Healing Foods Eat your way to a healthier life

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Plums

 

HAS A LAXATIVE ACTION THAT HELPS PROTECT EYE HEALTH 

 

HELPS BALANCE BLOOD  SUGAR LEVELS   SUPPORTS HEALTHY LIVER FUNCTION

 

Plums, or gages, are members of the rose family and there are more than 2,000 varieties, including the greengage, Mirabelle, and damson. Plums have good antioxidant and detoxifying properties, are a metabolic stimulant and contain chromium, potassium, selenium, and other minerals, as well as vitamin C and beta-carotene. Dried plums, or prunes, are a traditional treatment for constipation.

 

What Is It Good For?

PROTECTS EYESIGHT Its antioxidants can help

prevent age-related macular degeneration

(a major cause of loss of vision).

 

CONSTIPATION   Rich in stool-bulking fibers,

especially pectin, fructose, and sulfur, which

help food to move effectively through the

colon. Together with substances, such as

sorbitol and isatin, these fibers are responsible

for the fruit’s well-known laxative effect.

METABOLIC STIMULANT   Contains useful

amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium,

and the antioxidant beta-carotene. These

nutrients help regulate heart rate, blood

pressure, blood sugar levels, and water

balance. Damsons, in particular, are noted

for their ability to stimulate appetite and

digestion if eaten before a meal.

 

DETOX   Can initiate detoxification and help

improve liver function. As well as improving

internal health, its detoxifying properties can

help promote healthy skin. 

How Do I Get The Best From It? 

DRIED FRUIT Prunes are a good way to reap

the benefits of plums all year round. They

contain both soluble and insoluble fiber,

which help promote bowel regularity and

balance blood sugar levels.

 

KEEP THE SKIN ON The skin is where most

of its beneficial antioxidants concentrate.

How Do I Use It?

BAKE THEM Slice some plums in half, remove

the pits, and bake in an oven preheated to

350°F (180°C) until they are wrinkled. Eat

them plain, or drizzle with a little yogurt

sweetened with honey before serving.

 

SWEETEN A RICE SALAD  Add chopped plums

and pistachio nuts to a cold brown-rice salad.

Dress with extra virgin olive oil and fruit

vinegar, such as blackberry or raspberry.

 

PURPLE PLUMS

Dark-skinned varieties with

red flesh is richer in

beneficial antioxidants

called anthocyanins than

other varieties

 

PRUNES

Dried plums can help

ease constipation.

 

VICTORIA PLUMS

The antioxidants

in these and other

plums aid skin health.

 

GREENGAGES

Like all plums, greengages

are rich in potassium,

beta-carotene, and fiber

 

Apples

HELPS BALANCE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS       

HELPS LOWER CHOLESTEROL

 

HELPS STRENGTHEN BONES                           

TACKLES DIARRHEA AND CONSTIPATION

 

Available in many varieties, juicy, crunchy apples have been celebrated since antiquity for their health benefits. They are high in pectin, a fiber, and slow-release sugars that help to improve heart health and regulate the body’s blood sugar levels. They also contain many important vitamins and minerals, and substances that promote, among other things, strong, healthy bones.

 

What Is It Good For?

BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION  Fructose and

antioxidant polyphenols in apples improve

the metabolic balance and slow the rate at

which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream.

 

CONSTIPATION AND DIARRHEA Pectin has an

amphoteric action. Paradoxically, it can

provide relief from both constipation and

diarrhea, depending on the body’s needs.

PROTECTING BONES The flavonoid phlorizin,

found in apple skin, may help prevent bone

loss associated with menopause, because it

fights the inflammation and free-radical

production that leads to bone loss.

 

REDUCES CHOLESTEROL Pectin and other

constituents, such as antioxidant polyphenols,

reduce levels of “unhealthy” (LDL) cholesterol,

and slow down its oxidation—a risk factor for

atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Polyphenols also prevent free radicals from

damaging heart muscles and blood vessels.

 

How Do I Get The Best From It?

 

THE WHOLE FRUIT Every part is edible.

Supermarkets coat apples with wax to give a

shine and keep them fresh over long periods,

so always wash these apples before eating.

 

GO ORGANIC AND LOCAL Buy organic, and

from sources as local as possible, for the

the freshest fruit without chemical contamination.

 

KEEP THE SKIN ON Peeling can remove more

then half an apple’s fiber, vitamin C, and iron.

 

How Do I Use It?

A SIMPLE FOOD FOR RECUPERATION Grate

1 apple and allow to brown slightly to release

the juices, making it easier to digest. Take

1–2 large spoonfuls every hour or as needed.

 

BAKED APPLES Core large apples, stuff with

nuts, dried fruit, and spices, such as cinnamon,

and bake at 350°F (180°C) until soft.

 

YELLOW APPLES

The pectin in yellow and all

other apples help lower the

body’s absorption of excess

dietary fats

 

GREEN APPLES

Like other apples,

green apples contain

malic acid, a useful

digestive aid.

 

RED APPLES

Antioxidants, which can protect

against neurological damage

associated with conditions, such as

Alzheimer’s disease is higher in red

apples than in some other varieties.

 

Kiwi Fruit

 

PROTECTS AGAINST COLDS AND FLU    HAS A MILD LAXATIVE ACTION

 

PROMOTES COLLAGEN SYNTHESIS        REDUCES TRIGLYCERIDES IN THE BLOOD

Native to China, and sometimes called Chinese gooseberry, this unusual-looking fruit is now grown all over the world in sunny climates. There are some nutritional differences between the two varieties, green and gold, but both are good for digestion and heart health. Their high vitamin C content also promotes skin health and boosts the immune system, fighting off any inflammation.

 

What Is It Good For?

GREAT SKIN Vitamin C contributes to the

formation of collagen and hastens the

repair from sun and wind damage.

 

HEALTHY DIGESTION Its mild laxative effect is

linked to its fiber content. Two kiwis provide

20 percent of the daily recommended amount

of fiber and can aid digestion and maintain

colon health. Also contains actinidin, an

enzyme that aids the digestion of protein.

 

HEART DISEASE Studies show that the high

levels of flavonoids and vitamins C and E in

kiwis can reduce triglycerides (a type of fat) in

the blood and the buildup of plaque in the

arteries (atherosclerosis). The tiny black seeds

contain vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids,

which act as natural blood thinners.

 

IMMUNITY Vitamin C boosts immunity, fights

off colds and flu, and combats inflammation.

 

How Do I Get The Best From It?

EAT RAW ON ITS OWN Eat with a spoon, as

you would have a hard-cooked egg. The actinidin

in green, but not gold, kiwis makes them

incompatible with some foods, such as dairy

products, which they cause to curdle.

 

GET COLORFUL Green kiwis to contain larger

amounts of fiber, while gold kiwis contain

higher levels of vitamin C and potassium.

 

How Do I Use It?

A SUMMARY SMOOTHIE Blend the flesh (seeds

removed) of 1

⁄4 watermelon, 2 peeled kiwi

fruit, and a peeled banana in a blender.

 

DETOX SOUP For a cold soup for 2, blend

until smooth the flesh of 1 Galia or honeydew

melon, halved, (reserve the shells to serve the

soup in), 1 kiwi fruit, and 1 ripe pear (seeded),

a handful of green grapes, grated fresh ginger

(optional), and 3

⁄4 cup aloe vera juice. Chill,

pour into the melon shells, and garnish with

chopped kiwi and fresh mint to serve.

 

GREEN KIWI

Contains significantly more

fiber than gold kiwi fruit.

 

GOLD KIWI

Gold kiwi contains

large amounts of

vitamin C, vital for

boosting immunity

 

Apricots

 

PROTECTS AGAINST FREE-RADICAL DAMAGE    PROMOTES CLEAR SKIN

PROMOTES BOWEL REGULARITY                         HELPS PROTECT EYE HEALTH

 

Native to eastern Asia, apricots were cultivated by the Chinese for thousands of years before they reached the rest of the world. Low in calories yet high in fiber and many key vitamins, apricots can be eaten fresh or dried, and the leaves and kernels can all be used. Medicinally, they can help improve digestion, promote clear skin, and protect vision.

What Is It Good For?

EYE AND SKIN HEALTH Its high beta-carotene

content is beneficial for aging eyes. Studies

also show a regular high intake of nutrients

such as vitamins C and E, zinc, and copper—

all found in apricots—can reduce the risk of

macular degeneration by 25 percent. They are

also good for maintaining healthy skin.

 

DIGESTIVE HEALTH Its high fiber content aids

bowel regularity, which can help prevent

constipation and even bowel cancer.

 

ANTICANCER EFFECTS Its antioxidants can

protect against free-radical damage linked

to cancer and other diseases. The kernels

also contain vitamin B17 (laetrile), shown in

laboratory studies to kill cancer cells.

 

How Do I Get The Best From It?

EAT FRESH AND DRIED Both are rich in fiber,

vitamins A, C, and E, and other key nutrients.

Buy dried apricots without added sulfites.

 

APRICOT KERNEL The seed inside the stone

is edible. As well as its anti-cancer properties,

it helps remove toxins and strengthens the

body’s defenses against disease.

KERNEL OIL Use the oil, which is rich in

monounsaturated fats and vitamins A, C,

and E, for cooking and salad dressings.

 

How Do I Use It?

TO COUNTERBALANCE FATTY MEATS Pair with

rich duck or goose meat, or include the dried

fruits in stuffings or chopped into lamb stews.

 

LIGHTLY POACHED Poach fresh apricots in a

light syrup of 1 part honey and 3 parts water.

Add 6 crushed cardamom pods and ½ vanilla

bean, and simmer until just tender.

 

PICKLED APRICOTS Japanese umeboshi, or

pickled plums are actually apricots. Eaten

with rice, they stimulate digestion and prevent

nausea, including nausea from hangovers

 

Peaches And Nectarines

FIGHTS FREE-RADICAL DAMAGE TO SKIN     HELPS EXPEL EXCESS WATER

HELPS PREVENT METABOLIC SYNDROME

 

Peaches originate from China, where they are considered uplifting, rejuvenating fruit. Like other stone fruits, peaches and nectarines (a close relative) contain a balance of phenolic compounds— anthocyanins, chlorogenic acids, quercetin derivatives, and catechins—that work synergistically to combat metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors that can lead to diabetes and heart disease).

 

What Is It Good For?

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT They’re phenolic

compounds are known to have antiobesity,

anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties,

and regular consumption of both can help

prevent metabolic syndrome.

 

SKIN HEALTH Both are good sources of

vitamin C, an essential component in the

body’s production of collagen. They are also

a good source of the antioxidant lutein, which

helps fight free-radical damage and supports

healthy skin (and eyes).

 

DIURETIC Rich in potassium, phosphorus, and

magnesium, peaches, and nectarines are an

the antidote to a high-sodium diet and can help

remove excess water from the body. They are

also mildly laxative.

 

ANTICANCER Laboratory tests show that

breast-cancer cells—even the most aggressive

type—died after exposure to peach extract.

How Do I Get The Best From It?

EAT-IN SEASON Eat ripe stone fruits as soon

as possible after buying; they can quickly

become overripe and lose their nutritional

benefits, and tend to bruise easily.

PRESERVE FOR LATER Both peaches and

Nectarines make delicious jams and preserves.

 

How Do I Use It?

ANTIOXIDANT ICED TEA Slice 2 ripe peaches

into a pan, add 2 cups water and bring to a

boil. Remove from the heat, add 8 green tea

bags, and steep for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze

the teabags as you remove them. Add a

further 1 cup of water and a little honey to

sweeten, if you like. When cool, serve over

ice with a mint garnish.

 

BREAKFAST BAGEL Top a toasted bagel with

soft goat or kefir cheese and nectarine slices.

A little freshly ground black pepper on top

will bring out the sweetness of the fruit.

 

NECTARINES

They have red, yellow,

or white flesh and are

a source of vitamins A

and C and beta-carotene.

 

PEACHES

These contain

beta-carotene, lycopene,

and lutein, which protects

the heart and eyes.

 

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