Post contributed by Joseph Green
Entire books have been written on living a healthful life through your food choices. Thankfully, nature has been a good provider to us and a list of healthful foods could fill a book on its own. In fact, there are so many wonderful food choices that sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly what to eat. Sure, you know that processed sugar is a bad thing, that you should avoid too much fat, particularly saturated fat, and that you want to eat fiber. But did you know that the following seven foods are particularly good additions to your dinner table?
Ginger puts the pie in pumpkin and the snap in cookies, but did you know that it is also good for you? People have known for years that ginger calms the stomach, reducing heartburn and morning sickness. It is also known to reduce pain and inflammation (such as with migraines), help prevent colds, and may even reduce kidney damage due to diabetes. In addition, ginger is currently being studied for its potential to ward off cancer.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great cooking accessory, salad dressing base and more that people in the Mediterranean have used in abundance for generations. Now, we know that it doesn’t just taste great, it also lowers blood pressure, improves good cholesterol levels, serves as an antioxidant, improves brain function, and may even help to prevent some types of cancer.
Mint can do more than discourage pests from entering your garden, garnish your lemonade, and make your breath smell fresh. Mint helps your body with digestion and can relieve nausea as well as eliminate gas. It helps your liver work better, reduces mucous in your lungs, inhibits bacteria growth (these last two are a reason it is great in toothpaste!), and even has the ability to slightly reduce body temperature.
Garlic has been used by people for centuries to improve their health. The good news is that today scientific research is supporting what these ancients already knew. We know that garlic increases blood flow (which may reduce the risk of heart disease), but it also has anti-viral properties and can even ward off colds. To really keep colds at bay, though, you would probably have to eat a few cloves a day. The most effective way to use garlic to stop you from becoming sick is to purchase bulk supplements of garlic; look for the type that say they will not cause garlic breath. Another bonus, preliminary studies suggest that garlic aids bone health.
Bananas are a tasty treat that most kids and adults enjoy. It’s almost surprising that they are so healthy! Bananas provide an energy boost that lasts much longer than that achieved from eating simple sugar. They also contain high levels of potassium and other compounds that prevent muscle cramps (like late night Charley horses), they improve serotonin levels (and thus mood), they help your body hold onto calcium. and actually help to lower blood pressure.
Eggs are considered by many people to be a superfood. They are high in protein, making them great, in combination with a workout, for building lean muscle. They are also high in many nutrients including vitamins A, B, D, E and K, as well as phosphorus, selenium, calcium, and zinc. While eggs are often admonished for being high in cholesterol, it is not the unhealthy cholesterol that people fear; in fact, egg consumption has been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease.
One great thing about honey is that it tastes great and sweetens food with a much lower impact on blood sugar than cane sugar has. Honey also provides extra energy and is great before a workout. Its soothing properties are excellent for helping sore throats to feel better. What’s more, honey has been shown to have antimicrobial properties – it kills germs. This means that honey is great for preventing and fighting off colds. And, bonus: honey never goes bad. Ever. Edible honey has even been found inside the great pyramids of Egypt!
Eating a wide variety of fresh, healthy, organic foods is always your best choice for great nutrition. But sometimes life gets busy and you are not quite sure if you are feeding your body what it really needs. Remember these five healthy food items and ensure that you are eating them a few times a week. And, if you ever feel that you are lacking a specific nutrient do not be afraid to take it in supplement form to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients without adding unnecessary worry and calories to your diet.
Finally, listen to your body. Often, your body craves what it needs, so if you find that you are experiencing certain cravings look at what is in those cravings and consider whether your body may be trying to tell you something. For example, many believe that severe cravings for red meat can signal a potential iron deficiency. Also, listen to how your body feels after you eat healthful foods and fiber, and use those feelings to help guide your eating choices.
About the Author:
Joseph Green is editor-in-chief and owner at NutraBulk. NutraBulk specializes in best high quality of bulk supplements for the benefit of everyone’s health. He is also very passionate about researching and writing on various health issues. Be sure to connect with Joseph on Twitter and Facebook for more great health, wellness and fitness information.