Foods That Heal
Happiness and vitality can be experienced by all of us with a few revisions that include
“foods that heal”
in our diet. Optimal health can be achieved through eliminating acid causing foods. The elimination of acid causing foods can aid in the healing process of many conditions such as: Candida, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, bowel problems, depression and many more. In addition, arthritis, rheumatism cancer, Aids and Parkinson’s can be helped through changes in diet.
For those of you unsure of the difference, acid is the presence of a sour tasting substance that if exposed in large quantities to other substances, begins to erode those other substances while alkaline is a neutral substance that is neither sour, salty or sweet. It has the ability to tone down the intensity of other substances due to its bland nature.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where most of the foods we eat are not only acid causing, but not
foods that heal.
Acid causing foods include the following food groups: all animal protein, sugars, coffee, liquor and beer, all fast foods, most breads, grains, and legumes, most nuts and all dairy foods.
The main foods that are alkaline forming are most fruits and vegetables. It is important to emphasize the goal is to achieve a greater balance between acid and alkaline foods, and not to stay away from acid causing foods completely. As a general rule try to eat five alkaline forming foods for every acid forming food.
Special foods are lemons and limes because they have the ability to neutralize acid and also bring the body into perfect PH balance. There are, however, certain fruits and vegetables which could be avoided as they are also acid forming foods, and they include: pineapple, orange, grapefruit and tomato.
Just as there are some fruits and vegetables to try and avoid, there are some to try and include in your diet to give you optimal health, since these are in the highest alkaline forming category, and include: asparagus, seaweed and parsley.
Asparagus contains ammonia which reduces a high acid level, and detoxifies all the body especially in cancer patients. As an addendum, whenever you have asparagus, you may want to squeeze some lemon or lime juice on them to neutralize the strong urine smell which often follows the eating of this food.
Seaweed of all types are a wonderful blessing in the present state of toxic fumes and high electromagnetic force fields and radiation. All seaweed have the ability to neutralize the acids and toxins, and to remove any radiation you may be accumulating. This can be achieved through eating any form of seaweed once a week. This is a product that is very foreign to most people but is certainly worth pursuing to learn how to cook.
Think of parsley as a vegetable rather than a herb. Make it a point to have a serving of parsley at both lunch and dinner. In addition, make yourself a cup of parsley tea to be drunk between the hours of seven to nine in the evening. This time of seven to nine in the evening is very significant because it rules the kidneys and elimination of fluids and acids. The tea can be made by boiling up 3 teaspoons of fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dry parsley in two cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and steep at a low heat for 20 minutes.
Potatoes are a carbohydrate and a vegetable and are alkaline forming. If you are suffering from acid indigestion or any of the conditions listed earlier, potato juice will help to soak up the acid. Potato juice can be made by putting a washed organic potato in a juicer, or peeling an organic potato and soaking it in a cup of distilled water overnight.
Wheat, dairy, hydrogenated oils, fried foods, sugar, peanuts, mushrooms and fungi ideally should be avoided completely as they are the highest contributors to yeast, and begin to set the scene for all types of degenerative illnesses.
Just as there are grains to avoid, there are grains that help balance the acid level. Amaranth, millet, and quinoa are all alkaline forming grains, and therefore are recommended grains to include in your diet. In addition, arrowroot flour is slightly alkaline and can be used in place of regular flours or cornstarch to thicken sauces. Arrowroot is also a great replacement for regular baking powder which contains aluminum. Also be aware, brown rice is alkaline only if chewed 100 times.
A commercially available bread which is alkaline is “essene bread” or “manna bread” which is from an ancient recipe found in the old testament, and which is made from sprouted grains. You can find this bread in the freezers of health food stores.
Our Creator has given us all good things that are natural and full of health and we don’t have to depend on “man-made” foods and processing. He has given us all that we need…we just need to take advantage of it!!
Foods that “heal” are usually the ones that don’t find their way into our daily meals and busy lifestyles. Why?
Time… We pull it from the freezer, pop it in the microwave, eat and we’re out the door! Does that sound like your house? Sounds like mine… or at least it use to. What did it take to change my thinking from “junk food to “whole food?”
A serious “life threat” changed my mind-set. You can read my story here if you want.
Here’s a typical “food pyramid” that breaks down the proportions of one food we should have in our diet as compared to another, recommended for good health.
Notice the “fats, oils and sweets” are not nearly as prominent when it comes to gaining optimal health. Even “dairy and protein” should only be the smaller part of our diets.
The following portions (by weight) in a grain and vegetable based diet result in nutrition that is rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins, moderate in protein and unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat. People that eat this type of diet will experience relatively less cancer and heart disease and reater longevity.
35-60% Grains: whole grains, cereals, grain sprouts, and flour products.
20-25% Vegetables: green, starchy, low-starch; seaweeds and micro-algae.
5-15% Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, legume sprouts, tofu, miso etc.
5-15% Fruits: and small amounts of nuts and oil rich seeds.
0-10% Animal Products: dairy, eggs, fish, foul, and mammal meats (cow, lamb, pig etc.)
The Bible books of “Leviticus and Deuteronomy,” written over 3,500 years ago, clearly laid out the diet men were “permitted to eat” and those things hey “were not.” The guidelines were not given by God to “crimp” their style, but just the opposite… to keep them “healthy.” Even today’s science backs up the “biblical” diet as the most nutritious and healthy plan a person can eat.
Thousands of people have been restored to health from disorders ranging from “gastric disturbances, intestinal conditions, type II diabetes, hypertension, obesity” and other diseases by developing a healthy nutritional food lifestyle.
Here’s the process of digestion when we eat:
Digestion of carbohydrates begins in the mouth, both by mechanical breaking down of food and chemical digestion through the salivary enzyme amylase. In the stomach, gastric juices consisting of hydrochloric acid and pepsin start to digest proteins, and the partially digested food turns into a paste like substance called chyme. As the chyme is released into the small intestine, digestive bile from the liver, gallbladder and pancreatic enzymes, along with enzymes from the exocrine cells in the mucosa of the small intestine complete the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The digested food is now absorbed by the intestinal wall lining called the villi and enters into the blood stream. The nutrient void food then moves into the large intestine, where there is an absorption of water and electrolytes and5the formation, storage and elimination of feces.
Maintaining good gastrointestinal and intestinal health depends on proper digestion. The following factors: eating slowly, regular scheduling of meals and balanced macro-nutrition (30% protein, 50% high fiber, low glycemic carbohydrates and 20% essential fatty acid fats), can restore health to the stomach lining and improve the detoxification function of intestines.
This also prevents unnecessary entrance of toxins into the blood and aintains good colon health. Each healing meal should also provide essential micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes and important phytochemicals from plant-based fruits, vegetables and whole grains). These photochemicals, though classified as nonessential, are receiving much of the recent scientific research moving us from the mind-set of foods preventing deficiencies, to foods healing a disease and promoting longevity.
Plants, like humans, are susceptible to disease and viruses and have developed their own protective substances, called phytochemicals. Mounting research reveals that many phytochemicals also protect humans from cancers and diseases. The following is a list of foods, which provide protective plant chemicals and the conditions they protect us from, and the research to support its claims.
Whole Grains – The best sources of foods that heal are wheat, rice, barley, oats and rye. Whole grains are the seeds of the plant and consist of an outer shell called the bran, the middle called the endosperm and inner called the germ. Whole grains are excellent sources of folate, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, chromium, phosphorus and Vitamin E. Folate helps decrease levels of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine in the bloodstream are linked to risk of heart disease. Whole grains contain phytochemicals called phytosterols, phenolic acid and lignans. Studies have shown that whole grains reduce the risk of several cancers and type II diabetes. They lower cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and they reduce inflammation, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In a recent study at the University of Utah, Dr. Martha Slattery found that high intakes of whole grains, especially high fiber cereals, reduced the risk of rectal cancer by 31%. A high fiber diet (more than 34 grams daily) reduced rectal cancer by 66%. In a recent study at Tufts University, Dr. Nicola McKeown reported participants who consumed at least three servings daily of whole grains are less likely to develop insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome which are precursors of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, both insoluble and soluble. Harvard School of Public Health, Doctor Qi and colleagues found that women with diabetes that consumed more whole grains, bran and cereal fiber had lower blood vessel inflammation that’s been linked to heart disease.
Dark Colored Fruits and Vegetables – They are part of the largest group of phytochemicals called flavonoids. They are characterized by dark colored fruits and vegetables and the best sources are, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, bilberries, blackberries, apples, red and black grapes, eggplant, peppers, broccoli and onions. There are more than 4,000 flavonoids and they are broken into subgroups called anthocyanidins, proanthocyanidins, polyphenolic acid, quercetin, ellagic acid and tannins. Studies show that dark colored fruits and vegetables are powerful anti-oxidants, some having fifty times the antioxidant activity of both vitamin C and vitamin E. Studies show that flavonoids in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes and cancers.
They protect the collagen protein in joints and blood vessels from free radical damage, which reduces edema, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. A recent study reported by Cornell University showed the flavonoid, quercetin found in apples could protect the brain against neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
This was a follow up to an earlier study at Cornell University by Professor Lee, who found that the photochemical in apples and berries has a stronger antioxidant protective effect than Vitamin C against colon and liver cancer cells. Blueberries have 40% more antioxidant than the next highest strawberries. Neuroscientist, James Joseph from Tufts University, discovered in addition to fighting disease and cancer, blueberries prevented short-term memory loss that accompanies aging.
Legumes – They are in a group of vegetables that include beans, peas, lentils and soybeans. Legumes are rich in folate and fiber. They become a complete protein when combined with whole grains such as rice, wheat, barley and oats. Legumes are packed with phytochemicals, phytosterols, saponins, lignans and isoflavones. Legumes help prevent breast, prostate and colon cancers. Soybeans contain substances that destroy beta carotene, vitamin B-12 and vitamin D.
Beans and peas have an anti vitamin D compound. It is a good practice to balance the consumption of legumes with fresh fruits and yellow and dark green vegetables to provide beta carotene, Vitamin B-12, and whole grain cereals. Isoflavones found in soybeans, chickpeas and other legumes gained attention, when researchers reported women in Japan and China who eat diets high in isoflavones reported fewer menopausal symptoms and lower incidence of heart disease and osteoporosis, than Western women who consumed less.
Studies show the high soluble fiber in legumes lower cholesterol levels. Lima beans, kidney beans, navy beans, soybeans and other legumes can all help lower your cholesterol. The reason these high-fiber legumes are so effective is because they also contain pectin. In a study of men asked to eat 1-1/2 cups of cooked beans a day, their cholesterol plummeted 20 percent in just three weeks.
Red, Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables – They are in a group of fruits and vegetables called carotenoids. Carotenoids are found in all plant foods. In simple terms, the greater the intensity of color, the higher the level of carotenoids.
Carotenoids are rich in antioxidants and are found in tomatoes, sweet potatoes, oranges, grapefruits, and summer squash, along with many others. Carotenoids contain the phytochemicals, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein. Carotenoids provide many health benefits which include growth and repair of tissue and help our bodies fight bacteria and infection.
Some carotenoids can be converted to Vitamin A, especially the beta-carotenoids. As potent antioxidants, carotenoids prevent free radical cells from damaging DNA, through oxidation. This is an important factor in cancer prevention. Studies show that carotenoids may lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and help to avoid diverticulitis (a common digestive disease particularly found in the large intestine.), cataracts and macular degeneration. A six-year Harvard Medical study of 48,000 men, showed that the phytochemical, lycopene, found in tomatoes, reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 34% over men who eat less. The study also showed the processing of the tomato into sauce or paste, increased the lycopenes bio availability.
Cruciferous Vegetables – They are from the plant family called Brassica, which consists of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and several others. Cruciferous vegetables contain a sulfur compound called glucosinolates. When glucosinates are chopped or chewed they release the phytochemicals; isothiocynantes and indoles.
High intakes of cruciferous vegetables have been associated with lower risk of lung cancer and cancer of the colon. It’s believed that glocosinalte hydrolysis may alter the metabolism of sex hormones in a way that inhibit the formation of a hormone influenced cancers like prostate and breast cancers. Recent studies from Georgetown University Medical Center, under the direction of Fung-Lung Chung, have found that glucosinolates help to both eliminate carcinogenic toxins in the body and encourage the self-destruction of precancerous cells.
Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle reported that men who eat 1.5 cups of cruciferous vegetables a week can reduce the prostate cancer risk by 40%. Researchers concluded the phytochemical, isothocynates, help produce enzymes that destroy cancer causing cells
Anti-Bacterial Vegetables – They come from the subgroup of cruciferous vegetables called thiosulfonates. They are found in onions, garlic, leeks and shallots. Unfortunately they are looked down upon because of their strong sulfur odor, but what might keep your friends away is what keep the bacteria and viruses away.
They contain the phytochemical allylic sulfides, which block the activity of toxins produced by bacteria and viruses. Allylic sulfides protect the immune system, lower the risk for some cancers and lower cholesterol.
They act as a natural antibiotic against viruses, bacteria and parasites. Researchers at John Hopkins University reported that phytochemicals found in garlic and onion kills pylori, the bacterium responsible for most gastric and stomach ulcers and stomach cancers. When cooking with good oils, like olive oil, heat changes it’s structure into trans-fatty acids or bad fats. Adding garlic or onions to the oil will keep this degradation from occurring for up to 20 minutes.
I encourage you to enlarge your belief and purpose for what you eat at your next meal. Your next meal can start to heal you, or better yet, prevent a disease from forming. The best offense against disease is a good defense. It’s much easier to prepare than to repair. Healing is a process and it can start with the “healing power of your next meal.”
Like all things worth doing, it does takes “time and commitment.” The results are worth it for sure!