Natural Cures: 7 Foods That Support Good Health - dummies

Natural Cures: 7 Foods That Support Good Health

By Scott J. Banks, Joe Kraynak, J. J. Virgin

Part of Natural Cures For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Most diets recommend some form of calorie counting, the natural cures approach included, but foods are more than merely energy that your body either burns or stores as fat. Food also provides the building blocks for every cell in your body and conveys crucial information that your DNA uses to help your body adapt to the environment in which it lives.

The calories in a head of cabbage tell your body something far different than do the calories in a can of cola. The biggest first step toward healthy living is to put only healthy stuff in your body. Be sure your diet is built on these healthy foods (and eat organic whenever you have the choice):

  • Vegetables of all kinds and colors, mostly the green leafy variety

  • Low-glycemic fruits, including organic strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries

  • Nuts and seeds, which are great sources of protein, healthy fats, and fiber

    Avoid peanuts, which are highly allergenic for many people and often contain aflatoxins (potent carcinogens) and molds.

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are most highly concentrated in fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and tuna, for example), walnuts, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil

  • Beans (canned or dried), which are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and other nutrients

  • Fermented foods, including organic pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt (full-fat varieties without added fruit or sugar), miso, tempeh, and kimchi, to support beneficial microbes in your gut

  • Oils (excluding cottonseed and canola); cook only with coconut or palm oil (high-heat) or olive oil (medium-heat)

What about beverages? The best drink is quality spring water. Green and herbal teas are also recommended. If you drink coffee, try to limit your consumption to only two small (6 to 8 ounce) cups daily, and stop drinking it at least eight hours before bedtime.

Chew your food to liquid before swallowing to improve the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.