Finding the foods that are good for you

Published 5:25 pm Saturday, March 24, 2012

Do you know that you have a pharmacy available to you right in your own kitchen?

Yes, you do. According to traditional Chinese medicine, food is your best medicine. There is a saying “The best pharmacy is your kitchen, the best medicine is your food and the best prescription is consistency.”

You might be amazed at some of the medicinal qualities of some of the food and spices that are in your pantry right now. Let’s take a look at some common foods and their health benefits:

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•Asparagus: A member of the lily family, used for centuries as medicine in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, it is high in vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it clears heat and moistens lungs, addressing conditions such as chronic cough, high cholesterol, irritability and depression.

•Cilantro: One of the most popular herbs in the world, the plant’s seeds have actually been found in Egyptian tombs. It is a good source of Vitamins A and C. It can be used to remedy lack of appetite, nausea and indigestion and to promote sweating in the treatment of the common cold.

•Cinnamon: An ancient and aromatic herb from the inner bark of the small evergreen cinnamon tree, cinnamon is used throughout the world. Some scientists claim that it helps control blood sugar and that it has antibacterial qualities. It can be used to treat some types of abdominal pain, reduced appetite and diarrhea.

•Clove: Cloves are native to Indonesia and are now used all over the world. They are used to flavor cider, soups and sauces. Studies suggest that cloves promote digestion by increasing gastric acid and bile, inhibit microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, counteract toxins and relieves pain when applied topically. They can also be used to treat stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea.

•Cucumbers: A member of the squash family, cucumbers are a natural diuretic and contain Vitamin C and many minerals. Cucumbers eliminate toxins, treat thirst and promote urination to reduce edema (swelling).

•Garlic: Everyone knows that garlic is good for you. Did you know that it appears in ancient writings as far back as 5000 years ago, from the Chinese, Egyptians, Babylonians and Indians? Garlic is a powerful herb, with antibacterial and immunity enhancing properties. It may also help thin blood, dilate blood vessels and inhibit fat and cholesterol. It can reduce swelling, reduce toxicity, kill parasites and counteract food poisoning.

•Ginger: Ginger can aid digestion and helps alleviate stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting and suppressed appetite. It also helps to stop coughing and to eliminate toxicity from food poisoning.

•Thyme: A fragrant herb, Thyme is easily found on supermarket shelves. It contains Vitamin K, iron, manganese and is used as an antiseptic in topical applications and mouthwashes (yep, Listerine, check the ingredients). It is also a digestive aid and cough remedy.

So, add some of these foods and spices to your diet regularly and enjoy good health