OUR ancestors knew that you are what you eat. Or, at least, that munching on foods which look like body parts can improve health.

So chomping on a brain-like walnut could boost your mind power, while a deep red beetroot can promote healthy blood.

According to Dr Josh Axe, author of Ancient Remedies For Modern Life, we could all learn a thing or two from our ancient relatives.

He says: “By eating more like the ancients did, you’ll give your body the fuel it needs to fight viral and bacterial infections, power through your days, and function at your highest level.”

To cure health issues the ancient way, Josh says: “The doctrine of signatures says foods that look like a body part benefit that body part.

"There are some super-healthy foods that science has shown abide by this theory.”

In an exclusive extract, NATASHA HARDING reveals the specific foods that may help to treat common illnesses.

  • Ancient Remedies For Modern Life, by Dr Josh Axe, is out on February 4 (Orion Spring, £14.99)

Walnut: brain

A DIET rich in brain-like walnuts can help memory, cognitive processing speed and mental flexibility, studies show.

This is because the nut is rich in critical brain foods, omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols.

Ginger: stomach

NATIVE to China and India, ginger has been used to ease stomach complaints for centuries.

Gingerol, the ingredient that provides its tangy taste, is particularly useful at treating nausea and vomiting.

Grape cluster: lung alveoli

ALVEOLI are the tiny air sacs in lungs that allow oxygen into your blood.

Similar-looking grapes contain antioxidant anthocyanins, which are critical for maintaining lung function as you age.

Celery: bones

NOT only do they look like bones, but celery stalks have strengthening silicon and vitamin K, which works with calcium to also build strong bones.

Meanwhile, potassium neutralises acids that can erode calcium.

Figs: testicles

FIGS are shaped like testicles, they contain seeds and can grow in pairs.

The fruit has long been used to enhance fertility, and recent research has confirmed fig extract can boost sperm count.

Beetroot: red blood cells

THE root vegetable boosts blood health.

It is rich in nitrates that help to open blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and iron that helps haemoglobin, which are in red blood cells and are responsible for transporting oxygen.

Coconut: head

COCONUTS look like heads – and their oil is good for brain health.

Research shows medium-chain triglycerides, the type of fat in coconut oil, can improve function in people with mild Alzheimer’s.

Carrots: eyes

THIS vegetable is a great source of lutein and beta-carotene, antioxidants that support eye health and protect against age-related eye diseases.

Plus beta-carotene converts into vitamin A, which helps you see in the dark.

Sweet potato: pancreas

IN Chinese medicine, sweet potato supports the pancreas, which it resembles in shape.

The veg contains the protein adiponectin, which keeps blood-sugar levels healthy.

Tomato: heart chamber

A SLICED tomato reveals heart-like chambers.

Studies show eating the fruit can reduce blood pressure, prevent damage during a heart attack, improve survival rates from heart failure and cut the risk of stroke.

Reishi mushrooms: kidneys

IN Chinese medicine, kidney-like reishis boost energy.

Studies show the mushrooms promote stamina, even in people with fatigue-inducing conditions.

Avocado: uterus

THEY resemble a uterus, and avocados support reproductive health.

The fruit is rich in folic acid, a B vitamin crucial during pregnancy for baby health and can reduce the risk of cervical dysplasia, a precancerous condition.

Onion: cells

CELL-like onions contain vitamin C, which shields cells from damage, and potassium, needed for normal cell function.

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