Food as Medicine
Fruits and Veggies
PWR TIP: Food can heal and should be looked at as the first course of action in creating balance in the body – bringing it from dis-ease to harmony. Certain foods have even been shown to fight specific illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Here is my list of top healers:
Probiotics, such as kefir and yogurt with live, active cultures. A good source of calcium, protein and potassium, probiotics aid in digestive health, help prevent urinary tract and yeast infections, and may also be beneficial for autoimmune diseases, heart disease and eczema. However, beware of added sugar.
Fatty Fish, such as salmon and sardines. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish oils are known to reduce the risks for heart-related diseases, age-related cognitive decline and even obesity, mood disorders and certain forms of cancer. If you don’t eat fish, then consider taking fish oil caplets.
Nuts, such as walnuts and flaxseeds. These heart-healthy sources of omega-3s are also loaded with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and can help fight hypertension and lower LDL cholesterol. Almonds and soy nuts are also good health options.
Berries, such as blueberries, cranberries and acai berries. These superfoods are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants and polyphenols. You may also try black cherries and pomegranates.
Whole Grains, such as brown rice. Packed with disease-fighting nutrients and complex carbohydrates, whole grains can help keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check while providing sustainable energy. Try ancient grains such as quinoa, amaranth or spelt.
Dark Leafy Greens, such as spinach, kale and collard greens. Packed with nutrients and anticancer compounds, such as folic acid, beta-carotene, vitamins K, C and E. Vitamin K regulates blood clotting, helps protect bones from osteoporosis and may even help prevent diabetes. Instead of leading the greens with butter, lightly saute them in olive oil, onion and garlic.
Beans & Legumes, such as kidney beans, lentils and black beans. High in protein, soluble fiber and nutrients such as magnesium, iron and folate, beans can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer. A complex carbohydrate, beans provide energy for the body without spiking the blood glucose levels. This is good for diabetics and those who want to lose weight.
Tomatoes. The lycopene in tomatoes is an antioxidant and has been linked to a reduced risk of breast, prostate, pancreas and colorectal cancer. To aid the body in absorbing it efficiently, combine the tomatoes with a healthy fat such as olive oil.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. These are powerful cancer fighter and aid in detoxifying the body. Cooking breaks down the protective chemical so eat them slightly steamed or raw.
Written by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA. Part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series.
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