Coconut oil has been gaining in popularity as its health benefits become better known. It contains several acids including lauric acid, caprylic acid and antimivrobial lips which have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. These work together to strengthen the immune system. Once it is ingested, lauric acid is converted by the body into monolaurin which is beneficial to help the body deal effectively with bacteria and viruses that can cause diseases such as influenza, herpes, HIV and cytomegalovirus.
Another health benefit of coconut oil is that is can be useful for helping with weight loss efforts. In the oil there are fatty acids, both short and long chain that help the body take off extra weight. Coconut oil works to increase the metabolic rate because it removes stress son the pancreas. This gives the person more energy and helps burn off the weight.
If you massage coconut oil into your skin it can work as a moisturizer. It works similar to mineral oil, but without the negative side effects. Coconut oil is a natural way to combat aging’s effect on the skin and it can also be an effective treatment for some skin diseases like dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema and other types of skin infections. It contains antioxidants which makes it good to use for preventing degenerative diseases and premature aging.
It is important to note that these health benefits come from moderate consumption of the foods listed. Going overboard on any one item is usually going to lead to health problems over time. Moderation is the key to reaping these benefits and enjoying their positive impact. Overindulgence can often lead to health difficulties rather than offering help.
If you are selective about the type of chocolate you purchase, you might be gaining quite a few health benefits. Dark chocolate, made with high content of cocoa has actual nutritional value. For instance, it has fiber, iron, copper, zinc and several other minerals. It’s also loaded with antioxidants and can have more than blueberries or acai berries.
The flavonoids that are in dark chocolate stimulate the endothelium which is the lining inside arteries. When stimulated, they start to produce nitric oxide which causes the arteries to relax. This means lower blood pressure and increased blood flow. Some studies are showing that dark chocolate (made with real cocoa) can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It can also improve brain function because of the increased blood flow to the brain. Cocoa might improve cognitive function for the elderly as well as improving verbal fluency. This may mean it helps prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia.
There have also been a few studies that have shown dark chocolate may reduce insulin levels which means it might be beneficial for diabetics and helping to control blood sugars. Participants who ate dark chocolate for 15 days saw insulin drop by about half. If insulin sensitivity can be controlled, it may be possible to prevent type 2 diabetes. Chocolate might be helpful in controlling insulin levels.
We provide a cornucopia of delicious and nutritious options for individuals who wish to boost their health by eating healthfully.
Below is a list of foods along with information regarding their potential health benefits.
Note that this article contains summaries and you should click through to read individual articles containing the full list of possible health benefits.
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, good quality protein, and healthy unsaturated fatty acids.
Studies have revealed that almonds can potentially help prevent cardiovascular diseasesTrusted Source, cut the risk of cancer, and help prolong life.
Apples are sometimes called "nutritional powerhouses" because of their impressive nutritional profile.
Apples contain about 14 percent of our daily needs of Vitamin C (a powerful natural antioxidant), B-complex vitamins, dietary fiber, phytonutrients (which help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals), and minerals such as calcium and potassium.
Studies have revealed that eating apples can potentially help prevent dementia and reduce the risk of strokeTrusted Source and diabetes.
Along with other leafy greens, arugula contains very high nitrate levels (more than 250 milligrams per 100 grams). High intakes of dietary nitrate have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance.
The potential health benefits of arugula include lowering the risk of cancer, preventing osteoporosis, and improving muscle oxygenation during exercise.
Asparagus is very rich in dietary fiber and contains high levels of vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
The potential health benefits of asparagus include: reducing the risk of diabetes, preventing kidney stones, and lowering the risk of neural tube defects in babies.
Asparagus is also a natural diuretic, which can help with fluid balance in the body and influence blood pressure and edema.
Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and very rich in potassium.
The potential health benefits of bananas include: lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of developing childhood leukemia, and supporting heart health.
Basil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium.
Studies have revealed that basil can potentially reduce inflammation and swelling, prevent the harmful effects of aging, and may be useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Beetroot, also known simply as the beet, has been gaining in popularity as a new super food due to recent studies claiming that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow.
This is partly due to its high content of nitrates, which increase nitric oxide in the body and play a substantial role in heart and vascular health.
Beetroot is a rich source of folate and manganese, and also contains thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and selenium.
Bok choy belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips.
These nutrition powerhouses supply loads of nutrients for little calories. If you are trying to eat healthier, cruciferous vegetables like bok choy should be at the very top of your grocery list.
Broccoli contains high levels of fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and is a rich source of vitamin C.
In addition, broccoli is rich in vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, zinc, phosphorus, and phytonutrients.
Studies have found that broccoli can potentially help prevent osteoarthritis, protect skin against the effects of UV light, reverse diabetes heart damage, and reduce bladder cancer riskTrusted Source.
Cantaloupes are also commonly known as muskmelons, mush melons, rock melons, and Persian melons. They are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae, along with honeydew and watermelons.
Cantaloupe contains an abundance of antioxidants, including choline, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, all of which protect against a range of diseases and conditions from the common cold to cancer.
Potential health benefits of cantaloupe include lowering risk of developing asthma, managing blood pressure, aiding digestion, keeping hydrated, and reducing inflammation.
Carrots are a great source of vitamin A. They provide 210 percent of an average adult's needs for the day.
The potential health benefits of carrots include: preventing lung cancerTrusted Source, destroying leukemia cells and inhibiting their progression, and helping to restore vision.
Cauliflowers are a member of the brassica family, more commonly known as cruciferous vegetables.
They contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer.
They also contain fiber that helps with satiety, weight loss, and a healthy digestive tract, choline that is essential for learning and memory, as well as many other important nutrients.
The potential health benefits of cauliflower include preventing mutations and reducing stress from free radicals, preventing constipation, and helping memory.
Celery is a very rich source of antioxidants, electrolytes, and vitamin K. Also, thanks to its high water content, it can help rehydrate.
The potential health benefits of celery include: lowering blood pressure, preventing cancer, and soothing joint pain.
Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have spread their culinary influence throughout the world.
The potential health benefits of chickpeas include improved glucose levels, lipids, and insulin levels for diabetes, maintaining bone strength and heart health.
Chives are a nutrient-dense food, meaning that while they are low in calories, they are high in beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The potential health benefits of chives include potential beneficial and preventative effects against cancer, prostate cancer, esophageal and stomach cancer, and positive effects on sleep and mood.
Chocolate is rich in antioxidants. Despite its bad reputation for causing weight gain, there are a number of health benefits associated with its consumption (particularly dark chocolate).
The potential benefits of eating chocolate include: lowering cholesterol levels, preventing cognitive decline, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Coffee is one of the main sources of antioxidants in the U.S. population.
The potential health benefits of drinking coffee in moderation include: protecting against type 2 diabetes, preventing Parkinson's diseaseTrusted Source, lowering the risk of liver cancer, preventing liver disease, and promoting good heart health.
Collard greens are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, rutabaga, and turnips.
Collard greens are an extremely rich source of vitamin K and also contain folate, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, phosphorus, and potassium.
Health benefits of collard greens may include assisting with bone health, reducing cancer risk, helping lower glucose levels in those with diabetes, and improving sleep and mood.
Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin E.
Studies have found that cranberries can potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), slow tumor progression, prevent urinary tract infections, and benefit oral health by preventing bacteria from binding to teeth.
Edamame is a young soybean that has been harvested before the beans have had a chance to harden. They can be bought shelled or in the pod, fresh or frozen.
The potential health benefits of edamame include maintaining a healthy blood pressure, helping with depression, promoting fertility, and decreasing bone loss.
The eggplant, also known as aubergine, garden egg, guinea squash, melongene, and brinjal, is usually distinguishable by its signature egg-like shape and vibrant purple color.
The potential health benefits of eggplant include supporting heart health, maintaining weight and blood cholesterol levels, and anti-cancer effects.
Flaxseed is not only "an excellent source of two fatty acids that are essential for human health - linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid," but also "an excellent source of fiber and a good source of minerals and vitamins," according to the American Nutrition Association.
The potential health benefits associated with flaxseed include: lowering cholesterol, protecting against cancer, preventing hot flashes, and improving blood sugar levels.
Garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart.
Studies have found that garlic can potentially be a very powerful antibiotic, help protect the heart during cardiac surgery and after a heart attack, lower the risk of developing lung cancer, and reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Ginger contains a chemical that is used as an ingredient in antacid, laxative, and anti-gas medications.
Studies have found that ginger can potentially prevent inflammation of the colon, reduce exercise-induced muscle pain, help alleviate nausea caused by chemotherapy, and reduce the severity of period pains.
The portability, texture, flavor, and variety of grapes have made them a popular finger food in countries all over the world.
Studies have associated grapes with the prevention of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and constipation as well as decreasing the risk of obesity and overall mortality.
Grapefruits are low in calories but full of nutrients. They support clear, healthy skin, help to lower the risk of many diseases and conditions and may even help with weight loss as part of an overall healthy and varied diet.
The potential health benefits of grapefruit include boosting weight loss, maintaining healthy blood pressure and heart health, and combating free radicals.
Green tea may well be one of the world's healthiest drinks and contains the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea.
Studies have found that drinking green tea is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, and may help fight prostate cancer.
Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Studies have found that honey can potentially help prevent GERDTrusted Source (gastroesophageal reflux), shorten the duration of bacterial diarrheaTrusted
Known as coriander in the United Kingdom, cilantro comes from the plant Coriandrum sativum. In the United States, the leaves of the plant are referred to as cilantro (the Spanish translation), and the seeds are referred to as coriander.
Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like cilantro decreases the risk of obesity, overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease while promoting a healthy skin and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
Studies have found that cinnamon can potentially be effective against HIV, improve glucose and lipid levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, help prevent Alzheimer's disease trusted Source, and stop the destructive process of multiple sclerosisTrusted Source (MS).
In addition, researchers at Penn State found that consuming cinnamon can help reduce the body's negative responses to eating high-fat meals.
Healthy Drinks – There’s no dearth of promising diets in the market. All claim to offer fast and effective results. From low carbs to high fats, fruits to blood type diets, there’s just so much to choose from.
So, when we are concerned about our diets, why shouldn’t we be more concerned about our drinks as well? Why have those sodas and beers that can leave us crippled, fatter and unhealthier later?
Whether you want to lose weight or just aim to get fitter, these are the healthy drinks that you should try. These drinks have antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and even offer a ton of energy. You could even lose weight with a lot of these healthy energy drinks.
When we are talking about healthy drinks, we certainly cannot forget Green Tea. Rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols, green tea guards our cells against carcinogens and also aid in restricting tumor growth by neutralizing our body’s free radicals. These antioxidants also prove beneficial in protecting our heart against cardiovascular diseases.
That is not it, green tea also contains fluoride, which is beneficial for strengthening our teeth. The flavonoids are also responsible for building up bones that reduce the risk of osteoporosis. In recent times, green tea is being extensively used as one of the best drinks for weight loss because it increases metabolism steadily.
Mint tea is one of the earliest examples of the globalization of cuisine as during earlier periods, tea and sugar were imported from two different countries while fresh mint was indigenous to the Greater Maghreb region. It was not until the 1850s that mint was introduced to Morocco.
Prepared from brewing fresh mint leaves in green tea with sugar, this nutrition drink can be consumed hot or cold. Since mint has antispasmodic properties, it aids in relaxing muscles and promoting digestion. You can skip the sugar if you want to reduce or maintain weight.
1 % Fat Cow’s Milk
Cow’s milk is by far one of the healthiest drinks on our planet, which also acts as a prime source of nutrition for babies. It is of primary importance in our diet because it contains not only calcium but also vitamin D that plays a pivotal role in the absorption of calcium.
In this way, a glass of cow’s milk provides 20% of our body’s daily requirement of calcium. Therefore it proves to be effective in protecting our body against osteoporosis. Besides, it restricts cravings by stabilizing blood sugar, which in turn aids in fat loss, as calcium forces our body to burn fat instead of storing it.
If you are a vegan or can’t have milk due to lactose intolerance, then soy milk is an option for you. A blend of oil, water, and protein, soy milk is a nutritious drink that is prepared by grinding dried soybeans in water. A traditional East Asian drink, soy milk originated in China during the reign of the Han Dynasty between 202 BCE to 9 CE.
It has soluble fiber and easily digestible protein, which aids in lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, thereby diminishing the threat of cardiovascular diseases. Fortified with Calcium, Vitamin A, and D, soy milk is as healthy as a 1% Fat Cow’s Milk.
Low-Sodium Tomato Juice
Tomatoes, like apples, can help in keeping the doctor at bay! Rich in Vitamins A, B, C and K, tomatoes also consist of essential minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous. All these micronutrients help in lowering cholesterol levels in the body while promoting digestion.
When blended with spinach, the healthy juice drink activates the liver, which in turn prevents constipation. Lycopene along with the other protective phytonutrients in tomatoes are known for reducing the risk of prostate and pancreatic cancer. Tomatoes are great for promoting healthy skin and hair. Also, tomatoes have anti-inflammatory properties.
Research suggests that the same antibacterial cranberry compounds, which are effective in treating urinary tract infections also protects our body against periodontal diseases. According to experts, cranberries consist of a high molecular weight non-dialyzable material that inhibits the formation of plaque.
Being an essential source of phytochemicals, especially polyphenols, researchers are of the opinion that the freshly extracted cranberry healthy energy drink could be beneficial in maintaining the optimal health of cardiovascular and immune systems alongside protecting us against cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
Queen of healthy drinks, orange juice, serves as an excellent source of vitamin C. Consisting of a diverse range of phytochemicals such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and various volatile organic compounds, oranges are beneficial in improving our body’s immune-cell functioning, which in turn helps in protecting us against various infections.
Also, these antioxidants protect our body against a variety of diseases such as cataract and scurvy. Being a good source of folate, consumption of orange juice aids in preventing neural-tube defects in fetuses.
Made from brewing dried chamomile flowers in water, chamomile tea has proved to be one of the most famous healthy drinks in recent times. Although it does not have caffeine, chamomile tea is used for various medical purposes. Its flowers are sourced from either the German chamomile plant or its Roman counterpart.
Both of them are equally good, and the former has been studied the most. Consisting of anti-inflammatory compounds such as bisabolol, chamazulene, apigenin, and luteolin, chamomile tea is extensively used for treating hemorrhoid associated inflammations. And not just that, these compounds also prove to be antispasmodic/antidiarrheal in nature.
Rich in tannins and anthocyanins, pomegranates happens to have more antioxidants as compared to both cranberry juice and green tea. These antioxidants can suppress the growth of cancer cells and serve as an excellent addition to the plant-based diet recommended for cancer patients. Plus pomegranate’s juice benefits are undeniable.
From fighting and reducing harmful LDL cholesterol to improving blood flow to the heart and aiding in cancer cure, pomegranate juice is simply an all-rounder healthy energy drink. Pomegranate is known to have anti-thermogenic effect i.e. it inhibits plaque buildup in blood vessels.
Health Benefits of Almonds – have been the most popular nut all over the world since ancient times. They are rich in a wide variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. The health benefits of almonds and that too raw almonds are abundant in amount.
Technically speaking, the raw almonds that you eat are not nuts but the seed of the almond fruit. However, people all over the world have been using them for centuries for their immensely huge benefits on health.
These days people use almond in a variety of ways- as a standalone healthy snack, in the form of almond milk, almond flour or sliced almonds. They can also be used as a taste enhancer by adding them to salads. Let’s check out some of the most striking health benefits of almonds:
1. Nutrient Factory
Almonds are rich in loads of nutrients- healthy fats like monounsaturated fats, vitamin B, Vitamin E, fibers, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper. This large nutrient factory in almonds makes them an ideal food to include in your diet.
Although due to high amount of fat content, almonds are high in calories. However, a major portion of those calories come from healthy monounsaturated fats which are good for your health unlike saturated and trans fats present in junk foods.
2. Almonds for Heart
Almonds are one of the most widely recommended food for heart patients as well as to minimize the risk of heart diseases. The heart benefits of almond are due to the presence of minerals like magnesium and healthy monounsaturated fats.
Improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure- Magnesium helps in relaxing the blood artery walls and improve the blood flow. Patients who suffer from heart attacks are often immediately supplied with magnesium dosage to increase blood circulation to the heart. Magnesium is also crucial for prevention of hypertension and high Blood pressure. These both conditions often precede much serious heart diseases.
Lowers cholesterol – The healthy fats in almond also help in lowering the LDL lipoproteins or bad cholesterol in the body. The presence of this cholesterol in excess leads to cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidants present in almonds can also prevent the oxidation of LDL. The presence of oxidized LDL is also linked to heart diseases and by reducing it, almonds can help in keeping heart diseases away.
3. Almonds for Diabetes
Almonds are a low Glycemic Index (GI) food. That means they do not lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar levels which lead to insulin resistance causing diabetes. In fact, you can take almonds with other foods with comparatively higher GI and almonds can bring down the overall GI of the meal. In addition to it, magnesium in almonds also aids in maintaining optimum sugar levels in the bloodstream by regulating the function of insulin.
Also Read: Diabetic Diet Ideas
Healthy Pre Diabetes Diet
4. Almond Benefits for Weight Loss
As against many of you might believe, eating almonds is not going to increase your weight as long as you are taking them in moderate amount. Yes, they are high in calories, but a majority of those calories come from healthy monounsaturated fats.
Also, almonds are rich in fiber that means they will keep you full for a longer period. You will have fewer hunger pangs if you take almonds as snacks instead of munching on high-calorie snacks. You will also intake fewer calories due to this reason which will ultimately lead to weight loss.
5. Antioxidant Health Benefits of Almond Nuts
Almonds contain plenty of polyphenol based antioxidants. Most of these antioxidants are present in the brown shell of almonds and work against oxidative stress damages inside your body. This stress is primarily caused by the presence of free radicals which break down cells and tissues inside the body.
This often leads to conditions primarily associated with aging. Antioxidants in almonds fight these free radicals in various parts of body minimizing the damage on the cell structure.
6. Health Benefits of Almond Oil
Eating almonds in their raw form as nuts have their benefits. However, apart from it, almond oil also has a multitude of uses. Almond oil contains all the major nutrients present in raw almonds. On top of it, almond oil has excellent moisturisation and nourishing properties which work wonders for overall beauty of a person.
It can also permeate the skin quickly and is very lightweight making it an ideal component of many commercial beauty products. Check out these amazing benefits of almond oil for hair and almond oil benefits for face.
7. Brain Health Benefits of Almonds
You must have seen your mother urging you to eat almonds daily. It was for a reason after all. Almonds are considered as one of the best brain foods out there. They contain two primary nutrients which are mostly responsible for benefits of almonds for brain.
The nutrients, called riboflavin and L-carnitine, perform a significant role in maintaining the brain function as we age as well as preventing the cognitive decline with age.They also reduce inflammation which sometimes lead to brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Many health professionals recommend elderly people to have a good amount of nuts in their diet for these reasons.
Hence, you see that Almonds are a powerhouse of mind blowing vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats in one place. These little, brown wonders can prove to be a fabulous addition to your daily diet.
You can eat almonds in raw form or apply it in the form of almond oil to reap the numerous health benefits of almonds. Did you know that almond oil can also cure dark circles and puffy eyes? Find all about how to use almond oil for eyes.