Using 10 Common Foods As Medicine!
Medicines in your daily food!
Food is probably the most frequently consumed 'drug' available to all without so much as a prescription. Readily available from all grocery stores and produce barns.
Disease prevention through nutrition and the use of herbals is one of my many passions and I've collected quite a bit of information over the years that I would like to share. Obviously because I'm not a doctor all the info comes from many sources and you should do your own deep research and assessment on all items discussed. Also remember that a varied diet that includes a lot of vegetables and herbs is essential to achieving and maintaining better health.
Certain foods can act as cancer-blockers, antidepressants, diuretics, anticoagulants, painkillers, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, tranquilizer and so much more. And these foods in turn can ward off headaches, arthritis, heart attack and stroke, colds, influenza, ulcers, cancers of many types, gallstones, constipation, and virtually most other disorders and afflictions you can think of.
Practical ways to use the listed items!
There are always questions like:
Is it better to eat certain foods raw?
How can I boost my Good type of cholesterol?
How do I add a lot of garlic to my diet?
How do I add raw onions to my diet?
Should I be eating only one type of food or foods of one type at the exclusion of others for the purpose of preventing or treating specific diseases?
Which of the cultures, Asian, Mediterranean, Mideastern has a better healthful cuisine?
Using food as medicine also removes some of the worries of the side effects that some modern drugs carry with them. In my humble opinion some of the side effects of these drugs sound worse then the original disease that the drug is administered for. With the exception of the anew age pesticides and growing additives most origins of our food chain have passed their toxic-ants tests over the past few thousand years. Also food rarely is harmful even in high doses except in rare cases of allergic reactions. So because we're all already "ON" food it is therefore not a new substance addition to our systems.
Here is the list of the 10 most common food medicines!
1) Onions: Also known as the anti-cancer bulb. Red and yellow onions and shallots (not white) contain a really high concentration of something called quercetin . Quercetin is an antioxidant which helps to protect and strengthen damaged cells. There is enough quercetin in 2-3 ounces/75 -100 grams of onions to give our system needs. (cooked or raw onions are equally good for you) Onions boost the good cholesterol, it helps to thin blood thus wards off blood clots. Onions are also beneficial to prevent coronary heart diseases and to lower high blood pressure.
If there is a single dietary defence against disease onions are the quickest and easiest to follow.
2) Garlic: Raw garlic thins the blood similar to the way that one aspirin/day does (works on a different enzyme then the aspirin). Still raw garlic dramatically boost the good type of cholesterol, even when people eat a high fat diet. It is high on the blood-clot-dissolving weapon list the major cause of heart attacks and strokes. It helps to control the blood sugar level, while it also act as a decongestant, it kills infection causing bacteria and also reduces the cancer risk.
3) Chili peppers: (capsicum) Surprisingly not too many know that peppers of all kinds including all the mild bell peppers outrank, the most thought off as the highest Vitamin C carrier, the orange. A medium to large red bell pepper has 130-140milligrams of vitamin C compared to only 65-70milligrams in an orange. Because of these high levels of vitamins peppers also have high levels of antioxidants. This is a reason why a smokers diet should include a daily dose of peppers. One of the many uses of peppers is as an expectorant. The rich source of antioxidants help protect the lung tissue from damage at the cellular level and also helps thin mucus and moves it out of the respiratory tracts.
Using red peppers in your diet regularly is a preventive measure for high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, coronary artery disease.
Red peppers also known as cayenne contain six pain relieving and anti-inflammatory compounds. I use it to make a "lotion" that I use regularly on my hands for the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis in my hands. It also helps for carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic back pain.
If you would like to check out my recipe you can find it here http://hubpages.com/hub/Hands-On
4)Carrots : Carrots are just filled with all that's good for you. The Beta-carotene that is in carrots and leafy vegetables can increase the immune functions of the body. It boosts the white blood cells to have extra super powers to fight off bacteria etc.
As a cancer fighter, beta-carotene helps ward off many types, in particular lung, colon, esophageal and skin.
What is the critical amount of beta-carotene that puts as on the lower-risk level of cancer candidates, you ask? Roughly the amount of beta-carotene in one medium sized carrot. One-a-day will do all that work but... (there is always a but). Eating the carrot bugs-bunny style is not good enough. The body can't absorb all it needs that way. The carrot needs to be smashed. (not booze smashed) There are two ways to get right down to the nitty gritty of the carrot cells. Either by cooking the carrot slightly or by chopping, grating, pureeing or liquefying it. Your digestive system comes in direct contact with the beta-carotene.
Absorption level of beta-carotene if carrots are eaten:
- Bugsy style 5%
- Steamed and sliced 25%
- Grated 35%
- Cooked and pureed 50%
All age groups benefit from eating at least one carrot on a daily basis. However carotenoids (stuff our body produces from beta-carotene) in the blood lowered the chances of cataracts in people between the ages of 50-70.
5) Legumes : peas, beans, lentils, soy-beans, chick peas or garbanzo beans, etc. can all be a protein replacement for meat. They have an antioxidant in them that helps to protect the membranes of the blood cells which in turn is a guard against blood cell cancers. Legumes also contain, amongst other things that are good for you, phytic acids which help to keep the blood sugar levels at an even keel. With other words the phytic acids make the legume fibres easily soluble which then in turn after eating will reduces the quick rise and delays the fast drop in blood sugar, thus maintaining an even level longer.
One to two servings three times a week is a good rule of thumb.
6) Cruciferous veggies : This includes a long list ( cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts....) They are substantial cancer fighters (including breast, uterine & colon), high blood pressure controllers. They help to ease asthma, arthritis, graves disease ( hyperthyroidism). They prevent stomach ulcers, osteoporosis, morning sickness and the list can go on and on.
All of the cruciferous vegetables (including sauerkraut) have the same good health results for either women or men.
Eat at least one off the list three a week.
7) Olive oil: An antioxidant, lowers high blood pressure, is a blood sugar regulator, lowers the bad LDL blood cholesterol, yet boost the good HDL type of cholesterol, heart disease.
We are constantly warned about too much fat in our diet but Doctors world wide give the thumbs up about olive oil. They say that there is only one fat that's safe to eat and that fat is ---->olive oil because it is concentrated in monounsaturated fatty acids. So the best advice most doctors would give us would be to substitute as much of our fat intake by olive oil as possible. Such as animal fats like lard and butter. However do remember that a tablespoon of olive oil adds 100 calories to your meal.
8) Yogurt: Is one of the greatest and healthiest additives in our diet. Here is a list of it's many amazing virtues: antibiotic, immunity booster, helps clear up travelers diarrhea even in the lactose intolerant, it sooths ulcers and rids women of yeast infections.
Be sure to eat the yogurt that contains live acidophilus culture. Even though it looses about 60% of it's therapeutic benefits if used in cooking the extra 35-40% is well worth to add yogurt into your daily regimen.
9) Nuts :Although nuts are high in fat--->the fat is unique quite high in monounsaturated acids. Similar to the fat in olive oil and just as beneficial against high LDL cholesterol, blood clotting mechanisms. Nuts stand out as protectors against heart disease. They have anticancer compounds. They help to keep the blood sugar and insulin levels steady high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and damage to the artery walls.
Are all nuts the same? Not really but they all have different beneficial substances which make it important to add a mixture of them to our diets.
Almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts are rich in monounsaturated fat especially oleic acid which is an antioxidant. Walnuts are high in the omega 3 acids as well as antioxidants such as ellagic acid. Brazil nuts are high on the trace mineral selenium which is a protector against toxicity from heavy metals such as lead, mercury etc. This makes selenium a partial antidote to some of our modern environmental hazards. It neutralizes for example mercury found in fish or high lead levels in some of our water sources. Which could damage brain cells.
10) Cinnamon : This tasty spice has antimicrobial action and it can settle nausia and upset stomach in adults. It also can boost or stimulate the performance of insulin, which is a hormone that helps process sugar and carry it to the cells. This increase in insulin's efficiency would benefit those with type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes.
You can add cinnamon to meats, stews, on toast, desserts and teas. A daily dose will benefit all.
For better health:
- Eat more vegetables
- Use vegetables fresh when possible
- Eat veggies raw and cooked daily
- Eat garlic and onion carrots daily
- Eat legumes regularly (including soy products such as tofu)
- Eat yogurt daily
- Replace animal fats such as lard and butter with olive oil
- Eat a handful of mixed nuts daily (sodium free)
- Eat one of the cruciferous list veggies at least three times /week
- Add chili peppers to food regularly
Use common sense or better said use everything listed above in moderation. Overdosing on anything can be hazardous. Remember that most plants can contain Toxins and carcinogens...