Guest post by Bamini Pathmanathan
MS, RDN, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist
You may have heard people saying “eat your carrots, it's good for your eyes” or maybe I am the only one saying that to get my kids to eat carrots. But there's some truth to that statement.
When you slice a carrot and look at it in it's circular form, you will notice quite a resemblance to a human eye.
Foods that resemble a particular part in our body, do play an important role in the health of that body part.
Eating carrots enhances blood flow to the eye. The color of the carrot comes from a plant chemical called beta-carotene, which reduces the risk of developing cataracts.
Kidney Beans look like our kidneys and functions best to help our kidneys.
These red beans are full of vitamins and minerals that benefit the kidney. Beans are a good source of iron, manganese, potassium and phosphorus, to name a few.
Not one piece of ginger looks like the other. But this root can resemble a part of a human body, especially a stomach.
A well rounded beneficial item for our body, ginger helps in digestion, stomach ailments and nausea. And it's a long standing health food. For over 5,000 years ginger has been known for it's health benefits.
Onions resemble our body's cells. Research has shown that onions help remove waste materials from our body cells.
Every cry when cutting onions? This is actually a way for our body to “wash the epithelial layers of our eyes.” The tears are the result of sulfur gas reacting with an enzyme resulting in an acid produced in our eyes to make us cry. To reduce tears when chopping onions: cut them with the skin on, soak them in water or freeze them first.
Bananas just make you smile. They seem to have a sunny disposition about them, as they should.
Bananas contain a protein called tryptophan. When it's consumed, it gets converted into a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is a mood regulating chemical in the brain. Bananas adjust the level of serotonin production, like using an anti-depressant drug. So, put a smile on your face without a pill!
Ever noticed the shape of a walnut? Walnuts are full of DHA, a type of omega 3 fatty acid, an essential fatty acid that helps keep the brain functioning. It is the top nut for brain health.
Bottom line is we need to consume foods of all color, all variety and shape to help keep our body functioning at it's best. Food sources from each food group have a role in you body's performance. Aim to have a balance in your food choices for they do serve a purpose.
Want to learn more about how what you eat matters for the proper functioning of your body and to live well? Sign up for the Spears Strong nutrition workshop June 28.