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Healing Foods

October 14, 2008

For our second nutrition topic, I chose “healing foods”. This stems from my belief that choosing a variety of healthy foods can help prevent disease. I could have talked all day–so I had to limit myself a bit.

Antiviral Foods:

Foods such as citrus fruits,melons, strawberries,broccoli, bell pepper, tomatoes, and potatoes all contain Vitamin C. They have the ability to boost the immune system by helping it to fight viruses. There is numerous research to support that these foods help us fight off common colds, and other respiratory ailments.

Antibacterial/Antibiotic Foods:

Honey, onions and garlic contain properties that fight infection. They can be eaten or even applied topically for wound care.

I have heard of naturopaths recommending a garlic paste for ear infections–easier to use for frequent infections as the body does not build up a resistance. And, I have read about the powerful healing properties of honey when applied topically or taken as a daily supplement.

I use honey in the winter as a moisturizing face mask–just apply to clean dry skin and rinse away after 5 minutes. You wouldn’t believe how soft your skin feels!

Berries: Cranberries, blackberries, and blueberries have all been shown to prevent/reduce urinary tract infections by reducing bacteria in the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys.

Antioxidants:

On any given day, our cells are constantly breaking down and repairing themselves. Oxidants are unhealthy bi products of this process and are believed to cause cell damage and even cancer. Consuming foods high in Antioxidants helps to prevent and repair damage.

Foods high in antioxidants include green and black tea, and deeply colored fruits and vegetables. These foods may be able to inhibit tumor formation and prevent/reduce the risk of certain cancers. With antioxidants–many of the benefits change with the color of food that you eat–so it is good to consume a wide variety of antioxidant rich fruits and veggies weekly.

Antioxidant Rich Black Bean Chili

2 cups cooked black beans

1/2 med onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 medium carrots, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/4 c cilantro, chopped (optional)

1tbs olive oil

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet
  2. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes
  3. Add onion, saute 3-5 minutes until translucent
  4. Add bell pepper, carrots and saute 4-5 minutes
  5. Add black beans and tomatoes
  6. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10-15 minutes for flavors to combine
  7. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro

I serve this with green Chile corn bread and garnish with avocado and shredded cheese. Morgan likes it all mixed up together–with avocado and cheese–minus the cilantro šŸ™‚
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