Whenever I think about staying healthy these are some scientifically and patient approved soothing foods for healing and wellness to incorporate in your daily or weekly eating habits.Soon I will be adding creative recipes and ways to incorporate many of these foods to make them digestible and delicious for IBD sufferers.
Nature has given us some wonderful foods in nature and they can be used in your diet to defy age, also to help fight against autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Note: If you have allergies to the foods listed here, you must of course avoid them, no matter how nutrient-packed they may be. Consuming food that you are sensitive to will only cause more inflammation — not reduce inflammation.
(ACS) in Dallas revealed a discovery about how chocolate benefits the heart. “Specific chocolate-loving microbes in the gut convert an otherwise indigestible portion of the candy into anti-inflammatory compounds,” which can help cardiovascular function.When broken down by the colon bacteria, the molecules are then absorbed by the colon and serve as highly anti-inflammatory, which can delay or even prevent the onset of certain cardiovascular diseases connected with inflammation. The amount of cocoa powder that appeared to produce beneficial effects was about two tablespoons a day. But don’t plan on getting that benefit from candy bars loaded with dairy and sugar. The researchers found those substances can actually hinder the cocoa’s benefits. So opt for pure cocoa powder or extremely dark chocolate that’s only lightly sweetened to get the desired results.
15 health benefits of avocados:
- Maintain a healthy heart
Avocado contains vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help regulate homocysteine levels. High level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocado also contains vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat, which help in maintaining a healthy heart.Heart Health
One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
- Lower cholesterol levels
Avocados are rich in a compound called beta-sitosterol which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. According to a study, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocados in their diet for 7 days had 17 percent decrease in total blood cholesterol levels, a 22 percent decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, and a 11 percent increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.
- Control blood pressure
Avocados are also a great source of potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure levels.
- Anti-Inflammatory properties
Phytonutrient compound found in avocados, such as polyphenols and flavonoids have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.
- Promote eye health
Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
- Regulate the blood sugar levels
The monounsaturated (good) fats in avocados can reverse insulin resistance which help to regulate blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain soluble fiber which keep a steady blood sugar levels.
- Prevent birth defects
Avocados are rich in folate, a B vitamin commonly known as folic acid. One cup of avocado provides about 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. The high amount of folate in avocado is essential in the prevention of birth defects, such as neural tube defect and spina bifida.
- Stroke Prevention
The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don’t.
- Protect against cancer
Many studies have shown that avocado can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. .Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
- Glutathione Source
Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.
- Anti-aging properties
Being rich in antioxidants, avocado is beneficial in preventing aging symptoms. The glutathione in avocado may boosts immune systems, slows aging process, and encourages a healthy nervous system.
- Cure bad breath
Avocados are one of the best natural mouth wash and bad breath remedies. It cleanses intestine which is the real cause of coated tongue and bad breath.
- Increase nutrient absorption
Avocado intake is linked with an increased nutrient absorption. A study suggests that, when participants ate salad included avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes beta carotene and lycopene) than those who did not include avocados.
- Skin Care
The avocado oil is added in many cosmetics because of its ability to nourish the skin and make your skin glow. It also aids in treating psoriasis, a skin disease that causes skin redness and irritation is Vitamin E Powerhouse. Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.
- Weight gain
The avocado has 200 calories for 100 grams. Typically, fruits has approximately 60-80 calories for 100 grams. Due to the high amounts of calories, avocado is a best diet for people who want to gain weight. Avocado is a healthy source of calories, unlike many other calorie-dense foods that may contain excess saturated fats and sugar.
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: Kelp such as kombu contains fucoidan, a type of complex carbohydrate that is anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-oxidative. A few studies on fucoidan in recent years have found promising results in using the brown algae extract to control liver and lung cancer and to promote collagen synthesis. The high fiber content of kelp also helps to induce fullness, slow fat absorption and promote weight loss. But whenever possible, get only organic kelps harvested from unpolluted sea.Sidekicks: Need another good reason to re-visit your favorite Japanese restaurants? Besides kombu, wakame and arame are also good sources of fucoidan. A marine vegetable native to the Tongan Islands called limu moui is also a fucoidan powerhouse.Arch-Enemy: Seaweed snack. Go easy on seaweed snacks as they can be heavily salted and coated with a thick layer of vegetable oil. Check the ingredients list before buying.
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: This Asian spice commonly found in pre-mixed curry powder contains a powerful, non-toxic compound called curcumin. Studies found that turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects are on a par with potent drugs such as hydrocortisone and Motrin, but yet having none of their side effects.Sidekicks: Ginger. This relative of turmeric is also highly prized around the world for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and are used to expel cold and relieve motion sickness and vomiting.Arch-Enemy: Sugar. It can hardly be called a spice, but the widespread use of sugar rivals that of any spice and has led to a host of illnesses linked to this additive condiment. A diet high in sugar is decidedly inflammation-promoting and should be controlled.
3. Wild-Caught Salmon
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: Salmon is an excellent source of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), two potent omega-3 fatty acids that douse inflammation. The benefits of omega-3 have been backed by numerous studies and they range from preventing heart disease and some cancers to reducing symptoms of autoimmune diseases and psychological disorders. Be sure to include some oily fish such as wild Alaskan salmon in your diet twice a week. Alternatively, you can also get omega-3 fatty acids from high quality fish oil supplements such as this one that I recommend and use myself.Sidekicks: Anchovies, mackerel and sardines are also rich sources of omega-3 fats. Flaxseeds and walnuts also supply omega-3 fats called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which can be converted into EPA and DHA inside the body. But the conversion has been found to be low, and hence they may not be reliable sources of EPA and DHA.Arch-Enemies: Polyunsaturated vegetable oils. You may be surprised to see polyunsaturated oil (like those from safflower, soybean, corn and sunflower) listed here, but polyunsaturated fats have been found to be unstable and easily damaged by oxygen. High consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, present in higher amount in polyunsaturated oil, have also been linked to inflammatory response in the body, leading to heart disease and cancer. While omega-6 is important to health, the key is to balance your omega-6 and omega-3 intake so that you don’t end up becoming a factory for pro-inflammatory compounds.
4. Mushrooms( for most IBD patients they must be cut up in tiny pieces and incorporated in meals, otherwise they don’t digest well)
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: Enjoyed by the Chinese and the Japanese since ancient times, shiitake mushroom is revered for its immune-boosting properties and its mild smoky taste.Sidekicks: Maitake, enoki, oyster mushrooms. There is no better way to fight cancer and enhance your health than to feast on a plate of stir-fried medicinal mushrooms. Yummy!Arch-Enemy: Deep-fried mushrooms and vegetables. Throwing fresh mushrooms and vegetables into a big pot of boiling oil will not only soak up lots of cancer-causing compounds from the overheated oil, their healing powers will also be greatly diminished by the high temperature.
5. Green Tea
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: The flavonoids in green tea are potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds that have been shown in numerous studies to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.Sidekicks: Don’t forget about water because it has been shown in many studies that water accelerates the body’s metabolism and speeds up the removal of harmful by products of metabolism.Arch-Enemy: Processed cow’s milk. Non-organic milk carries antibiotics and growth hormone residues that can irritate immune system when they are consumed long-term. Many people, especially those in the East, also cannot digest milk properly, causing distress to the digestive tract.
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: Coined by Christopher Columbus as the ‘fruit of the angels’, papaya contains papain, a protein-digesting enzyme. Together with other nutrients such as vitamin C and E, papain helps to reduce inflammation, and improves digestion and healing from burns.Sidekicks: Pineapple. A tropical fruit worthy of mention, pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that aids in the healing of indigestion, sports injury, trauma and other kinds of swelling. Extracts of bromelain have also proven to be as effective as some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and are used in a number of natural anti-inflammatory supplements for arthritis.Arch-Enemy: Preservative-laden fruits. Dried fruits can contain high levels of chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, a preservative which has been linked to increased respiratory disease. Eat fresh fruits whenever possible, but if you must opt for the dried form, make sure it is preservative-free.
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: An antioxidant powerhouse, blueberry is high in phytonutrients that confer anti-inflammatory protection against many diseases such as cancer and dementia.Sidekicks: Blackberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries. These berries are comparable alternatives to blueberries and are equally high in antioxidants. So start feasting on one type of berries each week.Arch-Enemy: Berries with pesticides. Insects and fungi love berries as much as we do. So berries are often sprayed with pesticides to ward off diseases and pests. To make matter worse, it is hard to wash away pesticides from berries due to their size. So it is safer to opt for organic or wild crafted version as much as possible.
8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: Virgin olive oil is Mediterranean’s secret to longevity. Its rich supply of polyphenols protects the heart and blood vessels from inflammation. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil are also turned into anti-inflammatory agents by the body that can lower occurrences of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.Sidekicks: Avocado oil. Also known as alligator pear, avocado produces oil that has a fat composition similar to olive oil, containing high heart-beneficial monounsaturated fats. But it has an even higher smoke point than olive oil, making it the ideal oil for cooking.Arch-Enemy: Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. This commercial oil contains trans-fatty acids that lowers the ‘good’ cholesterol and raises the ‘bad’ ones — a shortcut to contracting cardiovascular disease.
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable that contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer phytonutrients such as sulforaphane which helps the body to get rid of potentially carcinogenic compounds.Sidekicks: Cauliflower. A close relative to broccoli, this cruciferous vegetable also contain similar goodness as broccoli that aids the body’s detoxification.Arch-Enemies: Nightshades vegetables. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, bell peppers and others are classified as nightshade vegetables, which contain high alkaloid — a substance that may affect the joints, nerve-muscle function and digestion in some individuals. If you are suffering from any of these problems, you may want to try cutting down on the consumption of nightshades vegetables.
10. Sweet Potato
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent: Sweet potato is often overshadowed by other exotic vegetables and fruits. But it is also a good source of complex carbohydrate, beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin B6 and C as well as dietary fiber. Working in concert, these nutrients are powerful antioxidants that help to heal inflammation in the body.Sidekicks: Spinach. This dark green leafy vegetable is such a rich source of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative flavonoids and carotenoids that it is almost impossible to believe. But it is true. And here is only a partial list: Vitamin A, B2, B6, C, E, K, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and tryptophan. But be sure to buy organic ones whenever possible as it is also among the foods on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found.Arch-Enemies: Processed potatoes. Although potato is a good source of vitamin C and other minerals, potato chips and french fries aren’t. Commercially processed potatoes are usually prepared in overheated polyunsaturated or hydrogenated oils, and are loaded with high amounts of sugar and salt, increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes for anyone who munches on them.
Spices and Herbs
Seeds and Nuts
All of these can be ground up to use as a flour for baking or eaten as nut butters.
These are the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory power sources effective against a number of diseases like acute traumas, injuries, arthritis, cancer, indigestion, acid peptic disease, dementia and many other chronic inflammatory conditions. Examples are:
|Papaya (rich in vitamin C and E and papain, an enzyme that digests proteins)||Pineapple (contains an enzyme Bromelain with excellent healing properties)|
|Blueberries (rich in phyto nutrients)||Goji berries|
This anti inflammation foods group is another major ally to the anti-inflammatory warfare. Examples include:
|Cruciferous vegetables (rich in phyto nutrients i.e. sulphoraphanes which has anti cancer properties)||Spinach (source of carotenes, flavonoids, vitamins, potassium, magnesium, tryptophan, calcium, iron and folate)|
|Sweet potatoes (contains fiber, vitamin C and B6, beta carotenoids, manganese and carbohydrates)|
Various kinds of cold-water fish like: