It is never too late to learn how to cook. More and more people these days are recognizing the importance of eating healthy and along with it the added benefits of cooking for oneself. One of the biggest benefits of cooking for oneself is the absolute control over the ingredients you can use. This means that you can cook healthier meals using higher quality and different ingredients. The internet has birthed a new generation of home-kitchen cooks that believe in experimenting with newer recipes and fresh ingredients. These cooks, mostly young professionals, prefer to cook for themselves or their family and friends and profess an undying adherence to the health benefits of cooking your own food.

If you are cooking on a regular basis then here are some important ingredients that can help you reap amazing health benefits:

Beets

beets-for-good-health

Image credit:Liz West

Recognized as one of the most important vegetables around, beets are still one of the most underrated vegetables in dishes. Full of the pigment betacyanin, the pigment that lends beets their unique hue, is one of the various disease fighting phytonutrients in this vegetable. It can be used in salads or eaten boiled with a sprinkle of salt. They are a potent source of beta carotene and fibers as well as folate which can help prevent colon cancer and osteoporosis, among other things.

Turmeric

One of the most widely used ingredients in Indian cooking, turmeric is hailed as one of the most, if not the most, important elements for a healthy diet.Turmeric contains bioactive compounds that have high medicinal properties.Curcumin,One of the main ingredients of turmeric, is a strong anti-oxidant and has highly effective anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin is also is proven to boost brain and memory functions.

Leafy greens

One of the most important sources of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients, leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, cabbage, kale etc. are important elements of a wholesome meal. These vegetables are a brilliant source of iron and have high levels of vitamin A. They also contain lutein, a nutrient necessary for healthy eyes.Also, dark leafy vegetables are also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids that are so important for your body.

Black pepper

black-pepper

This zingy little spice is packed with a host of health benefits. From relief for respiratory disorders and cough to anemia, impotency and heart disease,black pepper does it all. The spiciness of pepper comes from the chemical piperine which also increases the body’s capacity of absorbing curcumin, usually obtained from turmeric among a variety of other benefits. It is a rich source of manganese, iron,potassium, vitamin K and vitamin C.

Oregano

This fragrant little spice has amazingly high levels of antioxidants. This makes even half a spoonful of oregano as good as a spinach salad. It also works brilliantly in reliving cough and congestion because of its natural expectorant qualities. It is also a very good aid for your digestion.

Sesame seeds

These tasty and widely used seeds contain sesamin and sesamolin which are unique plant lignans that help reduce the dangerous LDL cholesterol levels in blood. These seeds are a brilliant source of zinc, calcium and phosphorous,essential elements for the body. It also contains copper which can help in strengthening your bones.

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