Healthy Living

These foods in your kitchen are good health remedies

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Tomatoes are high in antioxidant, which help to lower the risk of heart disease and what is considered bad cholesterol. 

By Pauline Bangirana

Posted  Monday, July 7   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

For some ailments, you do not have to go to the doctor. The remedy is right there in your kitchen. Find out what these ingredients are, and how you can take advantage of them.

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We all have these foods or ingredients in our kitchen cabinets and refrigerators, we use them every day, yet many people either do not know their benefits, or just ignore them. But what you are ignoring could be your answer to keeping healthy and reducing your risk for diet-related illnesses such as diabetes and obesity, which result from eating foods that are high in sugar and fats.

Fredrick Kizito, a nutritionist with the Uganda Dietetic Association and Dr Denis Muyaka, of Global Health Uganda, highlight some kitchen ingredients that have several health benefits, from healing a cold, sore throats, stomach upset, to curing a body rash.

These ingredients range from honey, lemon, tomatoes, ginger, vinegar and garlic, among others. “On top of being used as spices or condiments, these foods or ingredients can help heal common ailments such as a cold, without you having to go to the doctor,” says Kizito.

“Because many are natural foods, they are free of any negative side effects that people may develop, if they have ailments such as allergies,” he says. He notes that any of these natural home remedies work just as well as conventional medicines, although many people are yet to take advantage of the benefits that they offer.

Tomatoes
While tomatoes are common ingredients used to prepare most meals, not many people know of its benefits beyond flavouring the food. Tomatoes are high in antioxidant, which help to lower the risk of heart disease and what is considered bad cholesterol.

Dr Denis Muyaka, of Global Health Uganda, notes that tomatoes have anti- septic properties and salt, which can be helpful in treating wounds.
Besides tomatoes being used to heal wounds, Dr Muyaka says all vegetables are healthy because they have several nutrients, which are essential for the body. But these benefits, says Dr Muyaka are achieved more, if fruits and vegetables are eaten in their raw form.

the benefits of lemon
Lemon has several benefits—from being used to cure a cold, protecting the body against immune system deficiencies, to helping stop bleeding, and being used as a disinfectant for minor cuts.
•They can also be used to enhance fresh breath. According to nutritionists, you can do this by rinsing your mouth with lemon juice.

The citric acid in the juice alters the pH level in your mouth, killing bacteria that cause bad breath. However, in doing so, ensure to rinse your mouth after a few minutes as long-term exposure to the acid in lemons can harm tooth enamel.

•Lemon can also act as an insecticide. You do not need insecticides or ant traps in your kitchen, lemon can do that. First, squeeze lemon juice around your doors and window sills. Then, squeeze lemon juice into any holes or cracks from where the ants are getting in.

Alternatively, you can also cut lemon in water and use it to wash the floor of your house. The smell will keep these insects and ants away. The acidic properties in lemon also help to eliminate any bad odour.

Drinking warm lemon juice in the morning helps to flush out toxins from the body. So, make it a part of your daily routine to drink a glass of warm lemon water in the morning and enjoy its health benefits.

the secret in eating garlic
To those who eat garlic, it has a nice flavour and gives a good aroma to foods, while to others, it leaves an unbearable breathe. Well, here is why you should ignore this, and instead make garlic part of your daily health routine.

• Fredrick Kizito, a nutritionist with the Uganda Dietetic Association notes that garlic contains high levels of iodine, and as such, it is helpful in preventing conditions such as goitre.
•He further notes that it has high levels of Vitamin C, which makes it useful in the treatment of scurvy--a condition that, soften the membranes of body parts such as the eyes, as a result of lack of Vitamin C.

•Garlic also reduces one’s risks of suffering from conditions such as high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart, due to poor blood supply.
•Kizito says garlic has a high component of Vitamin B6 and is an anti-oxidant. Therefore, garlic helps in the reduction of certain cancers including bladder, prostrate, breast, colon and stomach cancers.

•Garlic strengthens the immune system as well as helps to fight chest infections, coughs and congestion, especially in young children.
•Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it an effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions. Treatment with garlic has been shown to greatly improve this condition.
•However, Kizito warns against consumig too much garlic.

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