Have you ever wondered why, if processed food is so unhealthy, they are legal in the U.S.? Did you know the unnatural ingredients in our food are tested and regulated by the FDA? FDA regulation usually means a certain potentially harmful ingredient can be allowed in our food as long as it is in a small amount. For example, store-bought cupcakes or a bag of sour cream potato chips won’t kill you, a diet comprised of processed foods like this, over an extended period of time will most likely be detrimental to your health. Did you also know that artificial ingredients present in our food here in the U.S. are banned in other countries for being unsafe? With this said, it makes good sense that the more we stick to whole, clean foods, the healthier we will be – and it is much even better if we can buy organic the majority of the time. [pullquote]Once you begin to eat these clean, healthy foods, it won’t take you long to feel the health benefits. You will feel less sluggish, more energized, and people around you will even begin to notice a difference in your mood. [/pullquote]
As part of a healthy diet, whole foods play a significant role in helping our bodies function at their best. There are hundreds of extremely nutritious whole foods and some that actually help our bodies heal. In this article, I’m listing just a small sampling of the great foods out there that have natural healing abilities. Most of these boast multiple healing effects, from fighting cancer to reducing cholesterol, guarding against heart disease, and more. Why not try several of these “super healing foods” and take note of how you feel as you are incorporating them into a healthy diet.
Super Healing Foods That You Need To Add To Your Diet Today
1. Kiwi: Can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, contains an amazing amount of vitamin C, has more fiber than apples, and even has more potassium than bananas. Kiwi has natural blood-thinning properties without the side effects found in aspirin, and supports vascular health by reducing the formation of blood clots, lowering LDL cholesterol, and reducing blood pressure. Amazingly, this fruit helps damaged cells to repair themselves. In Chinese medicine it is used to accelerate the healing of wounds and sores.
2. Cherries: Cures Gout, arthritis and rheumatism. Cherries contain numerous healing powers with great nutritional value while having a relatively low calorie count. They’re also packed with substances that help fight inflammation and cancer. Compounds found in cherries have been found to inhibit the growth of tumors and even cause cancer cells to die without damaging healthy cells. Cherries also have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Cherries can also lower uric acid levels in the blood, thus reducing a common cause of gout. In Chinese medicine, cherries are routinely used as a remedy for gout, arthritis, and rheumatism (as well as anemia, due to their high iron content).
3. Watercress: Can help cure jaundice, urinary issues and digestion. This is something I put into my morning “green smoothies,” not just because I love watercress, but it adds great flavor and variety to juicing/smoothies. Watercress has even been touted to be more of a super food than kale. It’s extremely nutritious, and is as close as you can get to a calorie-free food. It contains more iron than spinach; is packed with vitamin A, and has lots of vitamin K. The nutrients in watercress protect against cancer and macular degeneration, help build the immune system, and supports bone health.
The iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your body’s tissues for energy.In Chinese medicine, watercress is thought to help reduce tumors, improve night vision, and stimulate bile production (improving digestion and settling intestinal gas). It’s used as a remedy for jaundice, urinary difficulty, sore throat, mumps, and even bad breath.
4. Spinach: Protects from inflammation, heart disease and dementia. Spinach protects against eye disease and vision loss; is good for brain function; guards against colon, prostate, and breast cancers; protects against heart disease, stroke, and dementia; lowers blood pressure; is anti-inflammatory; and it’s great for bone health. Spinach has an amazing array of nutrients, including high amounts of vitamin K, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and iron. The vitamin K builds strong bones by helping calcium adhere to the bone. Spinach is also rich in lutein, which protects against age-related macular degeneration, and it may help prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol buildup.
5. Carrots: Prevents against cancer and heart disease. Carrots are a great source of the potent antioxidants known as carotenoids. Diets high in carotenoids have been linked to decreased risk in postmenopausal breast cancer as well as cancers of the bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx, and esophagus. On the opposite side, diets low in carotenoids have been associated with chronic disease, including heart disease and various cancers. One carrot per day could reduce your risk of lung cancer by half. Carrots contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin C, and a large amount of vitamin A. Carrots also promote eye health and prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. In Chinese medicine, carrots are used to treat rheumatism, kidney stones, tumors, indigestion, diarrhea, night blindness, ear infections, earaches, deafness, skin lesions, urinary tract infections, coughs, and constipation.
6. Cabbage: Cure for ulcers. Sulforaphane, a powerful compound in cabbage, sabotages the bacteria that causes gastric and peptic ulcers before it can get to your gut, and may even help inhibit the growth of gastric tumors. For only 34 calories a cup, cabbage provides 3g of fiber and is a fantastic source of vitamins K, B6, manganese, and, folate. Cabbage builds strong bones, dampens allergic reactions, reduces inflammation, and promotes gastrointestinal health. It also provides significant cardiovascular benefit by preventing plaque formation in the blood vessels. In Chinese medicine, cabbage is used to treat constipation, the common cold, whooping cough, depression and irritability, and stomach ulcers. When eaten and used as a poultice, as a dual treatment, cabbage is helpful for healing bedsores, varicose veins, and arthritis.
7. Kale: Protects against cancer. Kale is highly nutritious, has powerful antioxidant properties, and is anti-inflammatory. One cup of cooked kale contains amazing amounts of vitamins K and A, and is also a good source of calcium and iron. Kale contains high levels of the cancer-fighting compounds which guard against prostate, gastric, skin, cervical, colon, and breast cancers. Vitamin K in kale promotes blood clotting, protects the heart, and helps build strong bones. It has more antioxidant power than spinach, protecting against free-radical damage. Kale is extra rich in beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which helps with macular degeneration. In Chinese medicine, kale is used to help ease lung congestion.
8. Ginger: Cures nausea and digestive issues. Ginger is a virtual medicine chest due to its digestion-friendly property in addition to other great health benefits. In India, ginger is part of the daily routine, and is used as a natural antidote for battling colds and flu. Ginger improves the absorption of essential nutrients in the body, and clears those irritating sinuses that tend to flare up occasionally. Ginger also helps with nausea and gastric issues as well as helping reduce gas. It also has anti-inflammatory properties – you can even put some ginger essential oil in a bath to help aching muscles and joints. Hot ginger tea can help get rid of throat and nose congestion – and if the weather is cold, the warming benefit of this tasty tea is wonderful!
9. Chamomile Tea: Cures heartburn. Chamomile can ease digestive inflammation, spasms, and gas. Of course, you can purchase good, ready-made herbal teas, but you can also steep 2 teaspoons of the herb in 10 ounces of very hot water for 20 minutes (covering the cup to keep the essential oils in the water). You may have to drink the tea a few times a day for complete relief.
10. Potatoes: Cures headache. The 37g of carbs in a medium potato can ease a tension headache by increasing serotonin levels, as long as you keep the fat and protein below 2g.
11. Bananas: Cures stress and anxiety. Next time you feel stressed, reach for a banana. With only 105 calories and 14g of sugar, a medium banana fills you up, provides a mild blood sugar boost, and has 30% of the daily requirement of vitamin B6, which helps the brain produce mellowing serotonin, getting you through a crisis peacefully.
12. Yogurt: Cure for constipation or gas. One and a half cups of live-culture yogurt, high in gut-friendly bacteria, moves food more efficiently through the gastrointestinal tract. This good bacteria also improves your gut’s ability to digest beans and dairy lactose, which can cause gas.
13. Apricots: Prevents kidney stones. Fresh apricots are a personal favorite of mine. In season, I use them a lot in smoothies and even as an addition to my green smoothies. They are loaded with fiber whether fresh and dried. Actually, 8 dried apricot halves have 2g of fiber, only 3 mg of sodium, and 325 mg of potassium—all of which help keep minerals from accumulating in urine and forming the most common type of kidney stones.
14. Basil: Cures tummy troubles. Studies have suggested that eugenol, a compound in basil, can keep your gut safe from pain, nausea, cramping, or diarrhea by killing off bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria. Eugenol even has an anti-spasmodic property that can aid in keeping cramps at bay. Basil is great minced fresh in sauces or salads. It should also be noted that basil essential oil aids with migraine headaches.
15. Pears: Cures high cholesterol. One medium pear has 5g of dietary fiber, much of it in the form of pectin, which helps flush out bad cholesterol, a risk factor in heart disease.
16. Figs: Cures Hemorrhoids. There is 3g of fiber in four dried figs, which helps create soft, regular stools that will keep hemorrhoids from returning. Figs also provide about 5% of daily potassium and 10% of manganese.
These are some incredible benefits to be obtained from so many different sources, and yet this list hasn’t even begun to “touch the tip of the iceberg.” We would all benefit from adding many of these super healing foods to our daily diet, and eat fresh, non-processed foods. Once you begin to eat these clean, healthy foods, it won’t take you long to feel the health benefits. You will feel less sluggish, more energized, and people around you will even begin to notice a difference in your mood. If you make these foods part of your routine, you will soon find yourself becoming less and less likely to reach for those “binge” foods and unhealthy foods as you become more aware of the benefits of eating these healthy foods. What an amazing lifestyle change you can have just with a few modifications, bit-by-bit, to your daily routine.