White beans are an easy way to add protein to a vegetarian dish and are versatile ingredients. The white bean was domesticated in the Americas and is commonly used in dishes throughout North and South America. White beans are loaded with cancer-fighting dietary fibre, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They are considered to be a superfood and have a number of health benefits. They fight against the storage of energy as body fat; promote good health and wrinkle-free skin; and provide large quantities of magnesia, which maintains the electrical potential across nerve and muscle membranes.
Red beans are a rich source of insoluble fibre and resistant starch, which promote digestive health and bowel regularity. They are low in fat, cholesterol free and contain all three of the minerals that are key to controlling blood pressure. Red beans also have high folic content, which protects cardiovascular health. They are known to aid weight management and to protect against type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Peppers are low in calories and loaded with good nutrition. All varieties are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fibre. Red peppers contain more than 200% of the recommended daily vitamin C intake and are packed with antioxidants. Sweet red peppers burn more calories than red bell peppers. Yellow peppers each contain around 1.65 milligrams of niacin, which keeps skin healthy, and green peppers contain double the vitamin C content of oranges.
Carrots' health benefits are mostly attributed to their beta-carotine and fibre content. They are good antioxidant agents and are considered by many to be the 'ultimate healthy food'. They are known to reduce cancer and cardiovascular diseases and help with blood sugar regulation.
Mushrooms are loaded with essential nutrients. Many varieties contain selenium, which is good for the bladder. Mushrooms are a good source of iron, low in calories and produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. White button mushrooms promote immune function and have around the same amount of antioxidants as red peppers. Mushrooms also contain lots of vitamin B, which helps the body to metabolise fat and protein.
Onions have a unique combination of flavonoids (nutrients known for their anti-oxident and health benefits) and sulfur-containing nutrients, which can help increase bone density. They have also been shown to reduce the risk of several forms of cancer, have anti-inflammatory properties and provide cardiovascular benefits.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, manganese and dietary fibre. They are known for their antioxidant content and have been linked to heart health. They also support good bone health and have many anti-cancer benefits. Diets that include tomatoes have been linked with reduced risk of some neurological diseases, including Alzheimers.
Garlic was often prescribed by Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, to treat a number of medical conditions. It has very few calories, is very nutritious and can combat sickness such as the common cold. Garlic can also reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol, lower the risk of heart disease and improve bone health. It also contains antioxidants, which may prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Jalapeño peppers are a rich source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin A, which supports skin and eye health. They are low in calories and contain capsaicin, an anti-inflammatory and vasodilator, which promotes healthy blood flow and helps weight loss.
Olive oil is known for its numerous health benefits. It is rich in mono-saturated fats and helps to lower the risk of hearth disease. It contains the phytonutrient oleocanthal, which reduces inflamation and can reduce the risk of breast cancer and its reoccurrence.
Cumin aids digestion, improves immunity and helps to treat a number of disorders including piles, skin disorders, anaemia, insomnia and respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, asthma and the common cold. The herb is very rich in iron and contains caffein and essential oils. Cumin also has detoxifying and chemopreventive properties, making it a good ingredient for cancer prevention.
Coriander has 11 components of essential oils, six types of important acids and a number of minerals and vitamins. It is used to treat skin inflammation, high cholesterol levels, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, conjunctivitis, small pox, anaemia and blood sugar disorders. The herb has anti-allergic and anti-histamine properties, as well as unusually high levels of dodecenal, a natural compound that is twice as powerful of an antibiotic than the leading treatment for salmonella-based illness.
Chili powder helps to boost energy and increases antioxidant defence. Its iron content assists in red blood cell formation, improves cognitive functioning and works against cognitive disorders such as Alzheimers and dementia. Chili powder also helps to maintain healthy blood pressure and its considerable amount of fibre supports the digestive system.
Cayenne peppers are used therapeutically in many societies. They help to treat a variety of ailments including gout, heartburn, delirium, tremors, paralysis, fever, dyspepsia, flatulence, scarlet fever, tonsillitis and diphtheria. They are a well-known digestive aid and can also prevent migraines. Cayenne is also a circulatory stimulant, which supports detox and promotes longevity.