Dr. Holly
Dr. Holly
Dr. Holly

I hate the marketing term Superfoods.  All foods are effective for us.  All foods can keep us healthy in a wide number of ways.

Some foods are tremendous for a given system, i.e., the anti-inflammatory system; or for a given organ, i.e., the liver; or for a given component of an organ, ie. The valves in the heart.  Other foods are great systemically – if they have a specific impact on cellular functioning that they are going to have a systemic effect – an effect throughout the whole body.

Stop and think for a moment…any plant has to:

  • make fuel
  • have a reproductive system
  • have a good protective system
  • have a respiratory system
  • be able to metabolize nutrients that come from the sun, air, ground
  • have a sensory system
  • and so on and so on…

And all of these systems that require nutrients that the plant transforms into compounds and guess what?  In consideration of how everything in the world works so interactively, we take advantage of all of these plant systems and nutrients and compounds and use them for ourselves.

Take fruit for an example…is one fruit better than another?  Or is it that different fruit provide different benefits – I would rather choose the latter statement.

The following is a short list of a few fruit and only identifies a few of the medicinal uses of each – it is NOT a comprehensive list by any stretch of the imagination…but rather a provocation for you to go and do more research.

Cherry – Inflammation/Pain/Gout: Cherries have compounds called anthrocyanins that are as effective as NSAIDs in reducing pain and inflammation. Other compounds are great for preventing or treating gout, but you have to use sour cherries.

Chocolate – Anti-oxidant/Diabetes/Depression/Cardiovascular:  yes, REAL chocolate comes from the cocoa fruit AND is good for so many things…why? Because chocolate has over 1200 molecules over 400 compounds that are beneficial for us, including alkalizing minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants, omega 3s, neurotransmitters, phytonutrients.  Unfortunately, it is pasteurized, depleted of nutrients, loads of sugar and other toxic factors added into it and the typical store bought chocolate becomes a detriment rather than a benefit

Coconut – Gastric Ulcers/Infections/Yeast infections/Oral issues: both the milk and the water of the coconut have anti-ulcerogenic properties that can be used against NSAID drug-induced mucosal erosion.  The Lauric acid is great for dealing with infections from yeast to herpes.  The Lauric acid is also great for teeth/gum issues.

Cranberries – Cranberry: The extract of cranberry is as effective as the drug trimethoprim in the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in older women.  Good recipe is to blend raw cranberries with a lemon (using some of the outer rind, all of the inner rind and blend with water).  Working with REAL medicine eliminates the risk of antibiotic resistance/super-infection and/or fungal infection.

Elderberry – Flu: Elderberry can be difficult to find on its own, usually in jams, etc. but it is great as a natural anti-respiratory infection remedy since ancient times.  Today, we recognize the flavonoids which compare favorably with the antiviral drug Tamiflu at binding to and preventing H1N1 infection.

Grapefruit – Infection: grapefruit is good for a lot of things.  In particular it is known to increase the P450 compounds in the liver which are involved in drug metabolism.  However, there the term is an umbrella term that includes many different types of P450s.  They are also involved in hormone synthesis and breakdown; cholesterol synthesis; and vitamin D metabolism.  The seeds of this fruit, at a dose of 5 to 6 every 8 hours for two weeks, have been shown effective in eradicating urinary tract infections, including drug-resistant strains.

Lemon – Kidney Stones/Cancer/Anti-microbial/fungal/Anti-depressant:  Lemons have wonderful compounds (D-limonsene and related terpenes and Vitamin C) that help break down kidney stones and they work to break down cancer cells (22 anti-cancer compounds that slow growth and induce apoptosis in 12 different types of cancer).  Drug companies are trying to patent compounds in lemons for drug therapies.   Lemons are also great anti-microbial/anti-fungal fruit.  And if that wasn’t enough, they also can work to eliminate some forms of depression.

Papaya – Skin Ulcers/Cancer/Indigestion/Heartburn:  The leaves (great for invading bacteria that cause an upset stomach) contain papain, protease and amylase enzymes which help to metabolize proteins and carbs and reduce gut inflammation, gastric ulcers and H.Pylori bacteria.  In addition, they break down when glutens so that you don’t have to.  New research indicates that topical application of unripe papaya fruit on chronic skin ulcers generates a positive response rate 72% of the time. WOW!!  And…the acetogenin compounds both prevents and eliminates cancer.

Pineapple – Cancer/metabolism: The enzyme bromelain, extracted from pineapple and papayas, has been shown to be more potent that the chemotoxic agent 5-fluorouracil in killing cancer, in the animal model.  It is also a useful enzyme for breaking down in the gastro-intestinal tract.

Plantain – Diarrhea: Plantain has been used to treat diarrhea by traditional cultures as a folk medicine, but clinical research now confirms its value in the dietary management of persistent diarrhea in hospitalized children, in relation to diarrheal duration, weight gain and costs.

Pomegranate – Hormones/Plaque/Blood pressure: The seeds of the pomegranate contains potent plant estrogens which do not stimulate unregulated cell proliferation, and may function as an ideal “back up” ovary for women’s hormone health.  Note: many herbs help regulate hormones at the gonadal level; adrenal level and the pineal level.  In addition, the pomegranate seeds reduce arteriosclerotic plaque; reduces platelet aggregation (clotting) and lowers blood pressure!!!  And of course, like so many other fruits – they can inhibit cancers.

Strawberries – Heart Disease: Many red fruits and berries are valuable for the heart.  Strawberries are not alone – but make sure that you get organic strawberries as the strawberry is at the top of the “Dirty Dozen” list of foods that hold onto toxins.  Strawberry powder improves the lipid profile and oxidative stress markers, and markers of atherosclerosis, in women with metabolic syndrome.  Strawberry extract also relaxes the lining of the blood vessels, providing vasodilation and reducing high blood pressure.  Even the strawberry leaf extract has been shown to increase coronary artery blood flow in a manner similar to hawthorn extract.  So many foods and herbs help to accomplish this.

Watermelon – Hypertension/erection: Watermelon contains various amino acids, such as L-citrulline, which is converted to arginine and used to synthesize Nitric oxide.  Nitric oxide is a compound that helps to regulate the vasodilation (expansion) of arterial blood, thus increasing blood flow and reducing hypertension.  With increased blood flow, there is a natural side effect of increasing erection capacity.

So let’s remember that all foods:  fruits, vegetables and herbs play a role in our health…go eat healthy!!!

Here’s to your health!
For more information, contact: Dr Holly at holly@choicesunlimited.ca
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