Foods That Heal
Figs: A fruit source of calcium, figs may help prevent the bone loss associated with aging. They’re also very high in fiber, which may reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers.
How to consume: Slice fresh, unpeeled figs, and serve with cheese or on a salad; toss dried figs into a mix of dried fruits, grains, nuts, even chocolate. Figs that aren’t completely ripe can irritate the mouth, so look for soft, aromatic ones.
Beets: Nutrient-packed beets may sharpen your mind. They produce nitric acid, which helps increase blood flow throughout your body- including the areas of the brain that are associated with degeneration and dementia.
How to consume:Roast, then puree beets into a dip with curd that has been drained in a cloth or filter to remove whey, and horseradish, or grate raw beets into a salad(their antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of cancer, are best absorbed when the veggie is raw.)
Fresh Cranberries: Sure, cranberries are superstars at treating urinary tract infections, but these tart little fruits may also help prevent heart disease. They’re rich in anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins, plant chemicals that keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to artery walls.
How to consume: Saute cranberries and serve with meat, or combine with banana, pineapple, and orange for a fruit salad -the sweeter fruits naturally balance out the tartness.
OrangePith: You already know that oranges are a great source of vitamin C, but eat as much as you can of the pith-the spongy white layer between the zest and the pulp that clings to a peeled orange-too. Although bitter, the pith stores a good amount of the fruit’s fibre and antioxidants.(Try to choose organic oranges if you’re eating the pith or skin.)
How to consume: Put whole orange slices in a smoothie; roast thin slices and serve with whole wheat pancakes.
Eggs: These inexpensive protein sources crackle with health benefits zinc and iron support healthy hair and strong nails, and lecithin in the yolks is rich in choline, which helps repairs neurological damage and move cholesterol through the bloodstream.
How to consume: Scramble eggs with a handful of spinach, or top a bowl of vegetables and brown rice with a (lightly) fried egg, sesame seeds, and soya sauce for a Korean-inspired meal.
Sesame seeds: One recent study found that when people with high levels of LDL cholesterol ate a few spoonfuls of sesame seeds a day, their LDL levels dropped by almost 10 percent more than when they followed a healthy diet sans sesame seeds. The seeds are also one of the richest sources, by weight, of iron.
How to consume: Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on oatmeal; top steamed vegetables with sesame seeds and sesame or olive oil; make hummus with tahini, a sesame seed butter.
Mustard: Think beyond the hot dog-mustard is a good source of selenium, which helps protect against cancer, prevent cardiovascular disease, defend your cells against damaging free radicals, and give your immune system a boost. The manganese in mustard can help soothe PMS symptoms.
How to consume: Dip roasted vegetables in a mustard-honey sauce or whisk together mustard, oil, and vinegar for a salad dressing; look for mustard seeds in the spice aisle, and add to stir-fires and curries.
Lamb: Among red meats, lamb stands out for its high nutritional value and it’s a surprisingly good source of the omega-3 fatty acids that can protect against heart disease and stroke. The iron in lamb is also easily absorbed by the body, so it helps prevent anemia and boost energy.
How to consume: Choose lean cuts from leg, loin, and shank. Roast leg of lamb for a weekend dinner, or use ground lamb as a topping for tacos and pizza.
Broccoli: The sulforaphane in broccoli may help your body fight off infections that inflame the lungs and arteries. Surprisingly, frozen varities may contain 35 percent more beta-carotene by weight than fresh broccoli. Finally, broccoli’s high level of vitamin C helps create collagen, which keeps skin healthy, firm, and glowing.
How to consume: Toss steamed florets with tomato sauce and toasted walnuts for a side dish, or scatter atop a pizza before baking.
Chillies: The heat source in these fiery bites, capsaicin, may help prevent the blood clots that lead to a heart attack and stroke. Plus, eating chillies can provide temporary relief from nasal and sinus congestion and even provide a quick lift to your metabolism.
How to consume: Add chopped chillies to stir-fries, eggs, and soups.
Kiwis: Kiwis contain both lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that may maintain eye health. They’re also packed with vitamins C and E and other phytochemicals that help fight the free radical damage that can eventually lead to cancer.
How to consume: First, skip the peeling step- kiwi skin is completely edible and mild and contains much of the fruit’s fiber and vitamin C. Buy organic kiwis, and snack on them like peaches, or blend chopped, unpeeled kiwis into a banana-strawberry smoothie.
Celery Leaves: Do you cut your celery sticks and toss the rest. Stop celery leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant, containing more calcium, iron, potassium,beta-carotene, and vitamin C than the stalks.
How to consume: Use like parsley, or mix into salads.