Thursday, October 4, 2012

10 Healing Foods For The Daily Diet

In my early twenties, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism after repeated doctor visits complaining of muscle aches and fatigue. In my late twenties, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis Stage 4 after years of unexplained pain, IBS, swelling, headaches and fatigue. After my first surgery Mr. Curry told me that my gynocologist said I probably wouldn't be able to have any more babies, and if I was going to, it better be in the next six months after surgery.  This was the final insult. I knew there had to be something I could to to take some control over my own health. Even if I couldn't eradicate disease, I certainly could support my body in creating an environment most likely to be able to survive and thrive, a place where if I wasn't solving the problem, at least I wasn't making it worse.

So my research on nutrition and environment began, and continues today. Along this path I changed my diet from large amounts of white bread, sugar, dairy and processed foods to a diet based on whole foods. As the years went by I had more surgeries and a baby ( ha! ) along with many alternative healing measures like acupuncture, yoga, cleanses, supplements and herbal mixes, cleaned my environment of as many toxins as I could ( natural and paraben free cleaners, shampoos, lotions, etc. ) but diet remains the most important tool for my health.

One thing that developed over the years was the inclusion of certain healing foods into my daily ( or almost daily ) diet. I am so grateful that I was schooled by the Universe, because if not I might still be feeding my kids all the crap I used to eat. Sometimes life gets overwhelming or we get broke-r than usual and our diet suffers, but at least I know what the baseline is and should be, and we always make our way back there.

Ten Food To Eat Daily

1 Dark Chocolate- Let's start with the easy sweet stuff! Every time another study comes out with a reason why dark chocolate is good for you I smile bigger. Dark chocolate has been shown to be a part of the daily diet of cultures that have extreme longevity; the important points to retain are that the chocolate has to be at least 70% dark, and needs to be processed for maximum integrity of the cocoa, so as not to filter out the bitters with health benefits- benefits that include heart, brain and general cellular health; eat a moderate amount daily.

2 Green Tea- There have been so many studies about the benefits of green tea that no one argues over if it is great for you, as with some other foods or substances, but only how far its beneficial reach goes in the body. I had pre cervical cancer at 20 and after reading studies that indicated green tea could help prevent cervical cancer I began drinking it, worked my way past hating it to drinking four or five cups a day. Nowadays I will go through months where I forgot to buy and drink it, and then recall and bring it back into my diet. Green tea has strong anti-anxiety properties too, which helps with my generalized anxiety. I drink unsweetned iced green tea too. Entire books have been written on the value of green tea, and it can also be taken as a supplement. As a side interesting anecdote, I remember a woman whose baby I used to watch said that her dad had leukemia that hadn't responded well to treatment, and after drinking up to 20 (!) cups of green tea a day, he had stabilized his blood and continued a year later drinking that amount.

3 Black Beans- ' almost magical protein-fiber mix in legumes ' combined with black beans specific ability to promote digestive track health makes this a no brainer. Magnesium and iron rich, bb rock! Ever loves them:P) I make the best 

Black Bean Burritos 

Black beans
Tortilla warmed on pan in olive oil until skin begins to bubble
Big chunks avocado
Shredded purple cabbage
Thin strips yellow pepper
Taco Sauce and Cheese if you like

4 Almonds- We always have a big bag of almonds, sometimes salted, sometimes not. They go in the kids school lunches and I eat a handful every day. Almonds have been shown to reduce cholesterol, provide better lookin hair and skin and decrease overall risk of serious disease like cancer and heart disease.

5 Organic Kale- Kale seems trendy right now ( here is a cool graphic from Pinterest ), which is awesome because it is super packed with goodness. We eat it a few times a week with dinner. I usually throw it on the stove top with olive oil and lately have been adding cut up purple cabbage. It's freaking delicious - one of my favorite meals is stovetop kale and chicken. I couldn't get enough of that meal after Ever was born- Mr. Curry  made it all the time. Something about the combination of density of nutrient and protein was just what I craved while recovering from C-section and beginning to nurse. Organic is important because kale is one of those growers that soaks in pesticides. 

6 Coffee- Moderation! Key word for me, because I have anxiety and caffeine can seriously exacerbate that. ( say that five times fast! ) Most recently, research has again pointed strongly to coffee's ability to help prevent degenerative diseases of the brain. I just like the way it tastes :)

7 Fish or fish oil supplement- Fish oils are a marvel for the human body. They are CRUCIAL for brain health and have been shown to increase IQ when mothers take them or eat fish daily while pregnant, they prevent brain disease and can help treat brain conditions like bipolar, ADHD and anxiety/depression. They have also been shown to help reduce the risk of mental illness and endometriosis when you give them to children. My entire family takes supplements daily, except for Ever, who is still nursing heavily. When my kids are little I just try out various methods until I find what they will accept, and the older kids and Mr. Curry and I take Life Extension fish oil capsules. A must, in my book. We do also eat fish, but with the issue of mercury and reality ( we aren't going to eat fish every day ) we rely on the capsules.

8 Organic blueberries/strawberries- everyone knows fruit is good for you, and most everyone these days knows that blueberries are especially good for you- a superfood. Organic is important because of the level of pesticides absorbed by these specific fruits. My mom often comes by and drops off a bag of groceries she picks up for us during her shopping, and organic blueberries and strawberries make up part of the goodies. Lola eats them by the crateful it seems!

9 Brown rice- Oh brown rice. The breaking story of arsenic dense brown rice broke my heart. It is really depressing and anger producing how you can try as hard as possible to feed your family wonderful nutritious foods and unknowingly still be giving them poison. Right now I'm going to begin soaking our brown rice for a half hour before making it, which Indians do regularly and leeches out arsenic and other ills, and buying imported rice from places like India that doesn't have arsenic ridden soil and chicken feed issues. I like to make

Brown Rice Bowl

brown rice
frozen mixed veggies ( of your choice, I prefer green peas and corn  )
black beans
a heaping of thick salsa

10 Broccoli- We eat broccoli a few times a week, especially over the winter. A major superfood, broccoli's cancer fighting properties are awesome. I simply make gluten free pasta with olive oil and sauce and thrown a bunch of broccoli in with parmesan on top!

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