Over the past couple of years I have become marginally obsessed with reading about natural health. The more I read, the more I wholeheartedly believe that nature has given us pretty much everything we need to keep our bodies healthy. (Have I mentioned that I read a lot of books, websites, and scientific data?) Rather than working with what nature gave us, over time society has created lots of synthetic, chemical products in the name of efficiency that have actually worked against us. I think that many of us are starting to believe that it is time to get back to basics: a healthy diet, regular exercise, the right amount of sleep, and so on. The green smoothie craze is telling me so.
It is not that I am against modern medicine in anyway, nor do I always follow my own advice. Yet I have come to believe that most of the answers to our health, and most of the ways to prevent health problems in the first place, are based in nature.
Last week I picked up yet another book, Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal. It was loaded with great information, in alphabetical order, about various foods and health concerns, as well as the way to use food to keep our bodies healthy and fight off illness. Here are 10 of my favorite new takeaways:
- Want to know which fruit and vegetable have the highest levels of antioxidants? Can you take a guess? Drumroll, please. According to their ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scores, the fruit with the highest levels of antioxidants is prunes and the vegetable is kale.
- Dry roasted soy nuts can reduce blood pressure. Apparently just half a cup each day can reduce blood pressure rates by the same amount as some medications. High blood pressure runs in so many families. Who knew that something so simple could be so helpful?
- Blueberries may help to prevent urinary tract infections. I had heard for many years that cranberries could be beneficial, but not blueberries. Cranberries are so sour! Oh, how I would rather eat a cup of blueberries.
- If you accidentally ingest something super spicy (like a habanero pepper), quickly have a glass of milk. It will help to dull the spicy sensation. Good to know!
- Want to tenderize tough meats? Rub it with a kiwi. (The green part, of course.) In addition to being loaded with Vitamin C, kiwi may also help to lower cholesterol levels.
- Watermelon is a good source of lycopene, which is linked with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. I knew that tomatoes were loaded with lycopene, but had not heard the same of watermelon.
- Pineapple is an anti-inflammatory. It contains bromelain, which can be helpful for arthritis, blood clots, and may even be beneficial for heart health. If any of these are hereditary concerns for you, this could be very helpful and yummy information. I don’ know about you, but I would rather have a pineapple than a blood clot any day of the week.
- Sniffing ground pepper may help to prevent fainting. All the women in my family are fainters, so this tip is going to come in quite handy. I might even keep one of those tiny packets of black pepper in my purse from now on, just in case.
- Cheese can fight cavities. For real. No wonder why my son has not had any cavities yet. Because it surely has nothing to do with the way he brushes his teeth.
- If you suffer from hot flashes (like I sometimes do), eat a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed. They contain something called lignans, which have been shown to reduce hot flashes. Flaxseed here I come!
Source: Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal