Eating provides nourishment to the body, and depending on the foods you eat, a nutritious diet will yield healthy results. Some foods go above and beyond their nutrition duty, providing healing properties to the body as well. Whether you're fighting an illness or want to prevent one, eating foods that heal the body can provide surprising benefits. Although eating healing foods is no substitute for a trip to the doctor, they can help turn your health in the right direction.
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Yogurt is a dairy product derived from milk that contains active cultures. According to Dr. Steven G. Pratt, author of "SuperFoods Rx," eating yogurt every day is beneficial to the gastrointestinal tract, although not all yogurt is beneficial. Yogurt must contain probiotics in order to be effective, and although all yogurt has active cultures added to assist in the fermentation process, the cultures are sometimes removed before they are sold. Purchase yogurt that clearly states it contains "active cultures" on the label to gain probiotic benefits.
Salmon contains a variety of healing properties, including omega-3 fatty acids, which lowers cholesterol as well as lower the risk of heart disease. Salmon is also high in calcium, which increases bone density. A 2004 Indiana University study found that farm-raised salmon contains more damaging toxins than wild salmon. Salmon that is purchased in a grocery store will usually have a label distinguishing whether it is farm-raised or wild. Purchase wild salmon for the best heart-healthy benefits without added toxins.
According to a 2005 study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association, a diet with plenty of lean protein, consisting of 50 percent protein derived from plants, will help lower low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol. Substituting beans for high-fat proteins like beef and lamb will aid in weight loss and prevent heart disease. Additionally, beans may prevent colon cancer. According to Dr. Elaine Lanza, head of the Colon Cancer Prevention Group, "Adding a significant amount of dry beans to one’s existing diet has a strong protective effect against recurrence of precancerous polyps."
Aloe is a gel derived from the aloe plant, which is sold in grocery stores or available directly from the plant. According to Mark Stengler, ND, consuming aloe orally can soothe gastrointestinal problems, including ulcerative colitis. Additionally, Dr. Edzard Ernst states that consuming two tablespoons of aloe per day lowered blood sugar in his patients by as much as 44 percent. Aloe juice tastes bitter, so if you do not like the flavor, mix it with a small amount of pineapple or orange juice.