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BeansMore than 2,000 years ago, the Greek physician Hippocrates advised people to “make food thy medicine and medicine thy food”. Modern medicine agrees that there are numerous foods which should be eaten regularly because they naturally ensure a strong immune system and a healthy body capable of resisting disease.

Here are the benefits of some common and not so common medicinal foods; eat them raw or lightly cooked:

An apple a day. Apples can help reduce cholesterol and contain cancer-fighting antioxidants; they are high in fibre, prevent constipation and suppress the appetite.

Asparagus is good for you. Although expensive and not easily available, they are a super source of the powerful antioxidant glutathione known to act against at least 30 carcinogens.

Bananas are not just for babies. In addition to antibiotic properties, bananas soothe the stomach while strengthening the lining against acid and ulcers. High in potassium, bananas help regulate high blood pressure.

Oh beans! Beans are packed with health; studies indicate that daily intake helps reduce cholesterol levels by 10%. Beans help regulate blood sugar and are high in fibre.

Consume cabbage. This veggie is packed with numerous anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds. Studies indicated that eating cabbage regularly reduced the risk of colon cancer in men by 66%.

Save the date. Dates should be eaten all year round because they are high in natural aspirin and fibre and are linked to lowering the incidence of certain cancers, especially pancreatic cancer.

Eat some eggplant. This purple veggie helps lower blood cholesterol and counteracts the detrimental effects of high-fat foods. Studies found that eggplant acts as an antibacterial agent and a mild diuretic.

Mushroom with health. Mushrooms are known to inhibit cancer as well as viral diseases and can lower cholesterol levels. One study showed that fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms cut cholesterol by up to 12% when eaten daily.

– Munawar Latif
First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on December 8, 2013.