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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food.” This famous quote from Hippocrates may be centuries old, but research continues to show that food truly is the best medicine. Here are six scientifically-proven healing foods you should stock up on right away.
Broccoli is one of the most abundant vegetables in the produce section, and it’s one that you can eat raw, cooked, baked into casseroles, or any way you see fit. Back in 2011, researchers at Johns Hopkins University studied the effect of common infection-causing bacteria on microphages, which are specific types of white blood cells, found in the lungs of 43 people with COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Microphages in the presence of sulphoraphane, one of the prevalent medicinal compounds in broccoli, were better able to destroy the bacteria than those microphages without sulphoraphane.
Coronary heart disease, or CHD, is a major killer. It is responsible for some 375,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. A study published in 2011 in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism showed that one serving of four Brazil nuts – just four – immediately improved LDL cholesterol levels. The larger the serving, the more LDL levels dropped. However, researchers say that a single serving provides the best risk-to-benefit ratio as these nuts are high in fat. Brazil nuts are one of the most underrated healing foods in the world today.
Improper digestion for extended periods of time can cause problems that lead colorectal, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers. In a book called How Not to Die published by Dr. Michael Greger, there was focus on a study on fruit extracts that had the highest success rates in slowing the growth of cancer cells. This study revealed that while all berries had some favorable properties, blackberries and strawberries were the most powerful healing foods in this category.
When you think of healing foods, you might think of foods that target specific physical conditions or disorders. Bananas can affect you physically – the potassium can help alleviate muscle cramps and tenderness. However, a banana’s real healing power is in its ability to help reduce anxiety. According to Molly Kimball, a certified specialist in sports dietetics at Ochsner’s Elmwood Fitness Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, bananas offer up 30% of your daily vitamin B6 needs. This can help your brain produce more serotonin, which is a mood-booster known to help alleviate anxiety symptoms.
High blood pressure is a serious problem in many countries around the world, but the good news is that there are plenty of foods out there that can help reduce it naturally. Raisins, which are tasty little sun-dried grapes, are one of the best healing foods out there. A multitude of global studies have proven that the polyphenols in grapes and grape-derived foods can lower and maintain blood pressure, and raisins contain concentrated polyphenols that provide more healing power per serving than grape juice or even wine. The good news is that they are also a good source of fiber, which boosts digestive health, too.
Ginger is one of Eastern medicine’s go-to cures for just about everything, and for good reason. This is one of the tastiest healing foods out there, and you can add it to just about anything. A comprehensive study on the effectiveness of ginger on nausea and vomiting was published in Integrative Medicine Insights in November 2016. This study found that ginger was highly effective at treating nausea caused by everything from pregnancy to chemotherapy.
Often, people look for over-the-counter or prescription medications to cure the things that ail them, but for the most part, there are healing foods that can treat and even prevent these ailments better than any medication. The six healing foods above are some common examples; there are hundreds of other foods in your local market that can improve your health substantially.