The earliest recorded history of the use of garlic to boost health and relieve stress was made by the Egyptians. They fed it to their slaves and other laborers to boost their strength and stamina during the decades the pyramids were being built.
Now we know for sure that garlic is a huge asset to the immune system and can help prevent cancer, heart disease and lower blood pressure. Antioxidants are highly concentrated in this superfood and can combat the damage to our bodies caused by free radicals (body pollutants).
Free radicals are now believed to contribute to the development of life-threatening diseases. Garlic contains the antibacterial and anti-fungal component called allicin and naturopathic practitioners often recommend it for depression and anxiety.
Some little known facts about the benefits of garlic include:
- * Chop or crush the garlic and let it sit for a while before cooking so the allinase enzymes contained in the garlic will better preserve its cancer-preventive properties.
- * Allicin (a sulfur compound) may help improve your iron metabolism. A protein (ferroportin) allows a passageway in the cell membrane to store iron and exit the cell when the body needs it.
- * Garlic is a good source for selenium, a trace mineral also present in the soil. Selenium is imperative for the body to increase immunity, protect against free radical damage, as an anti-inflammatory and to maintain a healthy and vibrant metabolism.
- * Garlic may also play a role in the fertility of males and females and in preventing autoimmune, cancer and thyroid diseases.
You should include garlic in your diet plan on a daily basis. At least half a clove in your own food portion should suffice – but when used in recipes, use at least one or two for maximum benefit.
Use garlic in whole clove form, raw, chopped, powder, or pressed. Be sure to add it at the end of your recipe’s cooking cycle to derive the maximum benefits and flavor. Garlic can transform any dish into an aromatic and highly flavorful meal, boost your mood and counteract your high-stress levels.
Beets are coming back as a food-trend and being used in many different ways to ensure we get them in our diet plan. The arsenal of nutrients found in beets has an extremely beneficial effect on our nervous and immune systems.
Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties called betaine, beets also help to detoxify the body by stimulating liver cells and cleansing and protecting bile ducts, which carry waste through the system.
Betaine is an amino acid which acts as an antidepressant and stimulates the production of dopamine (the neurotransmitter which controls the pleasure points in our brains). An added bonus to consuming beets on a regular basis is the caloric count – approximately 40 calories per (average size) beet.
Beets are stocked with nutrients we sometimes lack, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, niacin, biotin and iron. Together, these nutrients help to increase our levels of dopamine.
Low levels of dopamine cause us to be sluggish in our motor movements and may affect sleep cycles caused by stress. Recently, low dopamine levels have been connected to restless leg syndrome – the disorder that occurs often in seniors and keeps us awake at night.
Lowering blood pressure is also a benefit of beets. Some studies indicate that beets may help increase energy levels and stamina when you need it most. If you’ve never tried beets or beet juice, you’ll be amazed at all the ways you can use them in recipes or simply cut them up and include them in a leafy green salad.
Check out beet recipes and ideas online or in cookbooks and begin to use this superfood to boost your stress-reducing dopamine and nutrient levels.