In the ongoing COVID-19 scenario, everyone has been talking of immunity and super foods. I wish all of us had followed our foreparents’ dietary advice and stayed away from the wet market, junk and processed food.
I remember vaguely how my paternal grandparents used to follow a menu which had very interesting vegetables, which had some connection with the body. The shape of these food ingredients are similar to the shape of our body organs and play a major role in protecting them. These are good sources of vitamins and minerals, which are of help to the body organs at every stage of development.
I have compiled the following list, which is a mix of what I saw at our grandparents’ Haveli (my grandfather was Deputy Collector of Puri in charge of the Jagannath Temple) and some from South American Latin countries.
Kidney Beans: This is shaped like kidney and is an excellent store house of copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus molybdenum, Vitamin B1 and folate. All these are requirements for a healthy kidney.
Sweet Potatoes: This has the shape of pancreas, which helps in breaking down the food in our stomach with the hormone it produces — insulin. For a healthy pancreas, we need Vitamins A & C, which are there in sweet potato. It helps the diabetics balance the glycaemic index, which is a role played by pancreas.
Carrot: Cut the carrot into half, and the pattern it shows is that of the retina. In carrots, there is an abundance of beta carotene, which our body converts into Vitamin A. This assists in keeping our eyes strong as we age. Carrots are a must for senior citizens to prevent vision loss.
Avocado: Has the shape of uterus and is a great source of folic acid, which helps in reducing cervical dysplasia. This is a pre-cancerous disease which the uterus is susceptible to.
Walnut: This is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. The walnut has the shape of a brain and the healthy fatty acid helps in the functioning of brain.
Celery: Celery has a lot of similarity and looks like bones. Celery contains around 1/4th of sodium and silicon, which help in developing strong and healthy bones.
Banana: This is the fruit which makes one smile. It has a special protein tryptophan which converts to serotonin once it is digested. Serotonin boosts the mood and makes us happier.
Grapes: It looks like the alveoli of lungs. The fruit contains proanthocyanidin, which helps in reducing congestion and checks asthma attack and pneumonia. For anyone sensitive to allergies, this fruit is a must as it clears it off in the lungs.
Onions: This resembles our body cells and helps in clearing our waste from the body, especially from the cells. The best example is when we have teary eyes while slicing onions, but it’s actually cleaning our eyes. It also helps us in the gut and cleanses it. Its oil helps in smooth movement of bowels.
Broccoli: It looks like a tree and has a close resemblance to cancer cells. They are interconnected in different ways. Broccoli consumed once a week reduces the possibility of prostate cancer by 50 per cent. Make it a part of your diet, at least once a week.
Mushrooms: When mushrooms are sliced and turned sideways, they resembles your ears. Munch mushrooms to make your bones strong, especially the cartilage bones of your ear. Vitamin D helps in keeping the cartilage bone healthy and does not let the ear bone (cartilage bone) slump down.
Olives: Along with avocados, olives are part of regular diet in Latin America and Mediterranean countries. Olives look like the ovaries and helps it also. The good fats in olive suppresses the genes which are the condition for ovarian cancer.
Tomato: Much like the heart, tomatoes have chambers which are filled with juicy liquid and seeds. It contains lycopene, which helps in reducing heart diseases. Make it a part of your routine diet, especially in salads and raita.
Grapefruit: Much like lemons and oranges, it has a look like the mammary glands. These glands are responsible for lactation, or for production of milk. This assists health of the breast and especially moving out the lymph.