We are all busy, and none of want that virus that’s going around. (And there’s always something going around). Beyond hand-washing, getting a good sleep, and staying active, are there any short-cuts to good health? What are the top five things that we can add in to our diet to boost our health, immunity and help us fight disease? Here are five health hacks you can start using right now:
Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation contributes to risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Turmeric acts as an antioxidant, mopping up free radicals in our body, and helping to prevent cell damage and death. Turmeric is already used to help treat arthritis, and more research is emerging about its potential role in prevention and treatment of heart disease and cancer. Try this delicious Coconut-lentil curry add get an blast of disease-fighting turmeric.
Ginger is another delicious plant full of anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is a pain reliever, and researchers in Iran have demonstrated that ginger is effective in treating after-workout soreness. There is also promising research from the University of Georgia where researchers gave ginger extract to mice with prostate cancer, and the ginger slowed growth and progression of the tumors. Try this tasty and healthy Carrot Apple Ginger Soup to get the benefits of ginger for yourself.
3. Leafy Greens
Health Canada recommends that we all get at least one serving of dark green vegetables each day.
Why? Gram per gram kale has more than twice the vitamin C as an orange, and more calcium than milk. One hundred grams of spinach has 2.7 mg of iron, while 100 grams of grass fed beef has 2 mg of iron – and a lot more calories and saturated fat. You can maximize your iron absorption from leafy greens by eating them with a source of vitamin C; red bell peppers are one of the best sources, or try spinach in a green smoothie with a ripe banana, some frozen mango and frozen pineapple.
The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses! (No, I’m not joking). Fibre-rich pulses are delicious, versatile, inexpensive and disease-fighting. Eating beans and lentils can help us lower our ‘bad’ cholesterol and can even help diabetics control their blood sugars. Try this creamy hummus or this hearty veggie chili.
It may be time to swap your cuppa joe for a cuppa tea. Teas are full of antioxidants and can actually help you live longer! Along with delaying mortality, teas may also help you stay trim. In a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers at the University of California fed mice high calorie diets, and tea extracts. The tea extracts helped to induce weight loss and also reduced inflammation. Tea has less caffeine than coffee, or you can opt for a herbal tea which are a great way to stay hydrated in the winter months.