It seems like every day there is a newly discovered super food that we should be trying to work into our diets, but when we’re on the go or feeding a family some of the more exotic cooking options tend to fall by the wayside. The good news is that you are already getting some surprising health benefits from foods that you eat on the regular.
You can find this common seasoning in just about every home and restaurant around, but don’t mistake common to mean average. Black pepper has some powerful health benefits for the whole body. It goes well with dinner besides adding some spice…black pepper prevents the formation of gas and increases the formation of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which aids digestion. Pepper is also a diuretic, so while that salt might be telling your body to retain water the pepper will do the opposite and release it. Black pepper can also break up congestion, help your cough, and might help prevent cancerous tumors with it’s hard hitting blend of piperine, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, flavonoids, potassium, manganese, carotenes, and other anti-oxidants. (How does it all fit in there?) Black pepper also acts as a bioavailability enhancer, so when you pair it with other healthy food it makes your body more efficient at hanging on to those nutrients.
While not a food exactly, many of us still rely on this substance to get us through each day. Caffeine tolerances are different for everyone so be sure and pay attention to your own body signals, but if you enjoy a cup here and there you might like it even more once you hear what it can do for you. Coffee has an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, which has been shown to improve your ability to metabolize sugar. It is also a good source of the mineral magnesium, which enhances glucose tolerance. This means less sugar rush from that scone you’re pairing it with. Some studies have suggested that your java helps the liver regulate itself, that it can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and that drinking coffee seems to be a common thread amongst people who don’t get skin cancer.
Well sure a banana is good for you right, it’s a fruit! But just how good is it? Turns out pretty darn good. The banana is chock full of tryptophan which converts to the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, so eating them has been proven to improve moods and even regulate PMS symptoms. It’s B-6 strengthens the nervous system, reduces swelling, helps with weight loss, and assists in the production of white blood cells. The pectin in bananas keeps your digestive system in tip-top shape, along with the fact that they are a naturally prebiotic, high in fiber, and are a natural antacid. They are good for the eyes, bones, and kidneys. Full of bananas yet? Next you can use peel to remove warts and stop the itch from rashes or bug bites.