Onion is a good source of fibers called fructans which act as prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the guts. Therefore it is beneficial for gut flora and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Onion is rich in sulfur compounds and flavonoid antioxidants, especially quercetin. Quercetin reduces symptoms of bladder infections, is good for prostate health and lowers blood pressure and risk of cancer. The main benefits of onion include blood sugar regulation and fighting diabetes, increasing bone density for osteoporosis prevention and anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.
Mango is rich in fiber and polyphenols antioxidants, especially mangiferin. High contents of vitamin C and A boost immunity and folate ensures healthy prenatal development. Vitamin C content also improves collagen production, making it beneficial for hair and skin health. Mango can help lower cholesterol and thanks to magnesium, potassium and mangiferin keeps heart health in check. Apart from fiber, mango contains enzymes that help break down complex food molecules and help their absorption, making it great for digestive health and relieving constipation. It supports eye health thanks to antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin A.
Lentils are one of the oldest foods, widely consumed in Middle East and Egypt. They are packed with protein and fiber, as well as antioxidants, especially polyphenols. These have mainly anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Eating lentils protects heart from disease, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. They are rich in vitamin B and folate, good for proper development during pregnancy, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Thanks to a combination of fiber, carbohydrates and iron, they are great for steady increase of energy levels.
Kidney bean is an excellent plant based source of protein and fiber. It is also high in starch, but since this type is a slow-release carb and bean has low glycemic index, it is beneficial for diabetics, not causing fast and high rises in blood sugar. Kidney bean is rich in phosphorus and manganese, reduces cholesterol and improves heart health, lowers risk of heart disease, boosts digestion and prevents colon cancer. Although rich in iron, it might not be very accessible due to phytate content in beans that reduces iron absorption. Bean is very rich in folate, benefiting red blood cells formation and development during pregnancy. It is favorite among athletes due to its combination of energy boosting carbohydrates, muscle building protein and low fat content. Finally, it promotes fullness and is a great choice for weight management.
Hazelnut is full of antioxidants, especially present in its skin. These, together with healthy fats, more specifically omega-3, support heart health and lower cholesterol levels. Thanks to extremely high vitamin E and manganese content, hazelnut can have anti-cancer properties and like other nuts reduces blood sugar levels. Thanks to vitamin E, it is beneficial for skin and hair health and it is also a good source of fiber, magnesium and folate. Combination of compounds in hazelnut helps decrease the risk of diabetes as well as maintain brain and cognitive functions and prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, folate and fiber. They are rich in chlorophyll, stopping some carcinogenic effects and slowing down growth of cancer tumors. Thanks to folate and iron content, it is good to eat them during pregnancy to ensure healthy prenatal development, as well as for energy boost. Green beans are beneficial for bone and heart health and good for lowering cholesterol. Another compound they are rich in is silicon, supporting skin and nail growth. Due to high carotenoid content, they keep eye health in check and prevent macular degeneration. As a downside, raw green beans contain protein lectin, which might cause digestive issues.
Date is a tropical fruit packed with nutrients and natural sugars. It is high in fiber, helping digestion and regular bowel movements to prevent constipation and colorectal cancer. Date is beneficial for brain health and memory, preventing some diseases like Alzheimer’s. Compounds in date are believed to help facilitate natural labour by reducing its duration and aid contractions. Antioxidants from date, primarily phenolic and flavonoid compounds have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effect on the body and some nutrients such as manganese, magnesium, selenium and copper keep bones strong and healthy and prevent osteoporosis. Date is a great source of potassium, controlling the heart rate and blood pressure and promoting heart health, as well as iron, good for anemia treatment. Also rich in plant-derived estrogen, date might help relieve symptoms of menopause in women.
Coconut has a high percentage of insoluble fiber as well as medium-chain, quickly metabolized saturated fats. The main component of these fatty acids in coconut is lauric acid. Coconut oil can improve heart health and reduce cholesterol levels. It also helps with yeast infections, caused by for example Candida or Staphylococcus and has antiviral and antifungal effect. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, it can boost oral health and help with teeth issues. Bones and skin can also benefit from coconut and since it promotes fullness and fat burning, it helps efficient weight loss when consumed in moderation. It is beneficial for gut bacteria and aids blood sugar control. Coconut is a good snack for gaining energy quickly and improving physical performance. It promotes thyroid function and coconut water can be used to treat bladder infections.
Considered the oldest cultivated fruit, fig contains lots of fiber, making it a good remedy for constipation and improving digestion. Prebiotics found in fig also help with digestion and gut health. Fig leaf tea or extract may be beneficial for reducing blood sugar levels and diabetes treatment. Thanks to high fiber and potassium content, fig can lower high blood pressure. It is rich in antioxidants, especially polyphenols. Some other potential benefits include improving hair and bone health, due to calcium and magnesium content.
Kale is one of the most nutrient rich foods known. It is packed with vitamin K, antioxidants and fiber, which make it great for diabetes prevention and treatment. Like other green vegetables, it contains chlorophyll, which might reduce the risk of cancer. Similar anti-cancer effects in kale come from high amounts of vitamin C, selenium and other antioxidants. Loaded with vitamin K that helps blood clotting and rich in calcium and phosphorus, kale is a good choice to keep bones healthy. Combination of vitamin C and A in kale support skin and hair growth and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin make it beneficial for eye health. Kale is high in nitrates, which help boosting physical performance in athletes and iron, helping supply muscles with oxygen.