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Let food be thy medicine = Live long and prosper

This one is a tribute to one of my childhood heroes, Star Trek's Spock, played by the legendary Leonard Nimoy. His cool, brilliant and innovative nature always inspired me. The Vulcan greeting “live long & prosper” is one of the best brandings ever with its simple and positive message. Given that many of us wish for our loved ones a long, healthy and happy life, I’d like to focus in this blog on the health part as it is vital for enjoying long living.

"Let food be thy medicine" by Hippocrates is a wise and timeless statement and well-practiced by many. Did you know that the original Hippocratic oath, which all doctors must recite before graduating, states: “I will apply dietetic and lifestyle measures to help the sick to my best ability and judgment; I will protect them from harm and injustice.”? Hippocrates knew that diet and lifestyle played a major role in a person's health, even 2,413 years ago!

So, you probably ask yourself how it is relevant to falafel😊. One of the biggest enemies of any living organism is the prime essence of life i.e., breathing. While breathing we consume oxygen and excrete CO2. Oxidation is a normal and necessary process that takes place in your body. Oxidative stress, on the other hand, occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity in the body. When functioning properly, free radicals can help fight off pathogens. Pathogens lead to infections. Oxidative stress can damage fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins in your body. That damage can lead to a vast number of diseases (e.g., diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson, atherosclerosis, inflammation, heart disease etc.).

In my previous blog, Not only delicious but also nutritious - the health benefits of Falafel, I highlighted the health benefits of falafel and specifically the added benefits of the different ingredients we add to our flavored nutritious and delicious falafels.

Here, I’d like to add additional ingredients’ benefits. One of the most important benefits of falafel is its high fiber content, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The chickpeas used in falafel are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibers, which can help to lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels.

Protein: Falafel is also a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. Protein also helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can help with weight management.

Vitamins and minerals: Chickpeas and other ingredients used to make falafel, such as cumin, are also rich in vitamins and minerals. For example, chickpeas are a good source of folate, which is important for the health of the nervous system and for preventing birth defects, and parsley contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as the mineral iron.

Healthy fats: Falafel can be made with healthy fats, such as olive or grapeseed oil, which is high in monounsaturated fats. This can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Vegetarian/Vegan: Falafel is a plant-based food and a good option for vegetarians and vegans. Eating a plant-based diet is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

And one of my favorite aspects but not directly related to the health benefits of falafel is sustainability. Falafel is made from chickpeas, which are a relatively sustainable crop. They are drought-tolerant and require less water than other protein sources like meat, and they can also be grown in a variety of climates. Eating plant-based foods like falafel can help to reduce the environmental impact of your diet.

Eating a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you live a long and prosperous life. Not only does a healthy diet help to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, but it also provides your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. In this post, we'll explore some tips and strategies for eating a healthy diet, so you can "live long and prosper."

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