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You Are What You Eat

“You are what you eat” has a whole new meaning when it comes to the nutritional science of food that looks like body organs!

Onions: Body cells
Onions look like body cells and help clear waste materials from all of the body’s cells.  They have been shown to help neutralize the free radicals in the body, and protect the membranes of the body's cells from damage. They contain many active compounds that have been show to be helpful in preventing cancer cells from developing. 


Walnut: Brain
The folds, wrinkles and shape of a walnut resemble a brain.  The human brain is made up of about 60% structural fat and needs high-quality fats like omega-3s to function properly. Walnuts are loaded with omega-3 essential fats, which make them the ultimate "brain food." Having a handful a few times a week has been shown to improve concentration and mental performance. A lack of omegas has been associated with depression and anxiety. The antioxidants in walnuts may help counteract age-related cognitive decline and even reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.



Tomato: Heart
Slice open a tomato and you'll notice the red veggie has multiple chambers that resemble the structure of a heart. Studies have shown that the high amount of lycopene helps to reduce the risk of heart disease in both men and women. Have tomatoes with a good quality olive oil, flax oil or avocado and it will improve the absorption of lycopene in the body.  Lycopene is associated with the deep red color in red tomatoes, but you can get an excellent amount from orange and yellow tomatoes too. Tomatoes have also been shown to help lower total cholesterol. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood, which can be helpful in lowering the risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis. (WHFoods.com)


 

Mushroom: Ears
Slice a mushroom in half and it resembles the shape of the human ear and due to the good source of Vitamin D by adding it to your cooking could actually improve your hearing.

This particular vitamin is important for healthy bones, even the tiny ones in the ear that transmit sound to the brain.


Carrot: Eyes
When you cut a carrot in half and crosswise, you can see similarities to an eye. If you look close enough you can even see patterns that look like the pupil and iris.  Carrots contain high levels antioxidants, like beta-carotene, which has been shown to be helpful for maintaining healthy eyes and decreasing the chance of macular degeneration.  Beta-carotene is an important precursor for vitamin A. An extreme lack of vitamin A can cause blindness, swollen eyelids, corneal ulcers and a condition where the eyes can no longer produce tears called xerophthalmia.

Avocado: Uterus
The light bulb shape of an avocado resembles a women’s uterus.  This food is supportive for reproductive health as it is a good source of folic acid. It has also been shown to increase fertility.  One study found a link between the high content of monounsaturated fat and increased birth rate. High intake of monounsaturated fats associated with a higher chance of pregnancy 3.4 times more than those who have had little monounsaturated fat intake.  Once pregnant, avocados are an excellent food during pregnancy to help reduce birth defects. The good levels of B6 can also help morning sickness during pregnancy. It takes approximately 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit.


Celery: Bones
Lean stalks of celery look just like bones and they also contain properties that can help support healthy bones.  Celery contains silicon, which is a trace element that helps keep bones strong. An interesting fact is that bones and celery are both 23 percent sodium. One large stalk of celery contains 26 mg of the essential mineral calcium. Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is vital to the development and maintenance of strong bones, and can help prevent bone loss associated with menopause. In order for calcium to be properly absorbed, vitamin K -- along with the essential minerals magnesium and phosphorus -- must be present. A celery stalk offers up to 7 mg of magnesium and 15 mg of phosphorus, thereby providing all the nutrients essential for bone health.


Ginger: Stomach
Ginger’s natural shape resembles the stomach. Its unique phytochemical content has been show to help reduce nausea and vomiting.  It can also improve digestive health overall.  The recommended limit is 4 grams of ginger daily. Fresh ginger root is always best, but you can use ginger powder too. Steeping a piece of fresh ginger in hot water can be an easy way to consume, with many digestive benefits.


Sweet potato: Pancreas
The sweet potato bears a strong resemblance to the pancreas, and its properties also promote healthy function of this organ.  High levels of beta-carotene a powerful antioxidant helps to protect the tissues in the pancreas from developing cancer.  Sweet potatoes also release sugars gradually into the bloodstream, helping to regulate blood-sugar levels.


Wine: Blood
Red wine and blood have a similar appearance and it is by no surprise that the properties found in wine (antioxidants and polyphenols) are helpful for reducing bad cholesterol and blood clots.  It can also reduce high blood pressure, but the alcohol has to be removed from the wine for this to occur.

Miranda Malisani, RNCP
www.mirandamalisani.com
www.facebook.com/nutritionistmir
@mirandamalisani

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

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