What Does Your Food Do For You?
Eating healthy foods as part of a balanced diet can help you to sustain health and reduce your risks of chronic diseases. Healthy foods can be fun to prepare and eat, especially when you learn about facts that make the food more exciting to consume. Consult your doctor or nutritionist about your health and diet and the nutritional content of the foods you eat.
Sweet potatoes can help you see in the dark. Sweet potatoes contain a high amount of vitamin A, a nutrient that is vital for eyesight and night vision. A ½ cup serving of baked sweet potato has 961 mcg of retinol activity equivalent, the international standard measure for vitamin A. Retinol is a substance related to vitamin A that is more easily absorbed into your body than beta carotene or other precursors of vitamin A. After eating and digesting sweet potato, your blood transports retinol to the retina, where it is involved in producing a visual pigment called rhodopsin, which is part of rod cells in your eyes that enable you to have night vision. A dietary deficiency of vitamin A can increase your risk of night blindness.
Honey is a sweet and delicious health food that may also soothe your cough and respiratory infection. Research by scientists at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey and published in “Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine” in 2007 compared honey, honey flavored cough medicine called dextromethorphan, and no treatment in children with upper respiratory tract infections and symptoms of coughing. The research results demonstrated that honey given 30 minutes before bedtime is the most effective treatment for symptomatic relief of nocturnal cough and sleep difficulty. Nonetheless, you should not feed honey to children under 1 year of age because of possible exposure to botulism, a rare and serious form of food poisoning.
Eating tomatoes with meat can enhance the health of your red blood cells. This is because tomatoes contain vitamin C, a nutrient that stimulates intestinal absorption of iron, a mineral in meat that is involved in red blood cell formation in your body. Red blood cells have an iron-containing compound called hemoglobin, a substance that carries oxygen from your lungs to the cells throughout your body.