There has been an increase in cases of lifestyle diseases that has prompted doctors and nutritionists to recommend super foods. These are foods that are known to pack high nutrition value. Some of these foods are being studied by scientists and researchers across the country to find out if they could be used as medicine. There has been an ongoing debate on whether patients suffering from diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS can use highly nutritious foods as a cure for the disease. However, although some people have come forward and claimed that super foods are just as good as medicine, it is not yet known if this idea is true. Doctors have been quiet on whether it is advisable to substitute medicine with these foods.
Despite this ongoing debate, there are foods that have been known to add a nutritional value to our bodies. If you are looking for highly nutritious foods to add onto your diet for health benefits, here are some of the foods you should look at.
Being part of the cabbage family, the cauliflower contains some of the components that make it able to fight cancer cells. One of the compounds known as sulphoraphane found in the cauliflower is an antioxidant meaning that it cleans up the body by speeding up the work of the enzymes tasked with removing toxins from the body. Once the compound enters the blood stream it stirs up the enzymes found in the liver. In turn, the enzymes remove the carcinogenic molecules existing in the cells. Researchers believe that sulphoraphane is the reason why people who eat a lot of cauliflower, cabbages and broccoli have a lower risk of getting cancer.
- Beet root
The beetroot was first used by the Chinese in what is called the Traditional Chinese Medicine. Here, it was believed that beets purify the blood and cleanse the liver as well. Shifting focus to modern medicine, the liver has a compound called betaine. This compound helps in the processing of fats as well as the general function of the liver. This is the same compound that is found in beets. The beets also have vitamin B9 which helps to regulate the levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the body which when in high levels makes one prone to heart disease. Apart from the roots, the leaves of beets are also nutritious as they carry high levels of calcium, Vitamins A and C and iron.
- Chia seeds
For a long time, chia seeds were not known in North America. For about 20 years, researchers studied chia as a substitute crop for farmers in Argentina. As more scientists, researchers and nutritionists came up in support of the nutritional value that chia seeds have, the consumers became more and a demand for the seeds increased. Some of the known and proven advantages of chia seeds are the improvement of digestion, increasing the energy and stabilizing the blood sugar level in the body. These advantages are attributed to the high fiber content that is found in the seeds. Apart from that, chia seeds are also rich in calcium, manganese, potassium and magnesium which are crucial minerals in the development of the bones.
- Butternut squash
The butternut squash is known to contain high levels of vitamin A placed at 1,144 micrograms per one cooked cup. This impressive amount exceeds the recommended amounts of vitamin A that every man and woman is required to eat per day. What makes it unique compared to other foods in its family is the cryptoxanthin component which has the ability to lower the chance of lung cancer. This is because when a person is exposed to smoke either as a direct user or second hand, they interact with carcinogens. These carcinogens make one vitamin A deficient, hence the solution found in the butternut squash.
According to the ancient Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is considered the universal medicine. It has numerous compounds which are antimicrobial and antiviral which come together to provide an array of health benefits. The compound called gingerol that makes ginger have that spicy taste has the ability to prevent nausea. It has also been proven to have the ability to weaken cancer cells. Other benefits include the soothing of the gastrointestinal tract, boosting ones immunity, strengthening of the cardiovascular system and easing pain on the body.
These are just a few of the foods that are known to provide health benefits to your body. Although each food has specific nutrients, it is advisable to eat a variety of these nutritious foods, keeping in mind the quantity of each food. For you to lead a healthy life, remember to eat a balanced diet as well and not limit your diet to one thing.