Want to improve hearing? Eat mushrooms
Noticed how walnuts, that are said to be great for the brain, share a striking resemblance with it? We ask experts if bizarre connections are actually scientific signs
When they were teaching you the WYSIWYG, or What You See Is What You Get in computer class, little did you realise how relevant it would be to human health. As bizarre as it may sound, or look, certain foods bear a striking similarity to the organs they are beneficial for. Is it just a coincidence, or is it a less-understood sign?
"A sliced carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye and yes, science says carrots enhance blood flow to the eyes. So, the connection is scientific," says Dr Shachi Sohal, senior dietician with Dr BL Kapur Hospital. Carrots contain a carotenoid called beta-carotene, which gets converted to Vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and an anti-oxidant that helps you see normally in the dark and promotes the growth and health of all body cells and tissues. Anti-oxidants like Vitamin A are essential for healthy eyes. Vitamin A maintains the functionality of rod cells in the eyes that are responsible for night vision.
Dr Shachi also supports the walnut-brain theory. "The gnarled folds of a walnut mimic the appearance of a human brain, and provide a clue to the benefits. Walnuts have often been referred to as brain food owing to the high concentration of omega 3 fats, which help brain cells function efficiently. The human brain consists of more than 60% structural fat," she says.
Ditto with ginger-stomach, tomato-heart, says doc
Root ginger looks just like the intestines. So, it's interesting that one of its biggest benefits is aiding digestion.
"It's also known to prevent bowel problems. It's more than mere coincidence, though explaining the connection in visual terms is impossible," says Dr Jyoti Arora, dietician with Fortis hospital Noida.
Dr Arora explains how the tomato has four chambers, just like the human heart. "Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, a plant chemical that reduces the risk of heart disease, apart from being full of anti-oxidants. But by merely eating tomatoes, you will not strengthen your heart. A wholesome healthy diet is what is necessary."
Don't go overboard with it
Linking food with organs is fine, but don't stretch it too far, warn nutritionists. "This is an interesting concept in theory, but it's one that needs more research," advises Dr Shikha Sharma, nutrition expert.
Mushroom and Ear
Slice a mushroom in half and it resembles the shape of the human ear. Adding it to your menu could actually improve your hearing since mushrooms contain Vitamin D.
Banana and the Smile
Cheer yourself up and put a smile on your face by eating a banana. The fruit contains a protein called tryptophan. Once it has been digested, tryptophan gets converted into a chemical neurotransmitter called serotonin. This is a mood-regulating chemical, and higher levels are associated with better moods.
Broccoli and Cells
Close up, the tiny green tips on a broccoli head look like hundreds of cancer cells. Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family, which includes kale, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. This family can help protect the body against cancer. Broccoli contains Sulforaphane, shown to dramatically reduce the number, size and reproduction of malignant tumours, as well as prevent their occurrence.
Cheese and Bones
The internal of bones resemble a cheese cube. "Cheese is high in calcium, which is widely known to strengthen bones," says Jyoti Arora, dietician with Fortis Hospital.
Source: Midday Jan 11, 2011
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