Last month I shared with you Part I about how we love to make lists. They’re a stress reliever because they make us feel in control and get us organized so we can get things done. Outside of the home office, there’s probably no other room where list making is more important than the kitchen. Now let’s continue with Part II of The List of Lists and see what’s included in List Three that guides you to the foods that contain super healing properties.
List Three: The Healing Fifteen
These are the food items you may already have around the house that contain alternative healing properties. Consider using them first when you’re in distress. They’re all natural and can bring soothing relief without the side effects of pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter drugs. Incorporate them in your diet to keep your body in great shape.
- Honey – Promotes healing. Use topically as an ointment for insect bites. The antimicrobial properties in honey prevent microbial growth in the moist healing environment created. Unlike other topical antiseptics, honey causes no tissue damage, promotes fast healing and prevents scarring. Be sure it’s raw honey that has not been pasteurized or filtered.
- Garlic – Fights infections. Laboratory studies confirm that raw garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Not only does it knock out many common cold and flu viruses, but its effectiveness also spans a broad range of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria (two major classifications of bacteria), fungus, intestinal parasites and yeast. Cooking garlic, however, destroys the allicin, so you’ll need to use raw garlic to prevent or fight infections.
- Papayas – Aid in digestion. Papayas contain a number of protease enzymes, such as papain, which are very similar to enzymes produced naturally in the stomach. Eating raw papaya after a meal makes it easier for the body to digest proteins, which help to ease an upset stomach. The carotenoids in papaya are extremely powerful antioxidants. Studies after studies have shown that people who eat the most carotenoid-rich foods like papayas have significantly lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Lemons – Antivrial, antibacterial and have immune-boosting powers. Lemons contain many substances-notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, pectin, bioflavonoids and limonene-that promote immunity and fight infection.
Use as an astringent, a gargle for sore throats or as a lotion for sunburn. It’s also a cooling drink for fevers. With strong anti-inflammatory properties, lemon juice is recommended for acute rheumatism. Use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser.
- Onions – Relieve congestion, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, inhibit allergic, inflammatory response like that seen in asthma. Onions contain a number of sulfides similar to those found in garlic that may lower blood lipids and blood pressure. Onions are a rich source of flavonoids, substances known to provide protection against cardiovascular disease. Onions are also natural anti-clotting agents since they possess substances with fibrinolytic activity and can suppress platelet clumping. The anti-clotting effect of onions closely correlates with their sulfur content.
- Raisins – Improve digestion and lower blood pressure. They’re a good source of potassium, the mineral that’s been shown to lower high blood pressure and a good source of iron, particularly for people who eat little or no meat. Iron is essential for the creation of hemoglobin in red blood cells, which the body uses to transport oxygen. Note: If you are sulfite-sensitive, you should stay clear of golden seedless raisins in favor of the sun-dried varieties.
- Ginger – Nausea relief, aids in digestion, is an anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol and decreases high blood pressure. Soak in a warm ginger bath to relieve pain in the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Eating ginger encourages the gall bladder to release bile, which stimulates digestion. This increases the assimilation of nutrients from the food consumed. Make a ginger tea if you have a cough, cold or a sore throat. Add lemon and raw honey and you have the elixir of health.
- Tumeric – Contains curcumin. Curcumin has antioxidant properties that decrease swelling and inflammation. Purifies the blood, the liver and removes toxins from your system. Reduces dependency on painkillers and their side effects. Regular consumption of tumeric in food-or when ingested by combining it with honey, water or milk-eases pain from arthritis or post-operative pain. When applied as a topical paste, controls the spread of infection, heals wound faster and clears the skin of blemishes. Turmeric is being studied for use in treating or preventing a number or cancers, including colon, prostate and breast cancers.
- Parsley-Relieves urinary tract infections, acts as a diuretic, boosts kidney function and eases premenstrual discomforts. Parsley is nature’s original breath freshener and it’s also a delicious way to cleanse the palate. It is a good source of folate, a B vitamin, which aids in producing red blood cells and helps to prevent birth defects. Make a parsley tea to detoxify your kidneys.
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar-Adds shine to your hair when used as a final rinse after shampooing. Regulates the pH balance of your skin when used as a toner. Reduces swelling of hands and feet. Helps control blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. If you suffer from acid reflux, heartburn or nausea, try taking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar prior to each meal.
- Avocados-So versatile! Act as an effective breath freshener, moisturizer, reduce morning sickness, control cholesterol and lower blood pressure. They are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, particularly a kind called oleic acid, and these monounsaturated fats improve fat levels in the body and help control diabetes. High in potassium, which helps to reduce urinary calcium excretion, lowering the risk of stones forming in the kidney. Strengthens your immune system.
- Baking Soda – Has a huge range of uses for the body and the home. Alkalizes the body. Polishes your teeth. Relieves sunburn pain, insect bites or skin irritations. Clears up diaper rash. Makes a soothing bath, use as a deodorizer, wash vegetables to remove wax and residue, use as a facial scrub for a mile exfoliation. Relieves heartburn, digestive distress, stomach upset and fatigue. Is a wonderful cleaning produce that removes odors, cleans kitchen surfaces without scratching.
- Prunes-Promote good digestive health. Acts as a mild laxative. Good for detoxing. Rich in anti-oxidants, fights free radicals and signs of aging. Prunes help to improve bone health by reducing the incidence of fractures and osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Provide a prolonged source of energy, comparable to sport or power bars. Prunes make great filling snacks, and can help curb weight gain.
- Coconut Oil – Topically, a great moisturizer for the face, body or hair. Internally, contains lauric acid that contributes to optimal brain function. The human brain is 60% fat. Just think of the brainpower we’re losing due to low-fat diets. Lauric acid also contributes to a highly functioning immune system with its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti fungal and anti-microbial properties. Coconut oil closely mirrors the immune system’s building properties that are found in mother’s milk, which helps to develop our immunity from day one.
- Cinnamon-Alleviates indigestion, stomach cramps, intestinal spasms, nausea and flatulence, improves the appetite and treats diarrhea. Cinnamon extracts are active against Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infection. Can be useful as a food preservative to inhibit the growth of common food-borne bacteria such as Salmonella and E coli. Regulates and supports healthy hormone function.
There you have it. List Three to make your life more stress free and your decision making easier. Most of all, the list fulfills our desire to support you in your quest for a vibrant, healthy life.
HealthKeepers Magazine December 2011