale)
A staple in Kenya, Sukuma wiki is an extremely rich source of vitamin K and also contains folate, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, phosphorus, and potassium. Its health benefits include assisting with bone health, reducing cancer risk, helping lower glucose levels in those with diabetes and improving sleep and mood.
Garlic is mainly used for flavouring foods and as a medicine. It has been linked to prevention and treatment of a range of conditions and diseases. Studies have found that garlic can potentially be a very powerful antibiotic, help protect the heart during cardiac surgery and after a heart attack, lower the risk of developing lung cancer and reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Just like garlic, ginger is also a popular ingredient in cooking. Ginger also offers additional health benefits, which include relieving gastrointestinal irritations (it’s used as ingredient in antacid, laxative and anti-gas medications), reduces feelings of nausea, relieves colds and flu, and reduces inflammation. Other possible uses include reducing cholesterol, lowering the risk of blood clotting and helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.