Certain super foods take center stage in today”s diet: in addition to providing nutrients, they protect the body from possible diseases and help balance it.
Eating well is not difficult: you can enjoy your food by choosing foods that help prevent and treat disease and promote well-being.
In developed countries we have a lot of food within our reach, which is an advance compared to other times, but the current abundance increases the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, among other ailments. The taste for fatty and sweet foods, which require little chewing, contributes to this.
A healthy diet implies promoting natural, whole and fresh foods, which formed the basis of the diet millennia ago, and minimizing manipulated, refined and devitalized products, designed to last for many months on a shelf.
In practice, it is about recovering dietary successes that were already known in classical antiquity. Throughout history, each town has tried to develop an optimal diet from the resources provided by the environment, without depleting them.
Almost all of these diets, no matter how different the climate, preserved people”s health and energy, since the survival and well-being of the community depended on it.
They were generally based on fresh foods or preserves made using simple techniques.
ARE SOME FOODS HEALTHIER THAN OTHERS?
It would be risky to affirm it, since what has more weight is the balance of the diet.
In that sense, the liver that grandmothers once prescribed would be counterproductive in a country where childhood obesity is a health problem and where livestock ingest harmful drugs and chemicals.
The most suitable foods today do not stand out for their net contribution of nutrients, but for their ability to provide abundant protective substances for each calorie (and not the other way around!).
Any selection has a subjective point, but this seems ideal for the current moment.
14 FOODS TO GAIN HEALTH
1. Brown rice, very healthy energy
A staple of humanity, rice is one of the main sources of carbohydrates – that is, of energy – in a balanced diet.
One particularity distinguishes rice from other cereals: even if it is subjected to manipulations for its cultivation, it always tends to return to its initial form. Modern rice, therefore, is similar to its prehistoric ancestor.
This characteristic allows intestinal enzymes and mucus (compounds that form the mucus that lines the mucosa of the intestine) to assimilate it without problems.
In addition, it is gluten-free, a protein derived from wheat and other grains that, once cooked, tends to adhere to the intestinal walls and can create intolerances.
It is rich in vitamins of group B and E, it lacks fats and its vegetable fiber prevents the absorption of bile acids that are the precursors of cholesterol.
The combination of rice with a legume such as lentils or soybeans provides a high quality complete protein.
It is indicated for digestive disorders, food allergies, as well as metabolic disorders (cholesterol, diabetes) and the nervous system (anxiety, fatigue).
2. Celery, a good hypotensive
The cleansing and hypotensive effects of celery are well known.
Its specific action on the kidneys is due to its richness in potassium and an essential oil that dilates the renal vessels and thus increases the expulsion of water.
It has aligning, with vasodilator properties, and magnesium, coumarone and the glycoside apian, which maintain cardiovascular health. Its minerals fight excess uric acid and other waste.
In salads it is an optimal condiment: it stimulates gastric juices and helps to expel gas.
It also cleanses the lining of the lungs, reduces cholesterol, tones, balances the hormonal system and helps alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
It is indicated to treat rheumatism, hypertension, stones, metabolic acidity, fluid retention, exhaustion and nervous depression.
3. Algae, mineral salt concentrate
These sea vegetables are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet and are ideal for both preventing and fighting diseases.
The algae are rich in vitamins C, E, of the B group and provitamin A. They have a high content of calcium, iron, sodium and magnesium as well as alginates and furans (substances that help remove heavy metals from the body and inhibit proliferation of certain types of metastasis).
“Sea vegetables” are attributed numerous therapeutic virtues : they strengthen defenses, stimulate the endocrine system, demineralize, exert an antioxidant action, protect mucous membranes, have a laxative effect and regulate blood glucose, cholesterol and acid levels. Uric.
4. Pumpkin, benefactor of the organism
The fleshy orange pulp that characterizes this vegetable is rich in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, the great trio of antioxidants.
Other abundant nutrients in squash are magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. It is, therefore, a restorative, alkalizing food and a great sight protector.
If it is prepared cooked, it is indicated to relieve intestinal inflammation. Its richness in water and fiber also gives it diuretic and laxative properties.
It is easily digested and provides few calories, which makes it interesting for the infant stage after breastfeeding.
The double effect of its seeds or pipes (rich in zinc) also stands out: they inhibit the growth of the prostate gland and are vermifuge, that is, they contain a substance that reduces the ability of parasites to adhere to the wall of the intestine and helps to their expulsion.
The consumption of pumpkin is indicated for constipation, cataracts, parasitosis, prostate hyperplasia and degenerative diseases.
5. Cherries, a mine of antioxidants
This delicious spring fruit contains organic acids that act as purifiers in the metabolism and as antibacterial elements, disinfectants and stimulators of secretions and digestion.
During the harvest time, a cure can be made by taking a kilo of cherries daily, which stimulates intestinal transit.
The cherries are also rich in fructose, which makes satiating without fat contribute. It is the reason why they constitute a good complement in weight loss diets.
Its richness in flavonoids, especially anthocyanins (pigments to which it owes its bluish-red color), gives them antioxidant properties.
Other nutrients that cherries provide in abundance are: magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid, an excellent formula to combat anemia and demineralization.
They are indicated for cellulitis, acne, intestinal infections, deficiency states and being overweight.
6. Cabbage, gastric protector
It belongs to the wide family of crucifers, plants rich in anticancer and antimicrobial elements (indoles, isothiocyanates and glucosinolates).
In addition, it is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is also rich in chlorophyll which, together with copper and vitamin C, favors the assimilation of iron.
All varieties of cabbage have a substance, benzyl sulphocyanide, which inhibits the absorption of iodine by the thyroid gland. Hence, they have a dietary application in some cases of hyperthyroidism.
They also contain highly volatile sulfurous oils that stimulate the appetite and intensify the function of the digestive glands but, due to their volatility, the heat makes them disappear.
7. Nuts, good for the heart
They are an excellent source of minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, manganese and zinc) and of quality proteins. In addition, they provide considerable doses of polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, B vitamins and fiber.
In small quantities they produce very noticeable effects on health: a few daily nuts, rich in omega 3 fats, are enough to reduce cholesterol and the possibility of suffering from heart problems, while a handful of almonds provides a good dose of tryptophan (the precursor amino acid of serotonin) and another generous of calcium.
We must avoid ingesting when rancid as it means that fats have been altered. And, of course, prefer the raw ones to the toasted ones.
They are indicated for hypercholesterolemia, heart disease, anemia, deficiency states, physical efforts and low protein diets.
8. Apple, elixir of health
The purifying, regenerating and regulating action of the functions of the digestive system make this fruit an essential prophylactic ingredient in the diet.
The apple contains a large amount of fiber and acids that favor the assimilation of nutrients and intestinal transit. Part of the fiber is soluble, which helps regulate excess cholesterol.
The salts it contains neutralize the acid products resulting from protein metabolism, which is interesting to prevent the accumulation of uric acid.
The apple pectin acts like a sponge capable of absorbing and eliminating the toxins produced by the pathogenic bacteria that cause gastroenteritis.
In addition, its tannins deflate the intestinal mucosa and the organic acids exert an antiseptic and regenerative action on the physiological bacterial flora.
It is indicated in case of gastroenteritis and colitis, uric acid, hypercholesterolemia, chronic eczema, rheumatism and liver conditions.
9. Rishi mushrooms, shiitake, may-take and sun mushroom
For millennia, the Chinese and Japanese have used mushrooms to prevent disease.
It was only a few decades ago that scientists were able to identify beta-glucan as an active ingredient in mushroom extracts. Beta- glucans have an immuno stimulating and antidegenerative effect.
They are used as an adjunct in cancer treatments and their regular consumption could prevent tumors from forming.
10. Soy, much more than protein
This legume from China has been the main source of vegetable protein in the Far East for millennia and is produced in many ways.
Its wide variety of flavors, textures and presentations make it a very versatile ingredient that is easy to incorporate into the diet, whether in the form of tofu, milk, miso or Tempe.
Soy protein is complete, that is, it contains – like eggs, milk, fish or meat – all the essential amino acids.
Also noteworthy is its high lecithin content, excellent for reducing cholesterol and improving or recovering nerve and brain functions, as well as to prevent fatty degeneration of the liver.
It is also rich in minerals (calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and iron) and phytoestrogens (isoflavones) that regulate menopausal symptoms caused by hormonal changes, in addition to preventing certain types of cancer.
It is indicated in heart disease, hormonal disorders, vegetarian diets, hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, nervous disorders and as anticancer prophylaxis.
11. Black grape, friend of circulation
The purifying, antioxidant, anticancer, antiatherogenic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial virtues of black grapes give this autumn fruit a privileged place in the ranking of medicinal foods.
The phenolics and bioflavonoids, present in high concentrations, are responsible for these therapeutic effects.
Lately its richness in resveratrol has also been discovered, mainly in the skin and seeds. It is a substance that acts as a powerful antioxidant and cardiac protector, in addition to inhibiting a transcription factor associated with malignant cell growth and inflammation.
The anthocyanins from red grapes, pigments responsible for the bluish color, exert a regenerative action permeability and capillary fragility, protect blood vessels, prevent arteriosclerosis and fight free radicals.
The black grape is indicated in cardiac, circulatory and degenerative diseases, convalescence, inflammatory processes and cleansing cures.
12. Cleansing radishes
There are numerous varieties of radish, although all are characterized by the fact that the inner part of their edible roots is white, while the outer part can vary from whitish to blackish brown, although it is usually red.
Radishes have phytochemical elements – glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, indoles, sulfur compounds – that give them cholagogue, choleretic, diuretic, antibiotic and mucolytic properties.
They also contain high doses of vitamin C, as well as vitamins of group B and vitamin K.
It is indicated for conditions of the respiratory system, liver disorders, fluid retention, viral infections and degenerative processes.
The species called “horseradish” has acquired great notoriety after it was discovered that it possesses PDG (diphenylglyoxal peroxide) that acts as a neutralizer of a single free radical per molecule. Thus it behaves as a catalyst, capable of eliminating harmful radicals and suspending the chain reactions that they cause. It also promotes apoptosis (cell death) of cells parasitized by viruses, thereby preventing infectious proliferation.
But it must be borne in mind that this radish, extremely spicy and very common in Germanic countries, is eaten in minute quantities, more as a spice than as a food.
13. Goji berries, natural medicine
These red fruits originating in China – although popularized as Tibetan berries – have a very high content of natural antioxidants (carotenoids, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, selenium and zinc).
Goji berries (Lyceum barb arum) are the size of a raisin but deep red. They are sold dry and can be added to breakfast cereals, or eaten as is.
Twenty a day are enough to enjoy its benefits: reduction of fatigue, eye protection, increased defenses and control of hypertension, blood glucose and cholesterol.
14. Yogurt, ally of intestinal health
This food, common in some nomadic peoples, today is part of the modern diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Its salutary properties are due to the bacteria that it incorporates and that transform the main product into yogurt.
In addition to making the digestive system better assimilate proteins, these bacteria stimulate enzymatic activity, promote cellular renewal of intestinal microvilli, contribute to the synthesis of certain vitamins, inhibit the development of pathogenic germs, and exert anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and immunostimulants.
Yogurt is a very complete source of vitamins A, group B (folic acid and B12 stand out) and D, as well as minerals (especially calcium and phosphorus).
It is indicated in case of gastrointestinal disorders, constipation or diarrhea, osteoporosis and vaginal candidiasis, as well as to prevent colon cancer.
HOW TO COOK SUPERFOODS?
Cooking facilitates the absorption of food but some methods destroy or alter nutrients and generate substances whose properties and final destination are unknown.
We highlight four golden rules for healthy cooking:
- Favor raw and natural foods.
- To conserve the maximum of nutrients, cook foods lightly chopped or whole, with little water and wait for it to boil to submerge them. Cooking should last as short a time as possible.
- Cook steamed, over low heat, on a light griddle or in the oven, but avoid burning.
- Avoid high temperatures and prolonged cooking, which generate toxic molecules. Frying and roasting at 300 ° C are particularly harmful.
SEVEN GENERAL KEYS TO A HEALTHIER DIET
- It is recommended that meals start with raw vegetables and that these constitute at least one fifth of the diet.
- A diet in which cereals, fruit, vegetables, nuts and cold extracted vegetable oils predominate, supplemented with dried legumes, helps to keep the body healthy.
- A diet rich in cooked foods, potatoes, preserves, pasta, white flour, refined sugar, common salt, and coffee in the long run promotes disease.
- The best way to know if proper nutrition is being followed is to assess well-being and performance capacity.
- Eating healthy means chewing well, especially raw and hard foods, which strengthens the gums and extends the life of the teeth.
- Moderate the salt. Natural foods contain sufficient amounts of chlorine and sodium, the two elements of common salt.
- The aroma and taste of food reveal its quality and improve its assimilation.
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