As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine.” That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. There are hundreds of nutritious foods and some have more healing properties than others. For optimal health, try incorporating these super-healing foods into your diet so that you can function at your best.
1. Coconut Oil
Organic coconut oil is one of my favorite oils. It is a beneficial, unprocessed saturated fat. It supports your heart, brain, skin, thyroid, and immune system. Coconut oil is unique because it is rich in lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. These acids are antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. They boost the immune system and help fight infections. Coconut oil is also rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), which provide immediate energy and stimulate the metabolism, making it easier to lose weight! Coconut oil is a healthy, heat-stable cooking oil. It can be used as a butter substitute, added to smoothies, and even applied as a healing lotion for dry skin, eczema, and diaper rashes.
Kale’s nutrient density and mineral richness make it unparalleled among leafy greens. Kale contains all of the essential amino acids needed to form proteins, as well as significant amounts of vitamins A, K, and C. It also has a greater proportion of Omega-3 fatty acids compared Omega-6—a rarity in nature! This ratio helps to balance out the Western diet, which typically contains a gross excess of Omega-6. Like broccoli and cabbage, kale has anticancer compounds like sulforaphane and indoles that protect against breast and colon cancer. Kale also fights free radicals, helps the body to detoxify, and keeps the eyes healthy. You can sauté it, add it to any kind of soup, or make delicious chips out of it for a healthy snack. Kale is also excellent in smoothies or juiced with other vegetables.
3. Homemade Bone Broth
Bone broth has been used as a nutritious and healing staple by our ancestors. It is a good source of absorbable minerals—including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sulfur. Bone broth from hormone-free grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, or wild fish provides valuable nutrients to strengthen bones and joints, boost the immune system, and increase vitality. The collagen from the broth helps heal the gut and maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails. Bone broth can easily be incorporated into soups, stews, sauces or even sipped on its own.
4. Fermented Foods and Drinks
These healing foods are full of probiotics (friendly bacteria) that are needed for our health and longevity. Probiotics protect us against diseases. Fermented foods and drinks can help reduce the risk of cancer, boost our immune system, improve bowel health, help detoxification, improve digestion, and provide us with more energy! They also prevent growth of unfriendly bacteria and yeast. Raw yogurt, kimchee, sauerkraut, and pickles are all beneficial fermented foods, as are kombucha tea and kefir.
Like fruits and vegetables, spices contain beneficial phytonutrients that can have powerful effects on health. My three favorite are cinnamon, garlic, and turmeric. Cinnamon is a spicy-sweet favorite that has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels, and it’s effective in lowering cholesterol. Garlic and turmeric can boost the immune system and prevent cancer. Also, turmeric is powerfully rich in antioxidants, and its natural anti-inflammatory properties are effective for treating arthritis, tendonitis, and autoimmune conditions. The body can absorb turmeric most effectively when it is combined with black pepper. Cinnamon and garlic can be added to different foods for flavor.
Try looking for some simple ways to add these super-foods to your diet this week!