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Healing Properties Of Food - An Introduction

Healing Properties Of Food - An Introduction There are many types of healing food available. Nutritional studies into natural healing compounds in fresh food reveal an entire pharmacopoeia just waiting for us. It’s worth learning some of these terms for the nutraceutical and botanical aspects of healing foods. Discover which foods contain these so that you can identify and get the foods that will benefit your own unique physiology and healing situation.
Healing Food

Powerful Healing Food - Wild Blackberries

An Introduction To The Healing Properties Of Food

by Simon Mitchell

There are many types of healing food available. Nutritional studies into natural healing compounds in fresh food reveal an entire pharmacopoeia just waiting for us. It’s worth learning some of these terms for the nutraceutical and botanical aspects of healing foods. Discover which foods contain these so that you can identify and get the foods that will benefit your own unique physiology and healing situation.

This article on healing food has three sections, taken from ‘Food Medicine’ by Simon Mitchell.

The first is a list of raw juice ingredients for health and healing, showing the particular healing properties of each food.

The second shows the top end of the ORAC scale, giving a list of the top food for health and healing.

The third is the glossary from ‘Food Medicine’, explaining some of the terms used and the properties of healing foods.


Many modern farming practices destroy the symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi found surrounding the roots of organic and wild plants. This soil dweller helps to increase the nutrient absorbing area of the organic plant’s root system by secreting enzymes that break down organic matter and help the plant absorb more nutrients. Mycorrhizal fungi are wiped out by soluble phosphates in particular, a prime ingredient of many chemical fertilisers and this prevents the absorption of minor nutrients and minerals into the plant. The intensification of agricultural practices has led to a decline of between 25% to 75% in the levels of key mineral nutrients in farmed vegetables over the last 60 years, limiting our access to healing foods. Choose your produce carefully from an accredited organic source or even better, grow your own!


If we can source good quality healing food, cooking it can destroy the nutritional content. Studies show that fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables strengthen the immune system and increase resistance to many diseases. For example tests in Spain recently measured the levels of flavonoids left in fresh broccoli after it was cooked. The results show large differences in flavonoid content according to how the broccoli was prepared.

  • boiling - 66% loss
  • pressure-cooking - 53% loss of major antioxidant
  • steaming - minimal loss of antioxidants
  • microwaving - 97% loss of flavonoids

Scientists in Finland found that blanching and deep-freezing vegetables also destroyed beneficial compounds. If you are cooking organic food steaming is essential if they are to be used in health and healing. If you boil organic veg., make sure that the cooking water ends up in your food!

HEALING FOOD - RAW JUICE INGREDIENTS FOR POWER FOOD SHAKES Healing Food - Raw Juice, Pineapple and carrot smoothie

Antioxidant, vitamin C, antibacterial
Beta-carotene, iron, fibre, potassium
Artichokes (lightly steamed first)
Folate and potassium, can regulate cholesterol and tone liver
Anthocyanins (antioxidant)
Vitamin E, potassium, vitamin B6, C, manganese, riboflavin, sterols, glutathione
Potassium, soothing on stomach, natural sugar source
Vitamin c, folate, potassium and other minerals, immune support, natural sugar, betaine
Vitamin C, fibre, folate, bioflavonoids, anthocyanin
Antibacterial, anthocyanin
Brazil nuts
Selenium, antioxidant
Vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, iron, potassium
Vitamin C, K, E, potassium, beta-carotene, fibre, folate, thiamine
Beta-carotene, fibre, natural sugar
Vitamin C, sulphurous compounds
Potassium, anti-inflammatory, sedative
Inulin, detoxifying
Citrus fruit
Vitamin C, thiamine, folate, pectin
Specific for bladder, kidney, urinary tract, antibacterial
Vitamin C, pectin (soluble fibre)
Potassium, antioxidants (black grapes), light, appetising food (white)
Chest, phlegm remedy, decongestant, antibacterial, mild sedative
Potassium, folate, diuretic
Onions and garlic
Natural ‘cure-all’, regulates blood cholesterol levels, prevents blood clotting, decongestant, sulphur compounds
Vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, iron, easily digestible
Peppers (red are sweetest)
Vitamin C, beta carotene, bioflavonoids
Vitamin C, digesting enzyme (bromelain), anti-inflammatory,
Salad leaves
Vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, calcium, iron, potassium
Sprouting seeds
Vitamin C, easily digestible protein, B complex vitamins, saponins
Vitamin C, liver tonic, digestive cleaner,
Vitamin C, E, carotenoids, potassium, lycopene

NB. Some fruits and vegetables may trigger allergic reactions in people, please check your tolerance before experimenting with foodstuffs you have not used before.


The ORAC scale is a rating that measures the antioxidant content of various plant foods, it stand for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. A small group of ‘super foods’ have up to twenty times the norm for antioxidants. Scores are based on a 100grm (>4 oz) serving of each food.
FOOD ORAC rating
Prunes 5770
Raisins 2830
Blueberries 2400
Blackberries 2036
Kale 1770
Strawberries 1540
Spinach 1260
Raspberries 1220
Brussels sprouts 980
Plums 949
Alfalfa sprouts 930
Broccoli 890
Beets 840
Oranges 750
Red Bell peppers 710
Red grapes 739
Cherries 670

HEALING FOOD - GLOSSARY healing food - A home pharmacopoeia

Below are descriptions of the terms used for healing food in ‘Food Medicine’. This is not an extensive list of terms used in herbalism and nutrition.

A medieval science concerned with making gold, finding the ‘elixir of life’ and producing life from the non-living.
Compounds containing nitrogen such as codeine, morphine, quinine, nicotine
Any substance that causes an allergy, examples are: pollen, cat hair, peanuts
Amino acids
The building blocks of protein, most (of 20) are made by the body but 8 are not
An agent that deadens sensation
A substance that destroys or stunts the growth of micro-organisms
A substance that destroys or stunts the growth of fungi
An agent that lessens or prevents inflammation
A substance that destroys or stunts the growth of micro-organisms
Oxidisation inhibitors that contain compounds that prevent diseases and protect from free radicals. Examples are: iron, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, Vitamins A,C,E, bioflavonoids and others
Works on spasms or cramps
A substance that destroys or stunts the growth of viral micro-organisms
Pigment that inhibits bacteria and is anti-inflammatory
Having a strong (and often pleasant) oil based aroma
Red and yellow pigments found in many plants that are antioxidant and nuetralise free radicals
The process of removing toxins from the body
Needed for haemaglobin production to carry oxygen round the body
Contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions.
Helps to expell gas from the intestines.
A green pigment, the critical agent in plant photosynthesis.
Complementary / alternative
‘Accepted’ alternatives and non-accepted alternative treatments (by orthodox Western medicine)
Promoting perspiration
Increasing secretion and expulsion of urine
A pharmacuetical drug for travel sickness
Proteins that help to improve biological processes
Natural healing compounds in fresh fruit and vegetables
Compound or mixture of compounds derived from Folic acid
Free radicals
Highly reactive unstable atoms or molecules produced by the body as part of its immune system.
Gaia Hypothesis
Theory by James Lovelock which sees the earth as a living system
A chemical found in most body tissues that forms part of their defense mechanisms
Kirlian photography
Photographs showing the human aura or energy body
healing food - cloves and cinnamonLaxative
Promoting evacuation of the bowels
A red carotenoid pigment
Meridian system
The energy body interface as described in Chinese medicine
Substances that cause genetic mutation
Fungus based life form
Synthetic organic chlorines that ac*****ulate in body tissue
Relieving pain or alleviating a problem without dealing with the cause
A synthetic additive in cosmetic creams and sprays
Micro-organisms that can cause disease
A soluble gelatinous sustance in ripe fruits used for setting jams and jellies
A measurement scale of acidity and alkalinity
A stock of medicinal drugs
Compounds linked to benzene
Alkali-metal chemical element vital for brain and muscles
Relating to a philosophy based in energy perception
Describing complex phenomena in terms of its fundamental constituents
Scientific research methodologies
Reductionist approaches applied to medical research
Producing calm or inducing sleep
A chemical element with semi-conducting qualities
A blood compound that constricts the vessels and acts as a nuerotransmitter
Increases physiological or nervous activity in the body
Causing bleeding to stop
Vitamin B1, found in unrefined cereals, beans and liver
An agent that strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism
Substance that is given to stimulate the body’s immunity system
Dilation of blood vessels causing falling blood pressure
Causing the expulsion of intestinal worms


Healing Food - Food Medicine Cover FOOD MEDICINE

by Simon Mitchell
If you love food, you'll love 'Food Medicine'! This ebook is far more than just a spoon full of sugar! 'Food Medicine' leads the way to an holistic approach to personal health care using the Gifts of Nature. 'Food Medicine' is a comprehensive, illustrated ebook with over 200 photos that shows you why you should transform your kitchen into an integrated 'HEALTH CENTRE' for all your family, and how to do this using common kitchen ingredients and healing food, herbs and spices. It gives you detailed information and photography of the most common useful wild plants with a FREE online quiz to test your recognition skills. It supplies a whole context for the use of natural healing alternatives in a modern toxic world. It is a truly tasty treasure-trove of recipes, information and ideas for people who love their food.

''Food Medicine' is your guide to healing food that cancel out disease, mere wild weeds that can literally SAVE YOUR LIFE! Discover the essential ingredients for your own Natural Health Kit here - and put it together for use in your home. Just give your healing food a chance to love you right back!

Posted Nov 5, 2006   

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