Turmeric

Indian Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe turmeric for eyesight, rheumatism, arthritis and liver problems. It is a spice which should be in daily use as it provides substantial amounts of highly protective and immune-boosting antioxidants. Research has shown that one of its natural constituents, curcumin, is very powerful in cancer prevention and treatment.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. It is grown for its root, and is used extensively in curry recipes. Make sure you have this wonderful medicine in your spice rack!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes were introduced to Europe by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. They are rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids such as betacarotene and lycopene. They contain vitamins C and E, and so protect the heart, the circulatory system and the body against cancer. They are low in sodium and high in potassium, thus are helpful with conditions such as high blood pressure and fluid retention.

Canned tomatoes lose very little of their nutritional value, so always keep some in the larder. The lycopene contained in tomatoes protects men against prostate cancer. Tinned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato ketchup and sun-dried tomatoes are all important nutritionally. They protect men and women against heart disease. I love cherry tomatoes! So much nicer than sweets!

Sweet potatoes

I got into sweet potatoes big-time when we lived in the States. They are very popular in the Caribbean, and date back a long way. Indeed, Columbus brought them to Europe, and you will find them in every supermarket in England now.

Sweet potatoes contain starch, which is energy. They provide some protein, vitamin C, vitamin E and a huge amount of carotenoids, including betacarotene. They are considered to be strong in combating cancer.

Sweet potatoes are delicious in homemade juice. Try combining apple, celery, carrot and sweet potato.

Mashing this delicious vegetable with others, such as ordinary potatoes, parsnips or swede, is a great way to introduce them to children. Get them organically grown if you can.

Spirulina

Spirulina is a naturally digestible food that aids in protecting the immune system, reducing cholesterol, and in the absorption of minerals.It supplies nutrients which cleanse and heal, but also it curbs the appetite. Thus it is ideal for those who are fasting. Someone suffering with hypoglycemia may find spirulina helpful as its high protein content helps stabilise blood sugar levels.

Spirulina is grown in hot climates and produces twenty times as much protein as soybeans grown on an equal size piece of land. It is rich in vitamin B12, which is really important for vegetarians. Some research demonstrates that it cures liver cancer.

Have a look for spirulina in your health local health stores!

Super-food spinach

Spinach is such a great vegetable. You can put the tender leaves raw in a salad, or quickly boil in very little water to accompany almost any cooked dish.

Cancer research has demonstrated that spinach contains even more protective carotenoids than other dark green or brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. Spinach is good for the eyes and is rich in folic acid and iron. It’s a definite dietary requirement for pregnant women

A pile of quickly steamed spinach with a poached egg on top is a delicious snack. Do source your spinach organically.

Raspberries

Raspberries are a very rich source of vitamin C which is essential for healthy skin, bones and teeth. This vitamin supports the immune system and is also an antioxidant. Vitamin C may prevent certain cancers.

Raspberries contain vitamin E, folate and fibre, too. Raspberry juice cleanses and detoxifies the digestive system, and helps with fevers and cystitis. Raspberry vinegar is used as a gargle for sore throats, while raspberry leaf tea is a tonic for the female reproductive system. Many women drink raspberry leaf tea at the onset of labour. It is believed to assist contractions, and make delivery easier.

Do buy organic!

 

Rice

Rice is the staple food for half the world’s population. It provides energy and protein. It originated in southern Asia and has been cultivated in India and China for 6,500 years.

Rice is used in natural medicine to cure digestive problems. The BRAT diet is enormously helpful for curing bouts of diarrhoea. The B is for bananas, the R is for white rice, the A for apples, and the T for white toast. I had occasion to try this last summer, and it really works!

New research suggests that eating rice bran may reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Certainly it helps to alleviate diverticulitis. I have always believed that brown rice is better for you than white, but too much brown rice can inhibit the absorption of calcium and iron.

Fresh radishes

In the time of the pharaohs, radishes were seen as a valuable food source. workers building the pyramids were paid in garlic, onions and radishes!

Radishes are a rich source of potassium, calcium, sulphur, vitamin C, folic acid and selenium. They help to prevent cancer, and are wonderful for assisting the gall-bladder and the liver. They are very popular in France as a pre-dinner snack, as they encourage the gall-bladder to pump more bile into the stomach. This aids the digestion of fats.

Those with thyroid problems should avoid eating radishes, and none of us should overdose on them. Eat a few, fresh, crisp, organic radishes for best effect!

Peppers

Peppers originated in the Americas. Columbus brought them back to Europe, and from there they spread to Africa and Asia.

Sweet peppers are low in calories, and supply folic acid, potassium and fibre. They are an excellent source of beta carotene and bioflavanoids. These substances are antioxidants which protect the body against arthritis, cancer and heart disease.

Most importantly, peppers are packed with wonderful vitamin C. The green ones have the smallest amount, and the red ones the most., but even the green peppers give you more vitamin C than an orange. This is more than your daily requirement. Keeping them in the fridge ensures no loss of this important vitamin whilst storing. Always source organic, if you can.

Papaya

Papayas are a great source of vitamin C and also beta carotene. It is this latter which helps to prevent damage caused by free radicals. These can cause some cancers. There is a little iron and calcium in the papaya fruit, but perhaps its most interesting content is papain. This enzyme aids the digestion.

Sometimes known as pawpaw, papaya stems from Mexico and Costa Rica. It is now extensively grown in Hawaii.

The seeds can be used to flavour dressings. Buying papaya in tins does not stop you experiencing the delicious taste, but nearly all the vitamin C is lost in the canning process. Always best to enjoy fruit in its natural raw state, and to source organic fruit and vegetables whenever possible.