“If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.” -Eric McAdams
What we eat affects our overall health, energy levels, and vitality. It is true that food can be either poison or medicine, so, what should you focus on if you want to stay healthy? The answer is – diversity.
If you are looking for a flatter tummy, energy boost, or seeking to prevent more serious conditions like cancer or diabetes, fill your fridge with these 11 ingredients.
1. Walnuts Against Heart Disease
Consuming just a handful of walnuts on a daily basis lowers the LDL cholesterol levels and protects against heart disease. LDL promotes plaque development that accumulates in the blood vessels, causing the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed and hardened, which can result in chest pain, CAD, or a heart attack. Walnuts also contain vitamin E which prevents plaque build-up.
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The plant sterols and dietary fiber in walnuts help regulate bad cholesterol levels, whereas the omega-3 fatty acids normalize the heart rhythm. Walnuts are high in polyunsaturated fats, which enhance the growth of good bacteria in the gut. These bacteria have a positive effect on another important heart disease factor – inflammation.
2. Cashews for Lowering Blood Pressure
Cashews contain high levels of magnesium and potassium, two very important minerals in the human body which help lower the blood pressure naturally. Magnesium stabilizes the heart rhythm, relaxes the blood vessels, and reduces hypertension, whereas potassium neutralizes the negative effects of salt and controls the amount of fluids stored in the body.
3. Cumin Water for Weight Loss
Cumin is a nutty and earthy spice native to the east Mediterranean and South Asia. It is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that give your metabolism a boost, thus helping the body to burn extra calories and reduce abdominal fat more efficiently. This spice also prevents accumulation of gasses and bloating, thus facilitating the digestion of food.
The best and easiest way to lose weight is to prepare cumin water. Soak 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds in water overnight, then boil the mixture in the morning. Remove the seeds by filtering and consume first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, in a period of two weeks.
4. Lemon Water Helps Replenish Body Salts After Workouts
Intense training sessions and sweating, but also alcohol, vomiting, and diarrhea, can lead to an imbalance in the salt levels in your body. Squeezing the juice of half a lemon into a glass of lukewarm water is the most efficient way to restore balance.
Lemon, like all fruits from the citrus family, contains potassium and calcium, which help balance the salt, pH and fluid levels in the organism.
5. Apples Boost the Immune System and Reduce Cholesterol
An apple a day really keeps the doctor away, and recent studies are the proof of this.
Red apples are high in quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system. This compound is especially efficient when you are under a lot of stress.
Apples are also very rich in water-soluble dietary fiber which has the ability to bind with the fats located in the intestine. This process helps lower the LDL cholesterol levels and boosts your overall health.
6. Almonds Nourish the Nervous System
Almonds have been known to improve the intellectual capacity due to the high content of two vital brain nutrients – riboflavin and L-carnitine. These nutrients are known to boost cognitive activity, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and are responsible for proper functioning of the central nervous system.
Almonds can be eaten raw, soaked in water overnight, or crushed and included in various dishes. It is best to consume them on an empty stomach in order to increase and facilitate the absorption of their nutrients. Another option is to consume unsweetened almond milk, a delicious beverage which is a much healthier and nutritive alternative to cow’s milk.
7. Kiwi Improves Digestion
Kiwi is the only fruit that contains a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin, which is known to enhance gastric digestion. Actinidin is especially important for breaking down common food proteins including milk, meat, eggs, legumes, and cereal proteins, which are much more difficult to digest in comparison to other foods.
Kiwi is efficient even when eaten as few as once or twice a week, but for more optimal results, consume two or three kiwis a day.
8. Apricots for Fighting Diabetes
These sweet, golden fruits are loaded with nutrients that help control the blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Apricots are considered a low glycemic index food (GI 34 for fresh, GI 30 for dried apricots). Low GI foods do not cause blood sugar spikes after eating, which makes them an excellent addition to a diabetic diet. Apricots are also rich in fiber which slows digestion and thus control the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Vitamin E in this fruit functions as an antioxidant, which helps improve the blood sugar levels in people suffering from Type 2 diabetes.
9. Bananas Reduce Nausea
Bananas stimulate the production of mucus, which creates a barrier between the gastric juice that causes stomach upset, and the lining. In addition, bananas reduce nausea and the urge to vomit by restoring potassium, a mineral often exhausted in the event of diarrhea and vomiting. For this reason, bananas are recommended to women who suffer from nausea during pregnancy. Moreover, potassium in bananas helps reduce swellings in pregnant women.
10. Pistachios Reduce Bad Cholesterol
Pistachio nuts are very rich in phytosterols, compounds that block absorption of cholesterol in the body. They also contain high levels of dietary fiber, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants, all of which are responsible for keeping the heart in good health. It is believed that antioxidants also prevent the cholesterol from entering the blood vessels and cause inflammation.
Studies have shown that one or two handfuls of pistachios a day is enough to reduce the bad cholesterol levels. Consume pistachios in the shell in order to control the intake because, as all types of nuts, pistachios are quite high in calories.
11. Soda Water Relieves Stomach Problems
Soda water is a simple carbonated beverage that can ease various stomach upsets. One of the most common stomach discomforts is indigestion. Usually caused by overeating, indigestion manifests through bloating, belching, and gasses. A glass of soda water will not only help soothe the stomach, but it will also relieve constipation. The bubble action and increased hydration provide a harness that prevents the occurrence of dry and hard stools.