Six Foods That Heal

By feeding our body the right foods, we might just live stronger, longer.

Hippocrates – who was born in Greece in 460BC and died 370BC, believed that food was the answer to longevity. His famous quote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” is even more appropriate now. The human race has never been more challenged, diabetes is running rampant, obesity affects 1 in 3 adults and cancers of all kinds are ravaging young and old alike. If foods can really heal us, why are we not eating the things that are good for us?

We need to get back in the kitchen and prepare simple, healthy meals with fresh healing foods.

Six foods that we all have easy access to should always be on our shopping lists:

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1.Beans

Brimming over with heart-healthy nutrients, beans are your best friend. They have been linked with reducing cholesterol, as well as reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Because of their high fiber content they help control blood sugar levels. A cup of red kidney beans delivers 13 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. Great on salads, in dips, hummus and for cooking, beans are not only versatile, but a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

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2.Bananas

Go bananas—they are the best! One medium size banana packs a powerhouse of nutrition with 422mg of potassium and 10mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that devourers free radicals, which damage cells and contribute to heart disease, arthritis and cancer. Bananas are super easy to add to other healthy foods. Perfect in smoothies, fabulous with Greek yogurt, on top of oatmeal and even in PB&J sandwiches!

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3.Carrots

A 2014 study in the International Journal of Clinical Oncology found that eating veggies like carrots, could help protect against colorectal cancer because of the antioxidant content. Carrots are rich in vitamin A – a half cup of raw carrots has 459 micrograms. The National Institutes of Health recommends 700-900 micrograms to keep eyes healthy. Carrots also contain vitamin K which helps maintain strong bones and can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Munching on raw carrots is a great snack, thin strips of carrots can be baked with olive oil, salt and pepper for a crunchy treat, carrot juice and carrot/ginger soup is delicious.

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4.Cabbage

Cabbage, like all calciferous vegetables including brussels sprouts and broccoli, have anti-cancer compounds. Red cabbage also contains anthocyanins, the flavonol that will help keep your heart, liver and eyes healthy. Fermented foods like sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) have been found to improve gut health. So, get creative with cabbage—make coleslaw, use cabbage leaves instead of flour-based wraps and acquire a taste for sauerkraut. Remember, good health starts in the gut!

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5.Cherries

Cherries are not only delicious, they have numerous health benefits. Cherry extract, and cherry juice has proven very effective in lowering the risk of painful gout attacks. Also, a 2013 study by the Osteoarthritis Research Society found that people who drank 16 ounces of tart cherry juice daily for six weeks, experienced less pain and stiffness. Cherries also contain anthocyanins which may reduce the risk of diabetes, control obesity and protect the heart. Think about adding cherries in smoothies, adding dried cherries to oatmeal, salads and yogurt.

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6.Onions

Packed with vitamin C, onions are full of nutrients that are healing and preventative. Onion skin extract is a good source of quercetin, an antioxidant that helps lower blood pressure. Raw, chopped in a salad, or grilled with olive oil and sea salt onions are an easy addition to any meal.

Sue Taggart

As a child growing up in Kent “The Garden of England”, I thought that every family grew their own vegetables. I would help my grandfather in the garden and loved pulling potatoes and carrots out of the soil. These early experiences have given me a great appreciation for where our food comes from and a discerning palette for fresh, seasonal produce. As an avid reader, writing and storytelling is a passion that has only deepened over the years together with a growing concern for the health of our oceans and planet. We are facing serious issues with climate change and the clock is ticking…so it’s up to all of us to nurture and protect our home planet.