For the first 5000 years of civilization, humans relied on foods and herbs for medicine. Only in the past 50 years have we forgotten our medicinal “roots” in favor of patent medicines. While pharmaceuticals have their value, we should not forget the well-documented, non-toxic and inexpensive healing properties of whole natural foods. The following list is but a sampling of the health benefits from such foods.
Apple: Lowers cholesterol and risk for cancer. Has mild antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory estrogenic activity. High in fiber, helps avoid constipation, suppresses appetite. Juice can cause diarrhea in children.
Asparagus: A super source of the antioxidant glutathione, to lower cancer risk.
Avocado: Benefits circulation, lowers cholesterol, dilates blood vessels. It’s main fat, monounsaturated oleic acid (also concentrated in olive oil), acts as an antioxidant to block artery-destroying toxicity of bad-type-LDL cholesterol. One of the richest sources of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant shown to block thirty different carcinogens and to block proliferation of the AIDS virus in test tube experiments.
Banana and Plantain: Soothes the stomach. Good for dyspepsia (upset stomach). Strengthens the stomach lining against acid and ulcers. Has antibiotic activity.
Barley: Long known as a “heart medicine” in the Middle East. Reduces cholesterol. Has anti-viral and anti-cancer activity. Contains potent antioxidants, including tocotrienols.
Beans: (legumes, including navy, black, kidney, pinto, soy beans and lentils). Potent medicine in lowering cholesterol. One-half cup of cooked beans daily reduces cholesterol an average 10 percent. Regulates blood sugar levels. An excellent food for diabetics. Linked to lower rates of certain cancers. Very high in fiber. A leading producer of intestinal gas in most people.
Beets: Richer than spinach in iron and other minerals. The greens are helpful in cases of anemia, tuberculosis, constipation, poor appetite, obesity, tumors, gout, pimples and helpful in the elimination of irritating drug poisons. Beets are one of the best foods to relieve constipation and they are also good for obesity.
Bell Pepper: Rich in antioxidant vitamin C. Helps to fight off colds, asthma, bronchitis, respiratory infections, cataracts, macular degeneration, angina, atherosclerosis and cancer.
Blueberry: Acts as an unusual type of antibiotic by blocking attachment of bacteria that cause urinary tract infections. Contains chemicals that curb diarrhea. Also has anti-viral activity and high in natural aspirin.
Broccoli: A unique package of versatile disease-fighters. Abundant in antioxidants, including quercetin, glutathione, beta carotene, indoles, vitamin C, lutein, glucarate, sulforaphane. Extremely high in cancer fighting activity, particularly against lung, colon and breast cancers. Like other cruciferous vegetables, it speeds up removal of estrogen from the body, helping suppress breast cancer. Rich in cholesterol-reducing.fiber. Has anti-viral, anti-ulcer activity. A super source of chromium that helps regulate insulin and blood sugar. Note: cooking and processing destroys some of the antioxidants and anti-estrogenic agents, such as indoles and glutathione. Most protective when eaten raw or lightly cooked.
Cauliflower: Cruciferous family member that contains many of the same cancer-fighting, hormone-regulating compounds as its cousins, broccoli and cabbage. Specifically thought to help ward off breast and colon cancers. Eat raw, or lightly cooked.