Healing Foods Important Information You Need For A Healthier Life Table Of Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 3 Fruits and Vegetables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4 Healing Properties Of Fruits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 5 Healing Properties Of Vegetables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 8 Seeds, Nuts, Oils and Fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 11 Healing Properties Of Seeds, Nuts, Oils and Fish . . . . Page 12 Grains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 15 Healing Properties Of Grains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 16 Healing Properties Of Beans and Lentils . . . . . . . . . . . Page 18 Healing Properties Of Herbs and Spices . . . . . . . . . . . Page 20 Healing Teas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 22 Other Healing Foods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 23 Introduction
Do you remember, as a child, being told by your mother to eat all your
carrots because they are good for your eyes? Later on in life, you may
have been told that this was just an "old wives tale". Guess what,
recent studies have shown that Mom was right! Foods can prevent eye
disease, heart disease, arthritis and more.
Some Basic Science:
In recent years scientists have discovered that foods contain
"phytochemicals", A fancy name for naturally occurring chemicals. This
is not the same as nutrients, that we all know are the substancesnecessary for sustaining life.
Phytochemicals are substances that have properties that can aid in
disease prevention and even cures. Scientists have identified
thousands of these chemicals in the foods we eat and a single serving
of fruits or vegetables can contain as many as one hundred differentphytochemicals.
The most commonly known phytochemicals are the antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect our cells from damage from toxic substances and
from free radicals, a by-product produced by our bodies converting
oxygen into energy. Free radicals can damage cells in our bodies andlead to disease. Antioxidants protect the body from oxidation and
reduce the risk of acquiring many of our common ailments. Fruits and Vegetables
In fruits and vegetables you can tell which of the main phytochemicals
Fruits and vegetables that are orange in color, such as carrots,
cantaloupes and mangoes contain beta carotene.
Those that are red in color, such as tomatoes, watermelon, and pink
Yellow fruits and vegetables such as pineapples, oranges, & peaches
Indoles can be found in the green vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, and
Purple fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, grapes, and eggplant
Allicin can be found in garlic, onions, and chives. Healing Properties Of Fruits Amaranth:
This is technically a fruit, but can be used as a grain in breads, muffins
The seeds are higher in muscle building protein than other grains and
are full of immune boosting Magnesium, Copper and Zinc. Apricots:
A super source of the antioxidants beta carotene and vitamin C.
Studies suggest beta carotene may help protect against lung cancer.
Apricots are also full of fiber, and are more nutritious fresh thancanned. Bananas:
This fruit may help lower blood pressure.
Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6, which research at Tuffs University
found is essential to maintaining a strong immune system. Cantaloupe:
Brimming with beta carotene and vitamin C, plus fiber, potassium,
Though studies show that beta carotene's anticancer effect is against
lung tumors, it may also protect against oral cancers and cancers of
The evidence that vitamin C reduces the risk of cancers of the mouth,
throat, stomach and pancreas is compelling, says Gladis Block, Ph.D,professor of public health nutrition and epidemiology at the University
Figure on getting vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and fiber from
A recent Harvard School of Public Health study of more than 30,000
men found that only fruit fiber, like that found in figs, was linked to
reduced systolic blood pressure (the upper number, which representspressure during the heart's contractions).
All fiber is associated with reduced diastolic blood pressure (the lower
number, which represents the pressure when the heart is at rest
All grapes are a great source of boron, a mineral that may help ward
Red grape juice is another healthy pick, besides boron, it containsreservatrol, a chemical that could prevent heart disease by inhibiting
Its fuzzy brown exterior hides a bright green interior chock full ofcancer fighting fiber and vitamin C.
Vitamin C may also play a role in the prevention of cataracts.
Brimming with beta carotene and vitamin C, the anticancer
antioxidants, plus vitamin B6 and copper.
USDA research has found still another health benefit of vitamin C, it
The classic source of vitamin C with a kick, folic acid, which helps
prevent birth defects and may protect against cervical cancer.
Other citrus fruits and juices also contain limonoids, substances that
animal studies show can activate detoxifying enzymes in the body,
Smokers may want a double dose of O.J. Their vitamin C requirement
In addition to all its other benefits, fiber (when combined with a low fat
diet) can lessen the risk of developing polyps in the colon, which may
Pears also provide some vitamin C, potassium and boron.
The classic source of relief for constipation, because they contain
sorbitol (a natural sugar) and lots of fiber.
Prunes are also a bone saving source of boron and of the antioxidant
More vitamin C and fiber than you will find in most fruits, including
In fact, any berries are an excellent source of fiber.
Strawberries also contain ellagic acid, a natural cancer fightingchemical.
Researchers have found that this compound is a potent inhibitor of
such carcinogens as tobacco smoke and nitrosamines. Healing Properties Of Vegetables Broccoli
Broccoli, "The best prescription"
Broccoli is bursting with the cancer fighting fiber, beta carotene and
vitamin C, plus folic acid (which helps prevent neural tube birth
defects), bone building calcium and boron.
There's more potassium. (which helps lower blood sugar)
Researchers have also found in broccoli a hidden cancer fightingchemical, sulforaphane, which stimulates the activity of detoxifying
It contains a substance called oryzanol, which reduces LDL levels by asmuch as 20 percent, (the high fiber rice bran found in brown rice may
help lower cholesterol too) bonus, brown rice shines in vitamin B6 and
magnesium, while also providing thiamine, (important for the
functioning of nerves) niacin, copper and zinc.
And it also has vitamin E which, studies show , strengthens theimmune system and reduces the risk of heart disease and cataracts. Cabbage:
An important member of the cruciferous family of cancer fightingvegetables.
It's anticancer key may be the presence of a substance called indoles.
Scientists think that one indole in particular may help prevent breast
cancer by decreasing the activity of the chemical estradiol, which is a
precursor to the hormone estrogen. (estrogen fuels the growth ofcertain tumors)
Best for their sky high beta carotene content.
A recent study of 87,000 female nurses found that those who eat five
or more servings a week were 68 percent less likely to suffer a stroke
than those eating one or fewer carrots a month.
Other studies have suggested that eating one carrot a day may reduce
the risk of lung cancer among ex smokers.
Another boon against heart disease, this under appreciated cruciferous
vegetable is especially rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, both of
which may reduce the harmful effects of LDL cholesterol.
Kale is also packed with fiber, vitamin B6. calcium, copper, manganese
This fall favorite is very high in carotene content, just like its winter
squash cousins, butternut and hubbard.
Harvard researchers recently found that women who ate of fruits and
vegetables high in carotenes including beta carotene had a 39 percent
lower risk of cataracts requiring surgery than women who had the
Winter squash was one of the strongest protectors. Red Bell Peppers:
A better anticancer pick than green peppers because they contain
They also supply more potassium and vitamin C which, aside from its
antioxidant properties, also helps fight cancer by inhibiting the
formation in your body of carcinogenic nitrosamines. (nitrosamines
form when you eat foods containing nitrites, such as bacon.)
A powerhouse of antioxidants and virtually every nutrient you can
It is a particularly rich source of folic acid, which may not only reduce
the risk of neural tube birth defects but also protect against cervical
dysplasia, a condition that precedes cervical cancer.
Another benefit, the Ongoing Harvard Nurse's Health Study found that
women who ate spinach daily were 43 percent less likely to suffer a
stroke than those who ate spinach once a month or less. Sweet Potatoes:
These pack almost twice as much fiber and significantly more beta
carotene than white or red potatoes.
In the Harvard Nurse's Health Study, women who took 15 to 20
milligrams of beta carotene a day (1/2 cup of mashed sweet potatoeshas 13 milligrams) had a 39 percent lower risk for heart attack than
women who consumed less than 6 milligrams of beta carotene a day. Tomatoes:
Contain lycopene, a chemical also found in red grapefruit, which isthought to help prevent some cancers.
Tomatoes also supply respectable amounts of vitamin A and C, as well
Seeds, Nuts, Oils and Fish
There are healthy fats as well as unhealthy fats. The healthy fats are
monounsaturated fatty acids, which can be found in vegetable oils.
seeds, nuts and some plants and omega-3 fatty acids which are found
mostly in the deep water fatty fish. Monounsaturated fatty acids areknown to play a beneficial role in a healthy heart and other chronic
illnesses. Omega-3 fatty acids are a natural anti-inflammatory and can
be helpful in the treatment of other illnesses as well.
The research has shown that including monounsaturated fatty acids in
your diet can help prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, diabetes,obesity, inflammatory conditions and musculo-skeletal pain.
Some fish are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which are helpful
in the prevention and treatment of inflammation, mental health
disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, digestive
disorders, autoimmune disease, and cancer
And if that weren't enough, small amounts of healthy fats help the
body absorb nutrients from vegetables and fruits. Healing Properties Of Seeds, Nuts, Oils and Fish Sunflower Seeds:
Similar to nuts in polyunsaturated fat content, but with much more
vitamin E the antioxidant that fights cancer, heart disease andcataracts.
Most recently, a large study of over 279,000 male and female health
workers found that with the highest daily intake of vitamin E cut the
risk of heart disease by about 40 percent.
An intake of at least 100 IU a day was shown to have the greatest
The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oils are the fix for lowering blood fatsespecially triglycerides (high levels of which are thought to be more
They also help in reducing blood pressure and may even ease arthritis
Mackerel, lake trout, herring, anchovies, blue fish, salmon andsardines have the most fatty acids, eat fish two or three times a week.
and you're covered. (do not take fish oil supplements except on the
They are a surprising help for your heart.
A study at Loma Linda University in California found that adults on a
low fat diet who ate 2 ounces of walnuts five or more times a week
lowered their total cholesterol levels by 12 percent.
A controlled group followed the same diet, minus the nuts, and showed
Apparently replacing saturated fat in your diet with polyunsaturated fat
Nuts listed in order of the highest to lowest in monounsaturated fatty
A key component of the healthy Mediterranean diet.
It is the oil richest in monounsaturated fats, which lower blood
If you don't like olive oil, try canola oil, it is almost as high in
monounsaturates, with even less saturated fat. Other oil sources of
monounsaturated fats are Peanut oil, Sesame oil, Walnut oil, Soybean
oil, Flaxseed oil and Grape seed oil.
A recent study found that you can cut LDL cholesterol by 7 to 10
percent if you substitute olive or canola oil for margarine even more ifyou're replacing butter.
But do not go overboard on any oil, they all contain 14 grams of fat
Flaxseed oil comes from flax and is an oilseed. It is a rich source of
omega-3 fatty acids and also contains lignans. Research has shown
that a diet that contains lignans can reduce the risk of several types of
cancer as well as heart disease and osteoporosis
Grains are the seeds of plants. Whole grains contain all parts of the
grain, including the bran, endosperm and germ.
Bran. Forming the outer layer of the seed, the bran is a rich source of
niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. The bran also contains the majority of the seed's fiber.
Germ. A concentrated source of niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin E,
magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. The germ also contains protein
A rich source of fiber and naturally low in fat An important source of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins,
Vitamin E, folate, selenium, zinc and iron
They contain a variety of phytochemicals and antioxidants
They help form the foundation of healthy eating
Tend to have a low glycemic index, which helps to regulate bloodsugar levels
Associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, constipation, obesity,
Healing Properties Of Grains
It's brimming with beta glutens, a type of fiber that can lower your risk
of heart disease by reducing levels of artery clogging LDL. (lowdensity lipoprotein)
Hulled, waxy varieties (found in health food stores) contain the most
beta glucans, but any barley is a good source.
Look for the term "unpearled" on the box; this means the barley isunprocessed and higher in fiber. (all fibers help lower blood pressure)
Pick one high in wheat bran, there's no better source of cancer fighting
insoluble fiber, the kind that increases stool bulk and speed.
(Scientists think that faster the toxins move through your bowels, the
Look for a cereal that provides at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
A good choice for lowering LDL cholesterol.
Most recently, an analysis of 10 studies found that eating 3 grams of
soluble fiber a day, the amount in a large bowl of 100 percent oat brancereal, or three packets of instant oatmeal can cut LDL cholesterol by
Whole Wheat Bread:
Whole wheat bread flour and bread contain triple the fiber found in
It is also richer in vitamin B6 and magnesium.
According to Simm Meydani, Ph.D professor of nutrition at TuffsUniversity in Boston, we need extra B6 as we age to keep our immune
Any whole wheat foods, including pasta, provide protection. Wheat Germ:
Just a quarter cup packs in 5 grams of fiber, as well as almost all the B
It is incredibly rich in manganese too and is one of the best sources of
vitamin E (other than oils) and chromium.
Many Americans get too little chromium, a mineral that helps regulate
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are an excellent source of protein and fiber. They are
also a low fat food. They are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Research has shown that they can help prevent and treat a wide
variety of chronic diseases such as, inflammatory diseases, heartdisease, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, obesity, cancer and
Healing Properties Of Beans and Lentils Black Beans:
A bonanza of soluble fiber, the kind that helps lower LDL (by as much
as 24 percent) and reduce blood pressure.
The fiber also helps keep sugar levels on an even keel, staving off
hunger, even reducing the need for insulin among diabetics.
Of course, other beans and peas are full of fiber too. Below is a list of
A powerhouse of nutrients mostly B vitamins, which recent research
from the ongoing Physicians Health Study, suggest it may help protect
Lentils are also high in fiber, protein and minerals such as iron and
immune boosters copper, manganese and zinc.
This soybean paste (used to season soups and sauces) contains
isoflavones, substances that may protect against breast cancer by
inhibiting the growth of blood vessels that fuel solid tumors.
Tofu or soybean curd, is also rich in iron and calcium (when processed
Another soy product, tempeh, also provides vitamins A and B6,
magnesium and zinc with less fat than tofu. Spices and Herbs
Spices and herbs can be helpful in treating many medical conditions
such as, nausea, infections, inflammatory conditions, autoimmunedisorders, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Healing Properties Of Herbs and Spices
It is not just folklore, research suggests garlic helps protect against
It may also lower blood pressure, and test tube studies show it even
Best of all, garlic contains substances that appear to detoxify
A member of the allium family, which includes onions and scallions,
garlic has been linked to lower stomach cancer rates in China andItaly.
This spice may be a natural diet aid, possibly boosting the rate in
which the body burns calories, according to Australian researchers.
Ginger, with other spices including oregano, pepper, rosemary and
This yellow spice which is most familiar in Indian cooking and American
prepared mustard is an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Turmeric can help alleviate the symptoms of autoimmune disorders,
arthritis, tendonitis, and other disorders with inflammation
Fresh or Dried Peppermint:
Peppermint is excellent as a remedy for all types of stomach upset
such as, indigestion, nausea and heartburn.
Cayenne pepper has a variety of uses. It can be used to easetoothache pain, reduce the tendency of blood to clot, decrease
cholesterol, improve circulation and prevent heart disease. Healing Teas
Studies from all over the world describe the chemicals contained in tea
that may prevent cancer as well as lower blood cholesterol.
Most research, however, has been on green tea, popular in China. (and
Some evidence suggests similar benefits from oolong tea, which hasn't
been studied much but may offer some protection.
Tea contains a large amount of an antioxidants called polyphenols.
This antioxidant has been shown to have many benefits including the
Protect against strokesInhibit the growth of cancer cells
Alleviating the inflammation from arthritis Improving the bodies ability to fight infections and diseases
The green and white teas are the least processed and have higher
levels of the polyphenols than the black teas.
Other Healing Foods Chocolate:
Yes, chocolate can be good for you, but it has to be the dark
chocolate, not milk chocolate. Milk will bind to the antioxidants in thechocolate and make them unavailable to your body. For this same
reason, you also do not want to drink milk when eating dark chocolate.
Chocolate contains procyanidins & epicatechins. These are flavonoids
that are part of a group of antioxidants called polyphenols. Below are
the beneficial effects of eating a small amount of dark chocolate eachday.
Increases blood flow through the arteries
Elevates mood and pleasure by causing an increase in serotonin andendorphin levels in the brain
The ultimate health food, yogurt, may prevent allergic attacks, say
researchers at the University of California, Davis.
They found people who ate two 8 ounce cartons of yogurt with live
cultures (specifically lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptocus
thermophilous) per day came down with fewer colds and almost 10
times fewer allergy symptoms than those eating the same amount of
Other research found that women with recurrent yeast infections had
almost seven times fewer infections when they ate yogurt containing
live cultures. (in this case, lactobacillus acidophilus).
Of course, yogurt is also a substitute source of bone building calcium.
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