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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.

HEALING FOOD - CHOOSING A SOURCE FOR FOOD

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!

HEALING FOOD - FOOD PREPARATION

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

Apples
Antioxidant, vitamin C, antibacterial
Apricot
Beta-carotene, iron, fibre, potassium
Artichokes (lightly steamed first)
Folate and potassium, can regulate cholesterol and tone liver
Aubergines
Anthocyanins (antioxidant)
Avocado
Vitamin E, potassium, vitamin B6, C, manganese, riboflavin, sterols, glutathione
Bananas
Potassium, soothing on stomach, natural sugar source
Beetroot
Vitamin c, folate, potassium and other minerals, immune support, natural sugar, betaine
Blackberries
Vitamin C, fibre, folate, bioflavonoids, anthocyanin
Blueberries
Antibacterial, anthocyanin
Brazil nuts
Selenium, antioxidant
Broccoli
Vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, iron, potassium
Cabbage
Vitamin C, K, E, potassium, beta-carotene, fibre, folate, thiamine
Carrot
Beta-carotene, fibre, natural sugar
Cauliflower
Vitamin C, sulphurous compounds
Celery
Potassium, anti-inflammatory, sedative
Chicory
Inulin, detoxifying
Citrus fruit
Vitamin C, thiamine, folate, pectin
Cranberries
Specific for bladder, kidney, urinary tract, antibacterial
Grapefruit
Vitamin C, pectin (soluble fibre)
Grapes
Potassium, antioxidants (black grapes), light, appetising food (white)
Honey
Chest, phlegm remedy, decongestant, antibacterial, mild sedative
Leeks
Potassium, folate, diuretic
Onions and garlic
Natural ‘cure-all’, regulates blood cholesterol levels, prevents blood clotting, decongestant, sulphur compounds
Papaya
Vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium, iron, easily digestible
Peppers (red are sweetest)
Vitamin C, beta carotene, bioflavonoids
Pineapple
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
Strawberry
Vitamin C, liver tonic, digestive cleaner,
Tomato
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.

HEALING FOOD - THE ORAC SCALE

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.

Alchemy
A medieval science concerned with making gold, finding the ‘elixir of life’ and producing life from the non-living.
Alkaloids
Compounds containing nitrogen such as codeine, morphine, quinine, nicotine
Allergens
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
Anaesthetic
An agent that deadens sensation
Antibiotic
A substance that destroys or stunts the growth of micro-organisms
Antifungal
A substance that destroys or stunts the growth of fungi
Anti-inflammatory
An agent that lessens or prevents inflammation
Antimicrobial
A substance that destroys or stunts the growth of micro-organisms
Antioxidant
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
Antispasmodic
Works on spasms or cramps
Antiviral
A substance that destroys or stunts the growth of viral micro-organisms
Anthocyanins
Pigment that inhibits bacteria and is anti-inflammatory
Aromatic
Having a strong (and often pleasant) oil based aroma
Carotenoids
Red and yellow pigments found in many plants that are antioxidant and nuetralise free radicals
Detoxifying
The process of removing toxins from the body
Iron
Needed for haemaglobin production to carry oxygen round the body
Astringent
Contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions.
Carminative
Helps to expell gas from the intestines.
Chlorophyll
A green pigment, the critical agent in plant photosynthesis.
Complementary / alternative
‘Accepted’ alternatives and non-accepted alternative treatments (by orthodox Western medicine)
Diaphoretic
Promoting perspiration
Diuretic
Increasing secretion and expulsion of urine
Dramamine
A pharmacuetical drug for travel sickness
Enzyme
Proteins that help to improve biological processes
Flavonoids
Natural healing compounds in fresh fruit and vegetables
Folate
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
Histamine
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
Lycopene
A red carotenoid pigment
Meridian system
The energy body interface as described in Chinese medicine
Mutagens
Substances that cause genetic mutation
Mycorrhizal
Fungus based life form
Organochlorines
Synthetic organic chlorines that ac*****ulate in body tissue
Palliative
Relieving pain or alleviating a problem without dealing with the cause
Parabens
A synthetic additive in cosmetic creams and sprays
Pathogens
Micro-organisms that can cause disease
Pectin
A soluble gelatinous sustance in ripe fruits used for setting jams and jellies
PH
A measurement scale of acidity and alkalinity
Pharmacopoeia
A stock of medicinal drugs
Phenols
Compounds linked to benzene
Potassium
Alkali-metal chemical element vital for brain and muscles
Quantum
Relating to a philosophy based in energy perception
Reductionism
Describing complex phenomena in terms of its fundamental constituents
Scientific research methodologies
Reductionist approaches applied to medical research
Sedative
Producing calm or inducing sleep
Selenium
A chemical element with semi-conducting qualities
Serotonin
A blood compound that constricts the vessels and acts as a nuerotransmitter
Stimulant
Increases physiological or nervous activity in the body
Styptic
Causing bleeding to stop
Thiamine
Vitamin B1, found in unrefined cereals, beans and liver
Tonic
An agent that strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism
Vaccine
Substance that is given to stimulate the body’s immunity system
Vasodilatory
Dilation of blood vessels causing falling blood pressure
Vermifuge
Causing the expulsion of intestinal worms

HEALING FOOD ebook

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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