Saturday, March 17, 2012

12 Foods With Super-Healing Powers

Pasta in mushroom sauce

Food Diary (March 16, 2012)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with banana, coconut, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Pasta in mushroom sauce
Dinner: Flatbread with beans, salad
Baking/sweets: Chocolate, oat raisin cookies

Today was a day of excess, eating too much cookies and chocolates. But it was a day of restraint too. I bought five 100 gram bars of chocolate and ate only one. That’s discipline! Its like someone buying five bottles of whisky and drinking only one. Discipline also.

Today's Favourite Photo
Source: Sparklette
Chocolate tart

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Care2
There are lot of nutritious food but not all of them have healing powers. Here’s 12 Foods With Super-Healing Powers.

Cherries pack a powerful nutritional punch for a relatively low calorie count. They’re also packed with substances that help fight inflammation and cancer, have antiviral and antibacterial properties, reduces a common cause of gout and may help lower risk of heart attack and stroke. In Chinese medicine, cherries are routinely used as a remedy for gout, arthritis, and rheumatism (as well as anemia, due to their high iron content).

Guavas contain more of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, and nearly 20 percent more than tomatoes. Our bodies can’t process much of the lycopene in tomatoes until they’re cooked, however, guavas’ cell structure allows the antioxidant to be absorbed whether the fruit is raw or cooked.

Beans are a miracle food. They lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and insulin production, promote digestive health, and protect against cancer. An assortment of phytochemicals found in beans has been shown to protect cells from cancerous activity by inhibiting cancer cells from reproducing, slowing tumor growth. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that women who consumed beans at least twice a week were 24 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, and multiple studies have tied beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers. Beans deliver antioxidants, which help prevent and fight oxidative damage. Beans also contain the amino acid tryptophan; foods with high amounts of tryptophan can help regulate your appetite, aid in sleep, and improve your mood. In Chinese medicine, various types of beans have been used to treat alcoholism, food poisoning, edema (particularly in the legs), high blood pressure, diarrhea, laryngitis, kidney stones, rheumatism, and dozens of other conditions.

The unique blend of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals found in kiwifruit helps protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and respiratory disease. Kiwifruit’s natural blood-thinning properties work without the side effects of aspirin and support vascular health by reducing the formation of spontaneous blood clots, lowering LDL cholesterol, and reducing blood pressure. Multiple studies have shown that kiwifruit not only reduces oxidative stress and damage to DNA but also prompts damaged cells to repair themselves.

Kiwifruit is often prescribed as part of a dietary regimen to battle cancer and heart disease, and in Chinese medicine it’s used to accelerate the healing of wounds and sores.

Watercress provides four times the calcium of 2 percent milk. It offers more iron than spinach. The nutrients in watercress protect against cancer and macular degeneration, help build the immune system, and support bone health. The iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your body’s tissues for energy. In Chinese medicine, watercress is thought to help reduce tumors, improve night vision, and stimulate bile production (improving digestion and settling intestinal gas). It’s used as a remedy for jaundice, urinary difficulty, sore throat, mumps, and bad breath.

Spinach protects against eye disease and vision loss; it’s good for brain function; it guards against colon, prostate, and breast cancers; it protects against heart disease, stroke, and dementia; it lowers blood pressure; it’s anti-inflammatory; and it’s great for bone health. A carotenoid found in spinach not only kills prostate cancer cells, it also prevents them from multiplying. Folate promotes vascular health by lowering homocysteine, an amino acid that, at high levels, raises the risk of dementia and cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. Spinach is also rich in lutein, which protects against age-related macular degeneration, and it may help prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol buildup.

Onions contain potent cancer-fighting enzymes; onion consumption has been shown to help lower the risk of prostate and esophageal cancers and has also been linked to reduced mortality from coronary heart disease. Onions contain sulfides that help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as a peptide that may help prevent bone loss by inhibiting the loss of calcium and other bone minerals. Onions contain quercetin, a natural antihistamine that reduces airway inflammation and helps relieve symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Onions also boast high levels of vitamin C, which, along with the quercetin, battles cold and flu symptoms. Onions’ anti-inflammatory properties help fight the pain and swelling associated with osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Onions are also extremely rich in sulfur and they have antibiotic and antiviral properties, making them excellent for people who consume a diet high in protein, fat, or sugar, as they help cleanse the arteries and impede the growth of viruses, yeasts, and other disease-causing agents, which can build up in an imbalanced diet.

Carrots are a great source of the potent antioxidants known as carotenoids. Diets high in carotenoids have been tied to a decreased risk in postmenopausal breast cancer as well as cancers of the bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx, and esophagus. Conversely, diets low in carotenoids have been associated with chronic disease, including heart disease and various cancers. Research suggests that just one carrot per day could reduce your risk of lung cancer by half. In addition to fighting cancer, the nutrients in carrots inhibit cardiovascular disease, stimulate the immune system, promote colon health, and support ear and eye health.

Cabbage contains high levels of antioxidant sulforaphanes that not only fight free radicals before they damage DNA but also stimulate enzymes that detoxify carcinogens in the body. Cabbage builds strong bones, dampens allergic reactions, reduces inflammation, and promotes gastrointestinal health. Cabbage is routinely juiced as a natural remedy for healing peptic ulcers due to its high glutamine content. It also provides significant cardiovascular benefit by preventing plaque formation in the blood vessels. In Chinese medicine, cabbage is used to treat constipation, the common cold, whooping cough, depression and irritability, and stomach ulcers. When eaten and used as a poultice, as a dual treatment, cabbage is helpful for healing bedsores, varicose veins, and arthritis.

Broccoli’s phytochemicals fight cancer, in addition to inhibiting tumors caused by chemical carcinogens. In Chinese medicine, broccoli is used to treat eye inflammation.

Kale contains high levels of the cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane, which guards against prostate, gastric, skin, and breast cancers by boosting the body’s detoxification enzymes and fighting free radicals in the body. The indoles in kale have been shown to protect against breast, cervical, and colon cancers. The vitamin K in kale promotes blood clotting, protects the heart, and helps build strong bones by anchoring calcium to the bone. It also has more antioxidant power than spinach, protecting against free-radical damage. Kale is extra rich in beta-carotene (containing seven times as much as does broccoli), lutein, and zeaxanthin (ten times the amount in broccoli). In Chinese medicine, kale is used to help ease lung congestion.

Dandelion has been used for centuries to treat hepatitis, kidney, and liver disorders such as kidney stones, jaundice, and cirrhosis. It’s routinely prescribed as a natural treatment for hepatitis C, anemia, and liver detoxification (poor liver function has been linked to numerous conditions, from indigestion and hepatitis to irritability and depression). As a natural diuretic, dandelion supports the entire digestive system and increases urine output, helping flush toxins and excess salt from the kidneys. Dandelion promotes digestive health by stimulating bile production, resulting in a gentle laxative effect. Inulin, a naturally occurring soluble fiber in dandelion, further aids digestion by feeding the healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestines; it also increases calcium absorption and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels, therefore being useful in treating diabetes.

Both the dandelion leaves and root are used to treat heartburn and indigestion. The pectin in dandelion relieves constipation and, in combination with vitamin C, reduces cholesterol. Dandelion is excellent for reducing edema, bloating, and water retention; it can also help reduce high blood pressure. On top of all that, dandelion contains multiple antidiarrheal and antibacterial properties. In Chinese medicine, dandelion is used in combination with other herbs to treat hepatitis and upper respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The sap from the stem and root is a topical remedy for warts


  1. Pasta and then chocolate tart for dessert ... yes!
    Wow, you're back in blogging form ... guess you've recovered from bloggers block. Can't keep up .. think I missed something. :) (Sorry, been really stressed out this week).
    I like what I see on the list. Looks like I'm eating right (with a bit of indulgence here and there). There's an interesting way the dandelion leaves are used here. It's ground up and used as a soup base for a very healthy rice, vege, bean dish among the Hakka vegetarian community.

    1. Yes recovered from bloggers block. Actually brain hibernation didn't just affect blogging:(
      Working week is over, time to destress. Those carrot cocktails you concocted could come in handy, but you may have to up the amount of alcohol:)
      Many of the food items mentioned above are already used in Chinese medicine which is pretty amazing. It seems to be light years ahead of our researchers:)

  2. I like many of these foods, so hurrah! Don't really have access to dandelion though... glad you're feeling inspired again.

    1. I don't see dandelion around either, I probably won't recognise it

  3. I love your pasta color - it's very similar to one of the kinds my mom makes!

    The super healing powers! This was VERY interesting list. I cut lots of kiwis this morning for my son to bring "green dessert" to the class (required today), but most of kids didn't eat them. I'm going to eat the rest now to get more healing powers. =)

    1. Thank you.
      Thats interesting, a green dessert day. I guess it was inspired by St. Paddy's day. It seems the event was 'bring green desserts' and thats all the kids did, eating the green desserts wasn't required. Thats for the mums to do:)

  4. It's nice to see a chocolate tart which actually looks appetising and well-presented ;-)
    The more I read about healthy food the more I wonder what difference it really makes in our daily life. I mean, I know that if I eat less fat and carbs, I will probably lose weight or at least not gain it, but the problem with the precious nutrients is no one ever tells us how much and how often we should have of certain vegetables or fruits in order to actually profit from their benefits.
    For example will eating fours carrots a week change anything? (I know my almost daily carrots intake for several months hasn't changed my complexion, while I read everywhere carrots improve complexion's colour. Do I have to eat more than one small carrot a day?). I know if I have kiwi I can profit from its vitamin C, but how much would I have to eat to for example reduce my blood pressure? Do you know what I mean? I think here about the miraculous influence of green tea. People started to drink it all around Europe and then learnt that two cups of green tea a day wasn't enough to profit from certain important benefits... Somehow such information is rare. Don't you think?

    1. Try eating one large carrot a day instead of a small carrot, it might work. Otherwise increase dosage:) Kidding.
      The article did say how much to eat but that wasn't very useful, and probably will not answer your question. I understand your view. It would be impossible to say how much to eat to get benefits. Researchers can perhaps answer this question but it may not be practical. Everyone is different, and it also matters what else we eat, our daily routine etc. Green tea for example - it depends on strong the tea is, size of the cup, how its brewed, type of leaves etc. Even if 2 cups is not enough, its better than 0 cups. Like exercise, maybe an hour a day is good but 30 minutes is better than 0.
      For some people, they may feel better knowing the food they eat it healing, whether or not it heals:) It least it will make them happy, and that may heal:)

    2. One more thing I forgot to say. Re blood pressure, it says kiwifruit can reduce. I guess we can never answer how much to eat to reduce pressure. But what we can say is that if you eat kiwifruit instead of apples, it is more likely to reduce blood pressure.

  5. Gorgeously garnished chocolate tart! And I've only had onions off that list today...need to eat some more :)

    1. Its tough to eat everything in one day, and I guess thats not necessary

  6. so happy cherries are on there! those are my favorite fruit!

  7. I never thought cherries have that superhealing powers! Better buy a lot of those why they are still in season

  8. i love cabbage and kale, i eat it every day! i knew about dandelion root, but have never bought the greens b/c it has such a bitter taste to it. will have to try it now!