Healing foods

When we are young, most of us are concerned with keeping our weight down -- so much so that we overlook just how unhealthy the foods we eat are for us. Diet sodas, weight-loss drinks, non-fat, low-calorie foods packed with artificial ingredients and preservatives were once my staples too. As a result my body was always on the edge. I wasn't necessarily sick a lot but I did ignore symptoms of fatigue, fuzzy thoughts, edginess, lack of endurance and poor sleep.

When we push our bodies to such extremes -- with or without knowing it -- we will eventually suffer the consequences. My wake up call came when I was infected with Lyme Disease. Of course, people who take care of themselves still get this nasty bacterial infection spread by the bite of a tick, but my body was not as in good as shape as I would have liked; therefore getting well meant I had my work cut out for me.

It is now one decade later and I've been fortunate enough to turn my life and my health around with the help of traditional medicine and several complimentary therapies including various power food diets. Having come from a family of organic gardeners and natural healers (the prodigal child returns) I came by my interest naturally.

After two or three decades of ''living better through chemistry'' our country is once again becoming more concerned with food quality. With such a dramatic rise in the incidence of chronic degenerative diseases it's become a necessity.

Since we are now heading into the growing season where you can buy food grown organically and locally, let's take a look at some power foods:

Asparagus is highly valued for its diuretic qualities as well as its high mineral and rutin content. Rutin is one of many bioflavanoids, which help reduce capillary fragility that can lead to poor tissue oxygenation as well as easy bruising.

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family. It contains phytochemicals (plant chemicals) known as indoles and isothiocynates, which are thought to help prevent cell damage and possibly head off cancer. In addition broccoli is a good source of vitamins A and C.

Cabbage is high in fiber and anti-cancer phytochemicals; it also provides vitamin C and potassium. It's good raw or cooked.

Carrots are a powerhouse for detoxifying and nourishing the body. The lowly carrot, with its bright orange color, adds vitality and health. Carrots are good for the eyes, the liver, rich in betacarotenes, they are good for whatever ails the body.

Cucumber has long been noted for improving the complexion, cleansing the liver, and aiding indigestion. This watery raw vegetable is also good for diabetes and headaches.

Hardy greens -- all members of the chicory family -- escarole, endive, lettuces help strengthen the spleen, liver, kidneys and other organs

Radishes are an excellent aid indigestion. Radishes are also helpful for liver and gall bladder problems. Spinach is high in chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of vitamin A and iron.

Other power foods worth honorable mention are soy foods, walnuts, mushrooms, kale, fennel, yams, horseradish, beans and bananas. Add a powerful healing punch by juicing these foods raw. Juicers are quite affordable, easy to use and clean.

Spring is a great time to clean up your diet and improve your health. Never underestimate the power of food to help in your healing process.

Till next time, Rebecca

If you would like to learn more about Rebecca Huber or read more articles, visit www.atlargefeaturesyndicate.com

Uploaded to The Zephyr website April 10, 2002

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