Harness the power of good food to improve your health

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

JOANNE RICHARD, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:48 PM ET

Harness the power of food – and make it your medicine.

“Whether you are seeking to maintain good health or to target a particular ailment, food has incredible healing and protective properties,” says naturopath and author Susan Curtis.

Stirring up the perfect ingredients doesn’t just deliver flavourful foods, “many foods work synergistically to boost health and well-being.”

According to Curtis, author of Healing Foods: Eat your way to a Healthier Life, foods contain nutrients that have specific physiological actions and “with an understanding of what those are, we can use certain foods to create a better balance of health and even treat certain conditions.”

Processed foods can promote disease. She encourages eating a varied diet based on seasonal, fresh foods that are local, natural and organically grown. “If we eat a healthy, balanced diet we are much more likely to feel healthy and full of vitality.”

She adds that in our modern western culture we have mostly lost the connection between what we eat and how we feel. “By adjusting our diet to our life stage and season we can enjoy much better health.”

Certain foods and drinks can wreak havoc with your well-being so keep your parts primed with a diet that promotes good health. Bon appetit, thanks to Healing Foods:

Good digestion is essential to good health. For gut-friendly fare include chicken, carrots, onions, sweet potato, whole grains, lime juice, berries and seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin and flax. Flavour dishes up with cumin, turmeric and cilantro.

Boost bladder health and help prevent conditions such as incontinence by staying sensibly hydrated and consume fibre, including whole-grain bread and cereal, brown rice, beans, oatmeal, cabbage, peas and carrots. Drink horsetail tea three times a day to strengthen the sphincter muscle. Stay away from refined sugar, alcoholic beverages, caffeine, chocolate, hot spices, tomato products, and artificial sweeteners.

• For good heart health, eat to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. Go for oatmeal, apples, plain yogurt, sardines, olive oil, and veggies galore including lima and butter beans, red and yellow peppers, shitake mushrooms and pumpkin. Flavour dishes with garlic, parsley, vine leaves, pine nuts and lemon juice.

Energize dull skin: Nourish your skin and boost its appearance by eating eggs, plain yogurt, salmon, hazelnuts, and fresh veggies such as asparagus, snow peas and spinach. Add olive oil, chives, turmeric and marjoram to boost radiance.

Boost your energy with essential nutrients including quail eggs, rye bread, shrimp, carrots, red bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, shitake mushrooms, asparagus, gogi berries, chives, onion and parsley.

Reduce joint inflammation associated with arthritis by eating plain yogurt, apples, buckwheat, salmon, onions, dried apricots and cranberries, cucumber and lentils. Add flavour with turmeric, ginger, cilantro, dill and lemon.


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