10 Self Care Superfoods for Health & Healing

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Nature is complex so that we don't have to be.

And when it comes to your health, it means that you don't have to understand every nutritional component that exists in each food from nature's table - so long as you eat the dang things, you'll get the benefit!

Never forget what the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, used to teach:

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.

By filling your diet with an abundance of life-giving nourishment from Mother Nature, you’ll not only go a long way to “heal thyself” but also set yourself up for optimal health and well-being through embracing this vital Principle of Health, which is whole foods.

What Are Superfoods?

Let me start by saying, I've never been thrilled about the term 'Superfood' for two key reasons.

Firstly, it's been grossly mis-used over recent years to justify the sale and price-tag of expensive supplement products.

And secondly, because I believe that EVERY plant whole food is, in fact, a 'super food' since all of them have been put there by Mother Nature's design to serve a particular purpose.

Learn more in What Are Whole Foods? 7 Benefits Of A Whole Food Diet

Having said that, for the purposes of this article, I'm going to nominate 10 stand out 'super' plant whole foods that you should definitely embrace as part of your Self Care lifestyle.

These foods are available year round and they don't carry expensive price tags.  Buy them locally from your farmer's markets and organic if you can...

1). Lemons

Of all the citrus fruits, lemon is the most potent detoxifier.

Lemons are the only food on earth that contain "an-ions" (every other whole food contains "cat-ions").  Your liver produces "an-ions" known as bile.  That's why lemons have significance when it comes to restoring your liver to its highest functional capacity.

Learn more in the blog: Liver Disease: How to Cleanse, Heal & Regenerate the Liver Naturally

The organic acids in all citrus fruits stimulate digestive juices and relieve constipation.

This particular yellow citrus fruit though has many healing uses and is ranked very high in its medicinal value!

It's a natural protector that may be safely applied directly to cuts, bruises and infections. It also purifies the blood and body and serves as a mild diuretic. Additionally, it can help with asthma, headaches, pneumonia and arthritis.

It kills intestinal parasites such as roundworms and dissolves gallstones. Limonene, the volatile oil responsible for the distinctive lemon aroma, even helps treat some forms of cancer particularly breast cancer.

Lemon juice can be used to help eliminate kidney stones when taken in the morning and is also beneficial for removing poisons in the form of old drug residues from the body. Learn more in the blog: Detox Naturally From Medication, Vaccines, Chemotherapy & Radiation

Health Benefits:

  • Heals & restore the liver
  • Promotes hydration
  • Aids digestion
  • Helps prevent kidney stones
  • Supports heart health
  • Reduces risk of cancer

Suggested Uses:

  • Add to water with a pinch of nature-made salt and drink first thing in the morning. You can also use Lemon Pure Essential Oil if you don’t have access to fresh lemons
  • Squeeze the juice over salads.

2). Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the favourite vegetables of health-conscious people, combining a hearty structure, fresh appearance and ease of preparation with its high nutritional content.

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, part of the cabbage family and closely connected to cauliflower, with cultivation beginning in Italy. Its Italian name, “broccolo” means “cabbage sprout.” In Latin, “brachium” means “branch.”

The dendritic branching structure of Broccoli (like other cruciferous vegetables), resembles that of the brain.  For this reason, they target cognitive function and help to clear out brain plaque that leads to conditions like memory loss and Dementia.

Named after the Italian province of Calabria where it first grew, the most popular type of broccoli sold in the United States is known as Calabrese, or Italian green.

Broccoli has other vegetables related to it, such as broccolini (a mix between broccoli and kale), and broccoflower (a cross between broccoli and cauliflower).

Health Benefits:

  • Protects against birth defects
  • Cardioprotective
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Balances out blood pressure
  • Protects against cancer (especially brain, colon, prostate, breast & lung)
  • Prevents cataracts
  • Improves heart health
  • Keeps vision sharp
  • Lowers lung cancer risk
  • Protects against Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Prevents ulcers
  • Strengthens bones

Suggested Uses:

  • Lightly steam or stir fry & enjoy as an addition to any meal. Add olive oil and sea salt.

3). Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been proven to help prevent certain cancers, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, sticky blood platelets and viral diseases, such as influenza and polio.

Brilliant ancient healers observed that Mushrooms share the signature pattern of the human Thyroid and therefore they believed that eating mushrooms would deliver the nutritional qualities needed for the thyroid to remain healthy.  

And guess what? Today's nutritional science proves that it's true. Learn more in the blog: Understanding Thyroid Health

There are thousands of regularly harvested, edible fungi in the world, in addition, to literally hundreds of thousands of other edible species which are not harvested.

Some species are highly prized because they cannot be cultivated and are often harvested from natural settings.

Health Benefits:

  • High in plant-based protein
  • Support the immune system
  • Protect heart health

Suggested Uses:

  • Chop up raw & add to salads
  • Sauté with olive oil as a delicious accompaniment to any meal

4). Nuts

Nuts target the health of the brain and the proteins and good oils contained in nuts, promote overall health and wellbeing.

Generally speaking, nuts are high in vitamin E. We know that this vitamin helps to prevent chest pain and damage to arteries.

Nuts do a good job of regulating insulin and blood sugar helping to prevent steep rises making them a good food source for diabetics.

 Almonds and walnuts contain high levels of oleic acid and mono-unsaturated fat, like that in olive oil. This helps to reduce cholesterol and is known to protect arteries.

Walnuts shaped like the human brain contain the cancer nutrient elegiac acid. They also contain a high amount of omega-3 type oil and are excellent brain food!

Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, which has been connected with lower rates of prostate cancer and heart disease. They are also a very good source of zinc, which is essential to digestion and metabolism

Peanuts also are estrogenic. Those who develop Parkinson’s disease have been found to have eaten a diet lacking in nuts. Individuals who have extreme shortages of the nutrients contained in nuts are susceptible to acute allergic reactions.

Health Benefits:

  • Protect cognitive function
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Balance blood sugar levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve heart health
  • Lower risk of stroke

Suggested Uses:

  • Chop up and sprinkle over salads
  • Add to chopped fruit & enjoy as a breakfast or daily snack.

Learn more in the blog: Go Nuts For Nuts!

5). Avocados

The Avocado is a delicious, healthy whole food that both women and men should eat whenever they can because it has so many nutritional and healing qualities.

It is packed full of “good” healthy fats essential to the optimal functioning of many of your body’s systems.

The Aztecs taught that the womb and cervix was the 'sign of nature' of the avocado and that a swollen seed was like a woman who is pregnant. Ironically, it takes the avocado 9 months, 40 weeks, to go from blossom to ripened fruit.

Studies show that avocados actually protect women from cervical and breast cancers and complications of delivery in pregnancy. Pronounced like, ohwa-ka-to, hence avocado is what the Spaniards heard, their word for, “advisor.”

Health Benefits:

  • Flushes cholesterol
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Prevents stroke
  • Protects the heart
  • Balances blood sugar levels
  • Protects against cancer
  • Smoothes & nourishes the skin

Learn more in the blog: The Health Wonders of the Avocado

Suggested Uses:

6). Garlic & Onions

Coming from the same family of root vegetables, garlic, onions and aged garlic are nature's protector-inhibitors!

Garlic helps by lowering fibrinogen levels, reducing the risk of heart attack and the danger of thrombosis caused by abnormal blood clotting.

It’s a pure probiotic or “life giving,” which beats, hands down, any known pharmaceutical antibiotic or life destroyer.

Garlic promotes circulation and sweating, removes abdominal obstructions and stagnant food and inhibits the common cold virus as well as viruses, amoebae and other microorganisms associated with degenerative diseases like cancer.

It eliminates worms, unfavourable bacteria and yeasts including Candida albicans. It promotes the growth of healthy intestinal flora, used for dysentery, pneumonia, warts, abscesses and hepatitis. 

Garlic is also very effective to help eliminates toxin from the body, including poisonous metals such as lead and cadmium.

Garlic must be taken regularly for several weeks to initiate substantial improvement in chronic conditions. 

Learn more in the blog: Immune System: Top Immunity-Boosting Foods

Health Benefits:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-fungal
  • Promotes heart health
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Reduces blood pressure

Suggested Uses:

  • Chop up to add to salads & stir fries
  • Soak in honey to create a powerful cough & flu remedy
  • Apply topically to wounds to promote healing & prevent infections

Onions have a tendency to make people cry, but they certainly don’t give you any reason to be sad. On the contrary, onions offer a variety of health benefits along with those tears.

A member of the allium family, like garlic, leeks and chives, the onion has been appreciated for thousands of years.

The onion became more than just food once it arrived in Egypt. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the onion; they believed that its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolised eternity. The onion was the only vegetable made of gold out of all their images created from valuable metals by Egyptian artists.

Thanks to the powerful flavonoid quercetin and a host of sulphur compounds, onions can make anyone a winner. Onions have some potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B and hundreds of unnamed nutrients. They remove germs, help your heart and don’t give cancer a chance. In addition, they add great flavour and a pleasant aroma to almost any dish.

Onions also contain re-missive inflammatory agents that clear the airways. 

Learn more in the blog: Foods That Target Respiratory Health

Health Benefits:

  • Support respiratory system
  • Improve heart health
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Promote healthy digestion
  • Maintain bone health
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Support the immune system

Suggested Uses:

  • Chop up to add to salads & stir fries

7). Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy green vegetables as a result of their chlorophyll content are packed full of nutritional goodness thanks to their high levels of fibre, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium.

Health Benefits:

  • Promote heart health
  • Prevent cancer
  • Promote healthy glowing skin
  • Strengthens bones & teeth

Suggested Uses:

Kale

Kale is very beneficial to the stomach and can alleviate lung congestion. Due to the fact that it is an ancient member of the cabbage family, it is abundant in sulfur. Therefore, its juice can be used to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers. It's an exceptional source of calcium, chlorophyll, iron and vitamin A as well as a rich source of various cancer activity chemicals. Also a member of the cruciferous family, it's endowed with cancer indoles that help regulate estrogen and removes colon cancer. It has more beta-carotene than spinach and twice as much lutein, which is the most of any vegetable tested. 

Spinach

Spinach builds blood and stops bleeding. It is a specific remedy for nosebleeds, diuretic, laxative, moistens dry body, quenches thirst, and is helpful in the treatment of diabetic dryness and thirst. The cooling nature of spinach cleanses the blood of toxins that can cause skin disease. It has four times more beta-carotene and three times more lutein than broccoli and is rich in fibre as well. The lutein may help in preventing cancer of the lungs and prostate.

8). Beans

Besides having powerful protein punch, beans are also packed with fibre to keep you regular and keep your cholesterol and blood sugar down. They even contain a lot of cancer-fighting phytochemical nutrients and are also a great source of iron!

Beans are also good for your heart. By replacing meat with beans you have put a good dent in your daily intake of cholesterol. And, on top of that, they fill you up! The heart smart work of beans does not stop there. The fibre in legumes acts like a bouncer at a club by keeping big, bad thug-like cholesterol particles from entering your arteries or heart.

A well-known member of the legume family, beans are one of the best sources of protein, and for that reason, are sometimes called “the poor man’s meat.” 

Learn more in the blog: The Truth About Protein & Muscular System Foods

Health Benefits:

  • High in plant-based protein
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Prevents cancer
  • Prevents constipation
  • Stabilises blood sugar
  • Helps haemorrhoids

Suggested Uses:

  • Mix a selection together with a touch of olive oil, lemon juice & herbs to create a bean salad

9). Beets

The Vegetable Jewel (Beetroot or Beta vulgaris cicla) Behold the beautiful beet, the jewel of the vegetable kingdom. One glimpse at her amethyst physique, and we know that this bauble was surely fashioned to tempt! Who could ever resist such a pregnant package, and who would want to once her curative secrets are revealed?

Betaine is the carotenoid responsible for the beet’s ruby red heart. But the outside is just the begging of the story as underneath this pigment lies a vast network of phytochemical activity.

Believe it or not, people from ancient Greece to Renaissance Italy tossed the beautiful beetroot away, eating only the beet’s green leaves. According to historical records, it wasn’t until the end of the 1700s that people started munching on the root and reaping the benefits.

Beets are loaded with potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene and folate, one of the B-vitamins. These nutrients can help keep your heart healthy and your bones strong and even prevent cancer. Learn more in the blog: Eat Beets for Heart & Blood Health

Beet leaves, especially when small, crisp and fresh, are delicious and nutritious. Instead of tossing them in the garbage, trim off the tough part of the stem that hangs below the leaf.

Heat up some olive oil and your favourite seasonings in a frying pan, sautéing the leaves until they are soft. Dig in and enjoy!

Fresh beet juice has a long history as a valuable elixir for anaemia and disorders of the bladder and kidney.

Health Benefits:

  • Conquers Kidney Stones
  • Controls Blood Pressure
  • Protects your Heart
  • Strengthens Bones
  • Works for Cancer

Suggested Uses:

10). Berries

These tasty little fruits are among the healthiest foods on Earth! Loaded with health-promoting antioxidants and a multitude of other vitamins and minerals, they’re a powerhouse of healing and life-giving goodness!

The word vaccine literally means berries. Vaccine, vaccinate, vaccinator and vaccination come of the Latin word vaccini(um) which means, “to inoculate for the prevention of disease with the use of blueberries, whortleberries, cranberries, strawberries and the like.” On another note, the word berry comes of the basi meaning “fundamental.”

Vaccines were literally taken from the worlds first Cornicopiate Farmacy, literally meaning “Garden Farmaceuticals,” a whole food pharmacy, which studied food for use as medicinal produce.

Learn more in the blog: Why Berries Are Nature’s True Vaccines

Berries contain:

  • A synergy of multiple nutrients & phytonutrients
  • Carotenoids
  • Fibre
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Polyphenols (anthocyanins, ellaicacid, quercetin, catechins)
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Salicylic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

Health Benefits:

  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve blood flow
  • Balance blood sugar & insulin levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Protect & strengthen the skin against environmental threats & signs of aging

Suggested Uses:

  • Mix together with other fruit to make a fruit salad
  • Add to smoothies & sorbets

In addition to eating more of these 10 Self Care Superfoods, you may also want to check out the Top 7 Reasons to Embrace a Plant-Based Diet & How to Do It

You can find more wisdom like this about the specific qualities, health benefits and "medi-signs" of other fruits, vegetables, plants and essential oils in my Farmacist Desk Reference (FDR) Encyclopaedia of Whole Food Medicine.

‘Cowboy’ Don

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