"Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates
These foods are magic. Not only do they have the power to take the pleasure of your dining experience into the next dimension, but they also contain antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins and phytosterols, along with many other powerful nutrients. They truly are the medicine that nature has provided to us.
We've chosen 6 cheap options to add to your meals that can turn the most basic food into incredible dishes with deep, complex flavours. These 6 cheap health foods are also famous for their long culinary histories and medicinal properties!
Celery contains close to zero calories, and yet it can reduce the appetite. This phenomenon is no secret to those seeking a healthy weight loss solution, with many weight-droppers swearing by their pre-dinner celery snacks.
Celery is an excellent addition to salads and stews, but drinking celery juice is one of the best ways to unleash its healing potential.
This heart-healthy vegetable contains phthalides, which are compounds known to promote the dilation of the artery muscles and blood vessels, as well as suppress the release of stress hormones. This makes celery extra beneficial for people with high blood pressure.
Both the stem and the leaves contain a high concentration of alkaline elements, which can prevent the formation of kidney stones and problems associated with the gallbladder.
Due to its powerful antispasmodic properties, celery has been used as an aid in the treatment of respiratory issues, such as asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis; but its medicinal powers do not end there!
Celery is also an excellent source of iron and magnesium, which are vital to the health of our blood cells.
Turmeric is the key to a delicious curry and is one of the latest latte trends, but most importantly; turmeric has fantastic health boosting properties!
Turmeric can help people with diabetes lower their blood sugar levels, and it can also help fight colds, flu and other viral and bacterial infections.
Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory properties and can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The active ingredient in turmeric is an antioxidant called curcumin, and studies show it has some seriously powerful health benefits. If any herb has the power to spark existential fear in the bottom line of pharmaceutical companies; it's turmeric.
Curcumin in turmeric can also improve digestion, reduce bloating and gas, as well as stimulating the gallbladder to produce bile, which can assist in healthy weight management.
Ginger is most commonly known for its anti-nausea effects when chewed or consumed as a tea. Take some ginger snacks on your next road trip, because this amazing plant can help with motion sickness. Ginger contains phenolic compounds which improve digestion, prevent constipation, and even prevent diseases such as colon cancer.
Ginger is also a diaphoretic, which means it warms the body from the inside and promotes sweating. This makes ginger an excellent, natural remedy for a cold or flu, which is especially soothing when consumed as a tea, with added lemon juice.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties have been used to treat many conditions for centuries, but ginger is also a great herb for people who workout, as it can help reduce exercise-induced muscle pain. Ginger can also reduce the pain associated with menstruation.
Basil has such distinct flavour, so it doesn’t taste amazing in every dish; but when it does work, it’s seriously lit.
Whenever the opportunity to add basil to your meal arises; make sure you do, because this herb provides 60% of your daily requirement for Vitamin K, which is essential for strong bones, as well as a healthy heart.
Just one handful of basil also supplies us with 18% of our daily requirement for iron, which is an important mineral for helping our red blood cells move oxygen through the body.
This nutritious herb also takes care of our eyes, as it contains high levels of Zeaxanthin to protect our eyes from harmful UV rays, while its high Vitamin A content supports good eyesight.
Basil also contains many oils, which protect our delicate internal ecosystem by wiping out harmful bacteria.
Parsley is much more than just a tasty garnish. This powerful plant can play a part in strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation and cleansing the liver.
It also contains chlorophyll, which gives it antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and it’s high in calcium and folic acid, making it an effective treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, as well as maintaining good bone health.
Parsley contains a compound called phenylpropane that has anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds such as Vitamin C and Beta Carotene, which has the potential to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Parsley makes you pee; it’s a diuretic that has been used in treating urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and excessive fluid retention.
Last, but not least, parsley has a positive impact on blood sugar levels, making it a great herb for people with diabetes.
Garlic is well known for its ability to protect us from viral illnesses such as colds, as well as allergies and other airborne infections, but it also has many other health benefits.
Garlic contains a compound called Allicin, which is not only responsible for garlic's distinct smell but can also get the credit for many of its potent medicinal properties.
Nutritionally speaking, garlic contains at least a little bit of almost everything we need. However, it is particularly high in manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and selenium.
The antioxidants in garlic also fight the damage caused by free radicals that contribute to the ageing process, while the anti-fatigue properties of this smelly, but tasty herb, may help us perform better in the gym.
Adding these foods to your diet promotes longevity by supporting your body’s in-built ability to protect itself from chronic disease. More often than not, we simply need to get out of our body's way; and that means replacing inflammatory foods with the likes of these 6 cheap foods that will support your health.
Since these foods are so affordable, easy to find, and have such an enhancing effect on the flavour of our food, simply have no excuse not to enjoy them on a daily basis. So take the advice of Hippocrates and get healthy with these wholesome, affordable foods!