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  • Writer's pictureFranck Banza

Top 6 healthy foods you should be eating

We always hear that we should have a balanced diet, and eat a variety of foods without knowing for certain what micronutrients are beneficial to our health. Certain foods are more rich in micronutrients than others, and that is why they are called "healthy food"or "Superfood". However, there are certain nutrients that constitute the best defence against illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases and obesity. Consuming food that contain these nutrients on a daily basis gives us the best protection to become and stay healthy. I have selected for you these six foods that contain exceptional and essential nutrients for a healthy lifestyle:

1. Garlic

Nowadays the use of garlic is reduced to a simple spice that flavours our food, which is very regrettable because our ancestors have always prioritised garlic as one their main ingredients since they knew the potential health benefits of this extraordinary food. So it is no surprise that even until today, traditional healers around the world are still using garlic as one of their most common ingredients in traditional medicine to treat certain diseases. In fact, recent studies have shown that consuming garlic reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

If garlic is not part of your daily diet yet, I recommend that you start adding at least a clove of garlic (1 teaspoon of minced garlic) when cooking your dishes.

2. Yogurt

Yogurt is a very tasty food that has immense health benefits because of the active bacteria that it contains, which are indispensable for our digestive system and essential to the breakdown of nutrients so that our body can easily absorb them. Consuming yogurt reduces digestive problems and improves our gut health. Some studies also revealed that consuming yogurt lower the cholesterol level and can have preventative effects against certain cancers. Traditional healers in India, China, and Africa have always used yogurt as medicine to treat and prevent inflammatory bowel diseases, intestinal infections, and other digestive illnesses. Remember to take your yogurt before your meal to give you the best health benefits.

3. Olive oil

The average life expectancy in the Greek Island Crete is 82 years, and it is one of the highest in the world thanks to their traditional diet that is rich in olive oil. 60 % of their daily diet is made with olive oil, which is one of the healthiest food because of the nutrients its content: Vitamin E and A, and polyphenols. Olive oil was used in traditional medicine in North Africa, especially in ancient Egypt where it was considered sacred and symbolised strength and light. Recent studies have demonstrated that consuming Olive oil reduces the bad cholesterol (LDL: Low Density Cholesterol) and increases the good cholesterol (HDL: High Density Cholesterol), lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Add or replace your vegetable oil with Olive oil in your kitchen to move one step closer to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

4. Wine

Yes, I know... Yes, you read it well! Wine!! I understand that this could be a controversial one because wine is now considered an alcoholic drink and not a nutritional food. However, this is not the case. Wine (especially red wine) is definitely a functional food with health benefits if consumed moderately (maximum half a litter per day). In fact, wine (palm wine) is used in African traditional medicine by traditional healers to treat stomach diseases. Numerous studies have also shown that drinking wine reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, and this comes as no surprise considering the fact that in countries like France where people consume 10 times more wine then North Americans, they have 4 times less cardiovascular issues. Wine also contains powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols and other essential micronutrients such as Copper, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, and Lithium, which makes it a functional food beneficial to our health if consulmed within the limit.

5. Chocolate (Dark chocolate with at least 70% of cacao contains)

Dark chocolate is one my favourite as it taste delicious and contains nutrients that makes it very nutritious and a powerful source of antioxidants that are beneficial to our health. Recent studies have shown that consuming Dark chocolate reduces the risk of heart diseases and improves our overall health. As a matter of fact, traditional healers in Ghana use cacao to treat very serious diseases like malaria, which shows the extraordinary health benefits of cacao. And just to clarify, eating the "right" dark chocolate will not make you gain weight!! But instead, it will improve your blood flow and lower your blood pressure.

6. Cheese

Just like yogurt, fermented food like cheese contain exceptional nutrients that are healthy for our body. They boost our immune system with antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-atherosclerotic effects. Traditional healers in West Africa and Sudan use medicinal herbs to spice cheese and make it a powerful remedy for certain illnesses. A current research shows that the absorption of fat from cheese by our body is very low, leading to cardiovascular health benefits. So eating cheese is nutritious and good for your heart!!!

I therefore encourage you to eat these foods on a daily basis to boost your immunity. Why not boosting your health by spicing your cheese with garlic marinated in olive oil and having it with a glass of red wine???

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