12 super-healing foods

Guava is a small tropical fruit that can be round, oval or pear-shaped. If you can get them, start to eat them as soon as possible. Guava contains more antioxidant lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, and has almost 20 percent of it more than tomatoes. Our bodies cannot process much lycopene in tomatoes until they are cooked. However, the cellular structure of guava makes it possible to absorb the antioxidants whether the fruit is raw or cooked.

Lycopene protects our healthy cells from free radicals that can cause all kinds of defects, including blocked arteries, degeneration, nervous system problems and even cancer. Men with prostate tumors who consumed lycopene supplements showed significant improvements, such as the reduction of tumors and malignancy. Lycopene inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells, and studies have shown that this antioxidant may help protect against heart disease.

This strange-looking little fruit is also rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants. Guava offers 60 percent more potassium than a banana, which can help protect against heart disease and stroke. Moreover, guava nutrients have been proven as an excellent food that lowers LDL cholesterol and boosts HDL cholesterol, lowers triglycerides and blood pressure.

The goal is to eat fresh guava as often as you can when you can find them in stores. They are not usually available frozen, and most guava juices are processed and sweetened, so they do not provide the same excellent nutrition as a whole, fresh fruit. One to two guavas a day is a good amount.

Kiwifruit

This small fruit contains an amazing amount of vitamin C (double the amount found in orange), has more fiber than apples, and more potassium than bananas. The unique blend of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals helps protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer and respiratory diseases. Kiwi has natural blood thinning properties, it is good for the health of blood vessels as it reduces the formation of blood clots, lowers LDL cholesterol and reduces blood pressure. Multiple studies have shown that kiwi not only reduces oxidative stress and DNA damage, but quickly repairs damaged cells.

Kiwi is often prescribed as part of a nutritional regime for the fight against cancer and heart disease and in Chinese medicine it is used to accelerate wound healing.

Take one to two kiwis a day, while they are in season for best flavor and nutritional benefits.

Kiwifruit contains enzymes that activate when you cut them, causing the flesh to soften. So, if you are making a fruit salad, cut kiwi last.

Cherries

For starters, they are nutritious and contain few calories. They are also full of substances that help fight inflammation and cancer. As if that were not enough, quercetin and ellagic acid, two compounds found in cherries, inhibit tumor growth and even cause destruction of cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. Cherries have antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Anthocyanin, another compound found in cherries, is responsible for the reduction of the uric acid levels in the blood, thereby reducing a common cause of gout. Researchers believe that anthocyanins may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Furthermore, these compounds act as a natural form of ibuprofen, reducing inflammation and relieving pain.

Regular eating can help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.

In Chinese medicine, cherries are used as a remedy for gout, arthritis and rheumatism (as well as anemia due to iron content). And they are very tasty!

While in season, aim for one serving each day. Keep a bag of frozen cherries in the freezer for the rest of the year because frozen cherries retain 100 percent of the nutritional value and are an excellent addition to smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal.

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Beans

Beans are a miracle food, lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar and insulin production. They are good for digestive health and they protect against cancer. If you think of fiber, protein and antioxidants and immediately think of whole grains, meat and fruit, think again – beans provide all three in a single package.

The range of phytochemicals found in beans protects cells against cancer by inhibiting activity of cancer cells and their proliferation, thus slowing down tumor growth. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that women who ate beans at least twice a week were 24 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and colon cancer.
Beans contain a tremendous amount of antioxidants that help fight and prevent oxidative damage to cells. Beans are a great source of dietary fiber, protein and iron. They also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which can help regulate appetite, help sleep and improve your mood. They are rich in folic acid, which plays an important role in heart health. Depending on the type of beans you choose, you may also get decent amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1 and B2, and vitamin K.
In Chinese medicine, various types of beans are used to treat alcoholism, food poisoning, edema (especially in the legs), high blood pressure, diarrhea, sore throat, kidney stones, rheumatism, as well as dozens of other conditions.

Eat at least two servings of beans a week.

Watercress

Not only is watercress extremely nutritious, it contains very few calories. It provides four times more calcium than milk with 2 percent of fat. It provides as much as vitamin C as oranges and more iron than spinach. It is rich in vitamins A and K, as well as carotenoids and phytochemicals.

Watercress nutrients protect against cancer and macular degeneration,they help build the immune system and bone health. The iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to tissues. The phytochemicals in watercress fight against cancer in three ways: by killing cancer cells, blocking carcinogens, and by protecting healthy cells from carcinogens.

In Chinese medicine, watercress is believed to reduce tumors, enhance night vision, stimulate bile production (improving digestion and resolution of intestinal gas). It is used as a remedy for jaundice, urinary problems, sore throat and bad breath.

If you can, eat watercress every day. In some regions, it is available during the spring and summer, when it grows outdoors. However, since it can be grown in greenhouses, you can find it all year round in many stores and local markets.

Spinach

You already knew that spinach was good for you but did you know how good? Spinach protects against eye diseases and vision loss; it is good for brain function, protects against colon, prostate and breast cancers, heart disease, stroke and dementia, lowers blood pressure, has anti-inflammatory properties, and it is excellent for bone health. Spinach contains an amazing array of nutrients, including large amounts of vitamin K, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium and iron.

Carotenoids found in spinach not only kill prostate cancer cells, they also prevent them multyplying. Folic acid promotes vascular health by lowering homocysteine, an amino acid that in large quantities increases the risk of dementia and cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Folic acid reduces the risk of developing colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers, helps stop the uncontrolled growth of cells, one of the primary characteristics of all cancers. The vitamin C and beta-carotene in spinach protect against colon cancer and fight inflammation, which makes them key components to brain health, especially in older adults.

Spinach is packed with vitamin K (one cup of cooked spinach provides a 1,111 percent of the RDA), which together with calcium builds strong bones. Spinach is also rich in lutein, which protects against age-related macular degeneration, and may prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol accumulation.

Fresh spinach should be part of your daily diet!

Onion

Onion has a bad reputation because of its effect on breath, but it contains enzymes that fight cancer. Consumption helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer and esophageal cancer, and has also been linked to the reduction in mortality from coronary heart disease. Studies have shown it may help protect against stomach cancer. Onion contains sulfides that can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as a peptide that can help prevent bone loss by inhibiting the loss of calcium and other minerals.

Onion has antioxidant powers. It contains quercetin, a natural antihistamine, which reduces airway inflammation and helps relieve symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Onion also contains high levels of vitamin C, which, in addition to quercetin, struggles against the symptoms of colds and flu. Anti-inflammatory properties help fight pain and swelling associated with osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Onion is very rich in sulfur and has antibiotic and antiviral properties, it helps you clear arteries and prevents the growth of viruses and yeasts.

For all the health benefits, it would be ideal to eat an onion a day. All varieties are very good for you. Cooking meat at high temperatures with onion can help reduce or neutralize carcinogens produced by the meat.

Carrots

Carrots are a great source of the powerful antioxidant carotenoids. A diet rich in carotenoids is related to reduced risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, as well as cancers of bladder, uterus, prostate, colon, larynx and esophagus. Also, diets low in carotenoids have been associated with chronic diseases, including heart disease and various cancers. Research shows that only one carrot a day may reduce the risk of lung cancer by half. Carrots can also reduce the risk of kidney and ovarian cancers. Except in the fight against cancer, the nutrients in carrots help prevent cardiovascular disease, stimulate the immune system and protect the health of the ear and eye.

Carrots contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin C and an amazing amount of vitamin A. The alpha-carotene in carrots shows promising effects in inhibiting tumor growth. Carrots contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which together promote eye health and help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. In Chinese medicine, carrot is used to treat rheumatism, kidney stones, cancers, indigestion, diarrhea, night blindness, ear infections, deafness, skin lesions, urinary tract infections, and coughing.

Eat a serving of carrots every day if you can, and enjoy them all year round. Carrots are good for you, both raw or lightly cooked.

Cabbage

Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins K and C. One cup contains 91 percent of the recommended daily amount for vitamin K, 50 percent of vitamin C, and it is a good source of fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, folate. It has only about 33 calories. Cabbage offers 11 percent more vitamin C than oranges.

Cabbage contains high levels of antioxidant sulforaphanes, which fight against free radicals. Numerous studies indicate a strong association between a diet rich in vegetables and a low incidence of lung, colon, breast, ovarian, and bladder cancers. Cabbage builds strong bones, reduces allergic reactions and inflammation, and promotes gastrointestinal health. Cabbage is used as a natural remedy for the treatment of peptic ulcer disease due to its high content of glutamine. It also provides significant cardiovascular benefits for the prevention of plaque in blood vessels. In Chinese medicine, cabbage is used against constipation, colds, whooping cough, depression, irritability and stomach ulcers. When eaten or used as a poultice, cabbage is useful for the treatment of pressure ulcers, varicose veins and arthritis.

The more cabbage you can include in your diet, the better. A study conducted on women in Poland revealed that women who ate at least four servings of cabbage a week as adolescents had a 72 percent lower chance of developing breast cancer later in life than their peers who ate just one serving per week or less.

Broccoli

One cup of broccoli provides more than 200 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin C (more than oranges), lots of vitamin K, half the daily requirement for vitamin A, along with plenty of folate, fiber, sulfur, iron, B vitamins, and a whole host of other important nutrients.

Broccoli is rich in phytochemicals that fight cancer by neutralizing carcinogens and speeding their elimination from the body. Studies have shown that these substances help prevent lung and esophagus cancers, and may play a role in reducing the risk of other cancers, including cancer of the digestive system.
Phytonutrient called indole can be found in broccoli and it helps protect against prostate, stomach, skin, breast and cervical cancers. Some studies have shown that it also protects the structure of DNA and can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Extensive studies have linked broccoli to a 20 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease. In Chinese medicine, broccoli is used to treat eye inflammation.

If you eat a little broccoli every day, your body will be grateful.

Dandelion

Dandelion has a long history as a healing herb in cultures around the world. One cup of raw dandelion gives 535 percent of the daily intake of vitamin K and 112 percent of vitamin A. Dandelion is also a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron, fiber and potassium. Of all foods, this is one of the richest sources of vitamin A and beta-carotene.

Dandelion has been used for centuries to treat hepatitis, kidney, and liver disorders such as kidney stones, jaundice and cirrhosis. It has been prescribed as a natural treatment for hepatitis C, anemia and liver detoxification. As a natural diuretic, dandelion supports the entire digestive system and increases the excretion of fluids, helps flush toxins and excess salt from the kidneys, helps prevent the loss of potassium that can occur due to use of pharmaceutical diuretics.

Dandelion promotes digestive health by stimulating the production of bile, resulting in a mild laxative effect. Inulin, a natural soluble fiber in dandelion, helps good digestion by feeding the healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestines, increasing absorption of calcium and having beneficial effect on blood sugar levels, therefore, being useful in treating diabetes. The leaves and roots are used to treat heartburn and indigestion. The pectin in dandelion relieves constipation and in combination with vitamin C, reduces cholesterol. Dandelion is great for reducing edema, bloating and water retention, and can also help reduce high blood pressure.

In Chinese medicine, dandelion is used in combination with other herbs to treat hepatitis and upper respiratory tract illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The sap from the stems and roots is used as a remedy for warts.

The amount of dandelion you should include into your diet depends on two factors: the availability and personal preference.

Kale

Kale is very nutritious and has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. One cup of cooked kale contains a staggering 1328 percent of the RDA for vitamin K, 192 percent oft he RDA for vitamin A, and 89 percent for vitamin C. It is also a good source of calcium and iron.

It contains high levels of sulforaphane, which protects against prostate, stomach, skin and breast cancers. The vitamin K in kale promotes blood clotting, protects the heart and helps build strong bones. It also protects against free radicals. It is rich in beta-carotene (contains seven times more of it than broccoli), lutein and zeaxanthin (10 times the amount found in broccoli). In Chinese medicine, kale is used to facilitate lung congestion.

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