Remember the saying ‘you are what you eat’? Well, it just so happens there could be more to this saying than many realise.
While it’s common knowledge that maintaining a well-balanced diet can provide a range of different nutrients to the body, there are certain foods that do more for some body parts than others.
There are some foods that resemble the body parts they’re best for, for example, nutrient-rich carrots actually look like an eye when you slice into them, while sweet potatoes are shaped like a pancreas and are full of nutrients that help keep the organ healthy.
Here are seven other foods and the body parts they’re good for.
Sliced in half, this salad favourite contains four chambers that look like the structure of the heart. Research suggests tomatoes can help reduce the risk of heart disease, Sydney-based nutritionist Angela Emmerton explains. How? Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which helps lower blood pressure and has been shown to treat or prevent atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. “Tomatoes are rich in the phytonutrient lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant, in fact 10 times more potent that vitamin E,” Emmerton says.
Walnuts have a resemblance to the brain, and are recognised as the top nut for brain health. They contain levels of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, which has been shown to improve cognition and prevent or reduce age-related cognitive decline. “While there’s no guarantee that walnuts will help you remember where you put your keys tomorrow, they’re a great food to include in your diet for lifelong good health,” Emmerton explains.
Sweet potatoes are not only tasty, but they contain cancer-fighting properties. “Sweet potato is linked to boosting pancreatic function and may help in lowering the instance of pancreatic cancer,” she says.
Sweet potatoes are also a good source of essential nutrients, particularly potassium, dietary fibre and contain high levels of vitamin C.
The old wives’ tale is true: munching on carrots will actually promote healthy eyes. Slice a carrot in half crosswise and it’s easy to see the veggie resembles a human eye. Carrots are loaded with vitamins such as vitamin A, and beta-carotene which protect vision and decreases the possibility of developing macular degeneration, cataracts and night blindness. “They don’t necessarily help you see in the dark, but vitamin A is an antioxidant vitamin that keeps our vital organs healthy,” Perth-based clinical nutritionist Gemma Clark explains.
A stalk of celery looks just like bones, and they’re good for them, too. Fresh celery is an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps increase bone mass by promoting osteopathic activity in the bones. Celery is also packed with calcium, which we all know is good for the bones.
“Onions resemble the human body cells and help clear waste materials from all of the body cells,” Emmerton says. They are also a great source of vitamin C, flavonoids, and phytochemicals (antioxidant), which helps to improve immunity.
Ginger is one of the best-known remedies to help calm an upset stomach, so it’s fitting the herb somewhat resembles the digestive organ. Ginger can be added into tea (infused with lemon or honey), in a soup or mixed into a delicious stir fry.