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Top 10 Foods and Spices that Might Save Your Life
Have you have ever read about the “health benefits” about one type of food, only to find that it gets contradicted the next week by some other group? Take margarine for example. For many years, we were told by “health experts” that butter contained too much fat and that margarine was better for you. Today we know that pure, natural butter is far, far better for our health than chemically created vegetable based margarines that are loaded with the worst kinds of fat – trans-fats.
Perhaps when it comes right down to it, it’s much simpler than we make it. Eat the foods that Mother Nature provided us, not the foods man has created, and go back to the basics. Eat more of the foods that have had a long history of keeping people healthy and fit over the ages. Most of the basic foods and spices that people have been eating for centuries have given us good health and prevented disease, the way nature intended.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 foods and spices that just might end up saving your life, if you were to exchange some of those empty calorie, chemically filled foods for some of these natural alternatives.
Beets are an old food that people have been eating for untold hundreds of years. Perhaps one of the most interesting things about beets is that they contain a substance that no other food has: boron. Boron will naturally lower your blood pressure and increase your libido at the same time. Beets are loaded with vitamins and minerals, so many, in fact, that adding just a few slices of fresh beets to your morning smoothie or afternoon salad will turn something good for you into something supersonic good for you! Beets are the original brain food and you can eat the root as well as the green tops, which isn’t something that you can say about every food. By the way, the green tops are just as healthy as the root. Read more about beets benefits.
Be careful when buying beets, however, as many beets are now GMO. Check with your local farmers’ market or buy them at an organic health food store to be sure you are eating real beets and not some GM franken-veggie.
Perhaps one of the most powerful spices on the planet. Sometimes referred to as the “Golden Goddess,” this ancient spice has been used since ancient times for healing. Turmeric has been found to be able to shrink breast cancer and colon cancer tumors. It reduces inflammation, the source of many illnesses, repairs our DNA, improves digestion, and relieves stress.
This one spice has more than 500 different ways of preventing disease. With so much medicinal healing power, perhaps we should stop calling it a spice and give it the respect it deserves. Turmeric is more than just a tasty food additive, it’s real medicine.
When we talk about salmon, we also mean fish in general, especially cold water fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies, tuna, and sardines. We know it can be difficult to obtain healthy, clean fish due to toxic levels of mercury and other contaminants in our waters, but they can be found. If you enjoy fish, go ahead and eat plenty of it. Cold water fish, such as salmon, contain healthy levels of omega-3, an essential fatty acid that has been shown in study after study to reduce fat levels in the blood, lower your risk of heart disease, reduce the symptoms of depression, help menopause symptoms, lower inflammation, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, just to name a few.
Always be certain that you are buying wild caught salmon or salmon that has not been factory farmed. You will pay more for it, yes, but it is so worth it in the long run.
Garlic is a super heart healthy herb that fights infection! Garlic has been used as both a food and a medicine for thousands of years, and for good reason. We couldn’t possibly list all the health benefits garlic has to offer, but here are a few: it can kill viruses, lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure, remove heavy metals from the body, help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and strengthen the immune system. Even Hippocrates mentioned that garlic was his medicine of choice for many illnesses.
Although it’s hard to handle raw, that is the best way to consume it. If you can deal with the taste, crush a clove or two, wait about 10 minutes, and then swallow it whole. If that’s too much for you to handle, chop it and add it raw to vegetable dishes, stir fry, and salads. No matter how you consume it, it will still do you good.
This common little fruit is such a powerful healing agent, yet it doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. There is a reason you should eat an apple a day– it really does keep the doctor away. Apples can help stop allergies, hair loss, certain types of cancer such as liver cancer, is a natural detoxing agent, stops hardening of the arteries, inflammation of the bowels, and has anti-viral compounds.
Numerous studies have shown that eating an apple before each meal can help fill you up so that you eat less and will drop weight without ever having to go on a diet. Choose any variety of apple that you like best, just be certain that you choose organic as apples are one of the most heavily sprayed crops around and they end up on the “dirty dozen” list of pesticide laced foods every single year.
Wow. Bet you didn’t expect to see this one on a list like this! Coffee has been shown to prevent heart disease, according to one study performed at the University of Scranton. Coffee has high levels of antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals, which cause damage to us on a cellular level and are often one of the root causes of chronic disease.
The powerful antioxidants in that cup of Joe can fight off life-threating diseases such as strokes, diabetes, and even cancer. You should keep in mind, however, that the caffeine in coffee does raise your blood pressure, so you should think twice about how much you drink if you have hypertension. Drink a few cups of decaf and make a morning toast to the healthy antioxidants in coffee!
7. Raw Organic Honey
Bees are truly one of nature’s smallest miracles, aren’t they? They pollinate our plants and trees so we have food, all while producing a wide range of healing materials filled with healthy (and tasty) compounds. From bee venom, beeswax, royal jelly, and pollen, bees give us so very much!
Raw, organic honey is terrific for healing wounds and burns, regulates our blood sugar levels, is loaded with B vitamins, calcium, and potassium, lowers cholesterol, and can help to alleviate seasonal allergies. Honey can also be kept indefinitely as long as the container is sealed so that it doesn’t become contaminated. Honey was recently found in an Egyptian pyramid and is thought to be about 5,000 years old. Guess what? It was still good!
Don’t buy your honey from your local supermarket, which is really nothing more than GM high fructose corn syrup, coloring, and a drop of pollen. Get real, organic raw honey from a bee farmer or your local farmers’ market.
8. Dark Chocolate
Well, here’s a nice treat! Numerous studies have shown that eating just an ounce of dark chocolate can greatly reduce your risk of developing deadly blood clots, as well as lower your risk of stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. Researchers in the US published one study in the British Medical Journal and stated that dark chocolate could actually lower the risk of heart disease by more than one third!
Dark chocolate contains healthy flavonoids, which improve circulation, which will decrease your chances of having a heart attack. One researcher has stated that those who plan on taking a long flight should eat some dark chocolate before you fly to encourage healthy blood flow and limit those dangerous blood clots that some people get after sitting on long flights in the same position. So, who is interested in booking a nice vacation and eating some dark chocolate during the flight?!
Cranberries are another food that has such a long list of health benefits that they are too lengthy to list here, but in short, these beautiful red jewels are cram packed with antioxidants, are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and have super immune boosting powers. Cranberries are also loaded with phytonutirents, which protect us from everything from free radicals to cancer.
Studies done at Cornell University showed that when cranberry extracts were applied to breast cancer cells, that those cells began to die within hours. So don’t wait for Thanksgiving to have some cranberries, try to add some to your diet every week for super protection for your body.
OK, so it’s not a food or spice, but sunlight is so important, we just had to add it to this list. The sun is so important to us that life on this planet cannot continue without it. As our bodies absorb sunlight, we are literally soaking up the energy from the sun and it is a virtual food for us. Think of your body as a walking solar panel! The sun gives us vitamin D, which regulates more than 2,000 genes. Sunlight can stop depression, increase energy levels, give pain relief, offer us protection from certain cancers, lower our risk of heart disease, and increase our longevity.
Too much of anything is not good for us, including the sun. However, it’s been shown in numerous studies that those who have chronic or deadly disease, such as heart disease or cancer, generally have the lowest levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream. Gradually work yourself up to 30 to 60 minutes of sun exposure (those with fair skin need less sun, those with darker skin need more) and if you live in an area that does not get much sun during the winter months, take a good quality vitamin D supplement.
When we eat a wide variety of food from Mother Nature, and combine it with different holistic ingredients, our bodies naturally work as they should, offering us a long lifetime filled with optimal health!