Table of Contents
I was stunned when some time ago saw a post on Instagram friends, who quote pearls of wisdom from Heather Morgan the following:
“EVERY TIME YOU EAT OR DRINK, YOU ARE EITHER FEEDING DISEASE OR FIGHTING IT.”
Well, if we think about it, indeed among the many variations of food that we can choose every day, there are bad for our health, some are clearly can be categorized as healthy food.
But unfortunately, most of the foods that are bad for health are usually tasty, delicious, delicious and tempting, and vice versa, foods that are categorized as healthy are generally bland, not tasty and boring., He2x
We are faced with choices, want short-term favors (by eating delicious junk food), or long-term favors (Alhamdulillah, expect excellent quality health to enjoy life to the age specified by God)
A Greek philosopher, Hippocrates also reminded this more than two thousand years ago.
“LET FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE; OTHERWISE MEDICINE WILL BECOME YOUR FOOD.”
In the Qur’an, Surah Al Maidah verse 88, Allah commands us to eat halal and good food (Halalan Thoyyiban)
“AND EAT FOOD THAT IS HALAL AGAIN GOOD (THAYIB) FROM WHAT HAS BEEN ADVISED TO YOU AND ADVICE TO GOD AND YOU BELIEVE TO HIM”
Realizing this, I tried to summarize from various sources, the types of foods that are proven good for health, at least according to current science. For convenience, we call it a superfood, with the definition of foods that contain lots of nutrients that are beneficial for the health of our bodies.
I try to choose 10 of them which are the most widely available on the market, and the prices are relatively affordable so that they are easily accessible at home every day.
Let’s start discussing the superfood one by one:
1. Olive Oil
Olive Oil (Olive Oil) is very well known as an excellent oil for health, among others, because it contains monounsaturated fatty acids that can increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL) while also reducing levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body.
Olive oil also contains antioxidant polyphenols, which are useful for reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Other benefits of olive oil, among others, can reduce high blood pressure, help smooth digestion, helps skin moisture and hair growth.
In the market, there are various types of olive oil, among others:
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: this is the first press of olives, darker color, is the highest quality olive oil, so the price is usually the most expensive.
- Virgin Olive Oil: this comes from the second juice of olive oil.
- Extra Light Olive Oil: Which are the leftover juice and the results of further processing of olives.
Which one is the best? Of course, the extra-virgin olive oil at a glance is the answer.
But there is an exciting study in one of the series on the program “Trust Me I am A Doctor” on the BBC Earth channel, the study compares the risk of heart disease in two groups, where one group is given extra-virgin olive oil, and the other is regular virgin olive oil, after consuming it for 3 and 6 weeks, researchers analyzed the number of specific proteins in their urine as an indicator of the level of coronary artery health, the results turned out to be unexpected, both groups showed a reduced risk of coronary heart disease with approximately the same level !! for complete information about the research, please read here
So if extra-virgin olive oil is too expensive, we can also use regular virgin olive oil. What is essential is that the olive oil is not heated, because it will damage the antioxidant content of polyphenols and other good chemical content, and will change its monounsaturated fatty acids into saturated fatty acids, which are harmful to health.
I prefer to pour a tablespoon of raw olive oil at every meal, sometimes mixed with chili or other side dishes.
Despite having a pungent odor, garlic turned out to have extraordinary properties. This type of onion contains allicin compounds that can reduce levels of bad cholesterol, making it suitable for preventing strokes and heart disease.
Garlic is also useful for thinning and preventing blood clots. Garlic can increase the production of nitric oxide in the blood, which helps dilate blood vessels so that it can help expedite blood flow. Because of this property, consumption of garlic is believed to be useful as a natural anti-impotence drug.
In addition to the allicin compound, garlic also contains lots of flavonoids, sulfur, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are good for health. White onion has long been used as a natural antibiotic to treat infections caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses. Besides that, garlic also contains bioactive sulfur compounds that can prevent the formation of cancer cells in the body.
In one of his journals, the National Cancer Institute in the United States states that the protective effect against cancer from garlic can arise from: its anti-bacterial properties or from its ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances, repair DNA or cause cell death. (more details about this can be read here ).
With so many health benefits from garlic, why don’t we tuck the white bottom slice into our daily food portions?
But remember, the cooking process can damage the nutrients and content of essential compounds in garlic, so we should consume raw, can be mixed in rice or other foods.
Besides Olives, Honey is one of the foods mentioned in the Qur’an,
“And your Lord revealed to the bees: Make nests in the hills, in the trees, and places made by men. Then eat from each fruit and take the path of your Rabb which has been facilitated. (for you). From the belly of the bee comes a drink (honey) of various colors, in it, there is a cure for humans …. “(QS. An-Nahl : 68-69).
Honey contains multiple vitamins, including B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3, and minerals, including calcium, iron, sodium chloride, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium.
This bee liquid is loaded with natural antioxidants, and has anti-bacterial and fungal properties, while also being anti-inflammatory.
Among the myriad benefits of honey include increasing endurance, relieving allergies, coughing, colds, moisturizing and rejuvenating the skin, increasing calcium absorption by the body, helping prevent cancer, lowering cholesterol, improving brain memory, and helping to sleep more soundly.
So, let’s always provide real honey at our home, one spoonful a day for exceptional health benefits.
“A SPOONFUL OF HONEY EVERY DAY, KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY”
Nuts contain lots of protein, complex carbohydrates, fats, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins (especially vitamin E), and several types of minerals such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Certain nuts such as walnuts, cashews, and almonds have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, so they are suitable for heart health. The content of soluble fiber in nuts can also help reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides.
Because of its high fiber and antioxidant content in nuts, many scientists recommend regular consumption of beans at least three cups per week to improve health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer.
Many articles that review the benefits of beans, one of which I chose from Huffington Post, please click here.
Realizing its benefits for health, I always provide a jar of beans at home as a healthy snack.
but eat it a little bit yes, just one or two handfuls a day, do not immediately eat one jar at a time, he2x
Vegetables?, this one fruit (some people still consider tomatoes part of vegetables) are among the easiest to find on the market, are relatively inexpensive and exist in many variants of cuisine.
Besides containing fiber and water, tomatoes are rich in various vitamins, among others, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C, and minerals, among others, calcium, chromium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium. The chromium content in tomatoes can help control blood sugar levels, so it is good for diabetics. Besides that, the potassium and vitamin content is useful for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Tomatoes also contain beta-carotene antioxidants that function among others to fight free radicals and lycopene, which can prevent cancer.
What’s interesting about this one fruit, is different from other types of vegetables or fruit, which if cooked will reduce the nutritional quality, specifically for tomatoes, the cooking process will increase its nutritional value.
Quoted from the “Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry” Rui Hai Liu, the tomato heating process will increase the content of cis-lycopene (a variant of lycopene that is easily absorbed by the body), as well as its total antioxidant activity. At the same time, the content of Vitamin C is damaged due to heat.
Lycopene is the most efficient antioxidant against free radicals and can devour free radicals ten times more than vitamin E. (more details about this can be read in the article from the foodnavigator.com website, click here )
Well, you already know this, let’s eat tomatoes more often, besides being raw in the form of juice or chili sauce, make sure to add a lot the cooked version, for example, is made part of the chicken or fish soup.
Besides being used as a cooking spice, ginger has long been known as natural herbal medicine, among others, to overcome digestive problems, nausea, and colds.
Ginger does contain many anti-inflammatory compounds and other antioxidants that are beneficial to health such as gingerol, beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, curcumin, and salicylate.
According to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information – United States website, one of the ginger oils, gingerol, is thought to have anti-cancer activity, which plays a role in helping in the biological pathway to cell death, cell cycle regulation, and cytotoxic activity (in more detail about this can be read here )
This one cooking spice is also useful for lowering blood pressure (hypertension), this is because ginger stimulates the release of the hormone adrenaline and widens the blood vessels, so that blood flows more smoothly and lightens the heart’s work to pump blood. Besides, gingerol in ginger is anticoagulant, which prevents blood clots and blockages, the leading cause of strokes, and heart attacks. (quoted from Permathic Blog, more details can be read here )
The good news again, especially for those of you who are struggling to streamline the body, ginger is useful to improve digestive function, accelerate metabolism, and quickly burn fat and calories in our bodies.
Ginger increases the thermic effect of food. This means rising body temperature and accelerating our metabolism. Gingerol in ginger increases the level of leptin (a full hormone) in the body. Ginger also reduces weight by suppressing cortisol production. Cortisol is a stress hormone that also causes the body to store fat. (quoted from the Institute for Natural Healing website, more details about this can be read here)
I currently have a new habit in the morning, which is to cut ginger, then mix it in boiled water for coffee and occasionally for tea. (Um, the taste of coffee and tea is getting more delicious and makes the body warm at the same time).
Turmeric is useful, among others, to prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, protect brain function, smooth digestion, and reduce joint pain.
One of the active ingredients contained in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Many studies have studied curcumin as a useful herb in the treatment of cancer. This compound can affect cancer growth, developmen, and spread at the molecular level.
Studies have shown that curcumin can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors), metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contribute to cancer cell death.
Unfortunately, curcumin is not easily absorbed in our digestion. Turmeric is better consumed with black pepper to increase its absorption. Black pepper contains piperine, a natural substance that has been shown to increase the absorption of curcumin by up to 2000%. Besides, curcumin is also fat-soluble, so consuming turmeric with fatty foods can also increase the absorption of curcumin. (quoted from the Authority Nutrition website, more details can be read here )
8. Purple Sweet Potato
Residents on Okinawa, a small island in Japan, are known to have an average long life, many who reach more than 100 years old (centenarian), and remain relatively healthy and active. One of their daily diets, besides fish, seaweed, and tofu, is Purple Sweet Potato.
Besides containing complex carbohydrates, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals, purple sweet potato is rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, carotenoids, and phenolic acids.
Anthocyanin (Anthocyanin), which is found in many natural foods of purple color, is a powerful antioxidant that is very good for slowing down the degeneration of brain function and memory associated with age.
Anthocyanins are also useful for reducing the risk of cardiovascular and cardiovascular diseases because these foods reduce blood pressure, reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and prevent arterial stiffness.
Anthocyanins in Purple Sweet Potato are also useful for preventing and treating cancer. One study on this subject, conducted by Soyoung Lim and Dr. Weiqun Wang, from Kansas State University, United States, concluded that purple pigment in sweet potatoes could slow the growth of cancer cells. (Quoted from The Telegraph, more details can be read here )
Let’s change our breakfast menu once with Purple Sweet Potato. To get optimal benefits, just boil the potatoes, don’t fry them.
9. Tea (Green)
Now, let’s switch to drinks.
Tea, especially green tea, is among the healthiest drinks (as long as you don’t use sugar).
This drink contains a lot of powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids, catechins, and Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). Antioxidants play a role in reducing the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage and preventing various types of diseases, including cardiovascular, cardiovascular, and cancer-related diseases.
Green tea also contains caffeine, although not as much as coffee, besides this tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function.
Green tea is also efficacious in reducing the risk of developing diabetes. Many studies have shown that green tea can increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. One study in Japan found that those who drank green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing type II diabetes (quoted from the Authority Nutrition website, more details can be read here )
One more good news for those on a diet, green tea can increase the body’s metabolic rate and accelerate the burning of belly fat.
Already know like this, let’s drink tea more often, as a variant, we can add lemon or lime juice, or occasionally brewed with ginger water stew, yes it’s delicious!
10. Dark Chocolate
Now, this is the superfood that I like the most, especially if it’s not chocolate.
But not just any chocolate, choose dark chocolate (with cocoa content above 60%), not sweet chocolate milk (milk chocolate), which is full of sugar.
Cocoa is rich in flavanols that can help protect the heart. Flavanol has been shown to support the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the endolethium (cell layer in the blood vessels), which helps relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow, thereby reducing blood pressure.
Flavanol in chocolate can also increase insulin sensitivity so that in the long run can reduce the risk of diabetes. (quoted from the Havard T.H. CHAN website, more details can be read here )
According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, polyphenols in dark chocolate reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL).
Consuming dark chocolate can also improve brain function, improve eye health, and protect the skin from harmful UV radiation. (quoted from the Menfitness Website, more details can be read here )
And one more good reason to like dark chocolate, chocolate is known to contain phenethylamine, which can produce endorphins in the body. This endorphin hormone can make a person feel more relaxed and happy …
“No wonder if eating chocolate tastes like that ……, ups, but remember, don’t eat it too much..”
Thus this article, let’s start to get into the habit of choosing healthy foods, starting from what we usually provide every day at home.
if we usually fill the contents of our refrigerator with ice-cream, donuts, or potato chips for example, yes of course when it comes to eating time, we are “forced” (but forced to be happy, he2x) choose foods that are not healthy to fill the stomach the hungry.
And vice versa, if we start getting used to providing healthy food, such as the example of superfood above, well at the time of mealtime, our choices will undoubtedly be better, right?
Hopefully, this article useful for you.