While the age-old wisdom you are what eat holds true on many levels, that doesn’t necessarily mean on a literal level. However, nature gives us plenty of visual cues when it comes to the kind of good a particular food can do us.
For example, in China, the custom of eating penises hasn’t been proven to improve virility (other than a placebo effect) anymore than eating the still-beating heart of a hunted down creature will directly give you a stronger heart.
But what has been linked to heart health is the ubiquitous destroyer of sickness and vanquisher of vampires, garlic, which, if you really look at it, somewhat resembles a multi-chambered heart itself.
The tiny bulbs of the herb pack a nutrient-rich punch. Linked to heart-health by numerous studies, lowering blood pressure and staving off coronary disease are just a few of garlic's magical feats.
And walnuts, a superfood known to be a healthy snack scrumptious and versatile enough to be tossed in salads as well as baked goods, upon closer inspection, resemble an organ near and dear to us all--brains!
High in antioxidants, walnuts are also rich in Omega-3 acids, so much so that a study by scientists at Tufts University in Boston determined that dining regularly on the the tiny corrugated lobes can have a direct impact on mental performance.
So the next time you knock back a handful, know that you are munching on a bunch of little brains and in the process, doing your own some good.
Keeping with the possible ick factor associated with consuming the cerebral cortex, another wholesome snack sweet enough to satiate sugar cravings and decadent enough to be fermented into a spirited drink, grapes have been a long-time favorite food to serve at Halloween.
Simply remove the skin (actually, it’s not so simple--tips anyone?) of a bunch of grapes, set them loose in a bowl and tell your party guests they are digging into juicy little eyeballs.
But eyeballs are not what grapes are associated with being good for--the clusters of spheres and deep red color is reminiscent of another part of our body, the blood cell. Fresh is best but as most already know, the rotten fruit off the vine does just fine--one glass of wine a day will lower blood pressure.
What is good for eyes is also widely known, the carrot. And at first glance, they do not appear to resemble our ocular orbs--until you recall the eyeballs are attached to long stems and the eye system really is a shape Mr. and Ms. Conehead could admire.
The visual link becomes especially clear when the vegetable is sliced into rounds; the image of an iris can be clearly seen.
One superfood that cannot be overlooked for its benefits and suggestive shape is the avocado, always eaten raw and ever-creamy. Mashed into guacamole, blended into sweet soy milk smoothies or enjoyed straight up with a spoon and, (I prefer a dash of chile powder and salt), avocados are a popular fruit.
For many, they are a must have to spruce up vegetarian sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, tacos and so much more. They can be also used in lieu of sour cream to cool down a spicy chili.
Unlike other so-called fruits, they’re uniquely high in fat contect, although of the good-for-you, mono-saturated variety. But if one really looks at the tapered roundness, and the the way it cradles the pit within, it can be viewed as a womb.
And with it’s creamy, fatty goodness, it’s a winner for mothers-to be and as one of baby’s first foods--one that doesn’t require prepation other than the backside of a fork.
Eating one a week can help regulate hormones, prevent cervical cancer and get rid of fat accumulated during pregnancy in women. They also resemble another body part, the testicle.
Need more proof of the link between avocados and the human reproductive system? From blossom to fruit, avocados take nine months to grow, just like human babies.
Kidney beans, tomatoes, celery--many more fruits and veggies can be judged by their appearances. And of course, all of them are known to have a wide variety of benefits beyond the ones list due to high nutrition contents.
Buts as you go scouring the fruits and veggies in your produce drawer for signs of visuals cues, it’s important to remember that sometimes an orange is just an orange.
Unless it’s an apple.
Either way, if it’s fresh, unprocessed and deeply-hued, it’s probably good for you.