Hearing about ways certain foods can have specific positive effects on the human body is pretty easy.

Recommendations and suggestions regarding foods and their various favorable attributes are commonplace in many forms of media, but I feel like there’s more to the story than what we’re typically told, and there are things we can do to assist foods in bestowing their benefits upon us.

To illustrate, here’s another list of foods and their valuable bodily influences compiled from online healthy living sources, along with what I believe people can do (or not do) to help those influences be as effective as possible.

•Beets contain nitrates that can be converted to nitric oxide and improve endurance in exercise. Especially if you exercise.

•Almonds can help prevent cardiovascular diseases, lower the risk of cancer and help prolong life itself.

Especially if you don’t smoke a pack of cigarettes before and after eating them, or step in front of a fast-moving freight train as you consume them.

•Cilantro decreases the risk of obesity.

Especially if you don’t use it as a garnish on top of bowl of ranch dressing with a little lettuce in it.

•Bananas are known to reduce blood pressure.

Especially if you don’t yell at your spouse or watch the evening news while eating them.

•Chives are known to have positive effects on sleep and mood.

Especially if you refrain from ingesting methamphetamine or fentanyl, and don’t swill down can after can of an “energy drink” that each contain a massive amount of caffeine.

•Strawberries can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure or allergic reactions.

Especially if you don’t eat them right after having a heated political argument with your neighbor or breathing in a handful of pollen.

•Eggplant has several benefits, including supporting heart health and maintaining weight and blood cholesterol levels.

Especially if you can get yourself to eat eggplant.

•Ginger can potentially reduce exercise-induced muscle pain. 

See beets.

•Asparagus can reduce the risk of diabetes.

Especially if you don’t eat a spear or two right before devouring an entire box of Ding Dongs and half a bag of Funyuns.

•Mushrooms are known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, regulate blood pressure and improving immune responses to infection.

Especially if they’re not poisonous or hallucinogenic.

•Lemons can help clean your liver.

Especially if you’re not consuming them along with a fifth of Tito’s or a 12-pack of Bud Light.

•Limes remove toxins from the body.

Especially if you don’t consume large quantities of processed materials laden with sugar and chemicals (sometimes called foods) that cause toxins to pile up in your body in the first place.

So there you go. I believe that following certain guidelines related to eating could do wonders for a person’s body.

But alas, I guess I might just be a silly dreamer for believing anyone cares. Maybe we should just enjoy stuff like boxed mac-and-cheese, potato chips, Twinkies and soda, and avoid that blasted exercise because you never know when might pull a muscle.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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