You have heard it your entire life: you are what you eat… so eat your Brussels sprouts if you want to grow big and strong!
It’s true, when you eat well and take in all the proper nutrients your skin looks better, your bones are stronger, your eyesight is keener, your brain works faster and so forth. A balanced diet is important to all aspects of life and taking in all the essential nutrients are paramount for health.
There are other nutrients, though, besides those with recommended daily allowances by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which can help you to live a healthier life. Following are 12 herbs and other plant-foods that you might find beneficial as part of your daily routine:
While cranberry has a variety of vitamins and nutrients that make it very good for you, most people know it for its clinically proven, natural ability to fight off urinary tract infections in both men and women.
Ginger is not only a delicious addition to pumpkin pie and gingerbread, but this little root is very healthful. Ginger is known to settle upset stomachs and prevent motion sickness, has been shown to have cancer blocking properties, treat migraines, stop heartburn, reduce morning sickness in pregnant women and more. Ginger can be taken as a supplement or by grinding the root into recipes or tea.
- Acai Berry
This berry is a known, powerful antioxidant that promotes healing, health looking skin, energy and more.
Garlic has natural immune system boosting powers. Preliminary studies suggest it could also help to fight cancer, promote weight loss, fight free radicals and so much more. But unless you want to eat a ton of pizza or live with garlic breath, bulk vitamins are your best bet with this one.
- Linden flowers
Most often taken as a tea, linden flowers are extremely effective in reducing free radicals that, when left unchecked, can damage DNA replication.
- Green Tea
Green tea is both healthful and delicious. Among its many health benefits are making a positive impact on digestion, helping create healthful looking skin, and purging toxins from the body. Green tea can be taken as bulk vitamins or in actual tea form.
- Black cohosh
This plant was used by Native Americans for generations. While little research exists yet to prove its benefit, many have found that it helps to induce labor by encouraging oxytocin production, help with the side affects of menopause, reduce the pain and inflammation from arthritis, and more.
- Gingko Biloba
This plant extract has been used by humans for various health benefits from thousands of years. Today much research surrounds its use as a memory enhancer for people every day and possibly the ability to improve the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer disease.
- Elder flower
Elder flower has been used in traditional and all natural medicine for generations as a natural pain reliever, antiseptic and inflammation reducer. It may also help with occasional constipation and preventing cancer.
This plant – root and all – has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Among the potential benefits are promoting digestive health, lessoning the negative side effects of modern cancer treatments, and increasing white blood cell count.
- Milk Thistle
While research is still being conducted, many believe that milk thistle helps liver function, can help manage blood sugar levels and more. It is important to note that it is a member of the ragweed family, so beware of allergy issues.
Soy is a type of little round bean used to make a variety of foods. People drink soy milk, supplement drinks with soy powder, create soy based foods like tofu or soy burgers, and more. Soy beans are very high in protein and have a variety of nutrients. They also help to lower cholesterol, promote healthy bone growth, improve heart health and much more.
Always remember that many supplements and nutritional products are not regulated by the FDA. While all of the foods above are found in nature and generally healthful, there are potentials of allergies, interactions or overdosing, so talk to your doctor about the supplements and herbs you are taking.