Let’s delve into some food cures. Certain foods can target specific health problems – whether it’s insomnia or high cholesterol. So here are the best things to eat, according to registered dietician David Grotto – the author of the aptly titled, “The Best Things You Can Eat.”
For example – the best food to eat to ward of cancer is: Black beans. They’re high in two specific, and potent, antioxidants that reduce inflammation, which is what damages cells. The antioxidants in black beans also destroy abnormal cells. You can find those 2 potent antioxidants in other types of beans too – like kidney beans and pinto beans. One study found that people who ate beans 3 times a week were 47-percent less likely to develop colon cancer. So dietician Grotto recommends getting 3 cups of cooked beans a week.
If memory loss concerns you, the absolute best food to combat it is: Blueberries. Studies have shown that patients at risk for dementia have improvements in memory when they eat more blueberries. That’s because they contain plant compounds called flavonoids, which reduce inflammation. And inflammation in the brain is what leads to a decline in cognitive function. Dietician Grotto recommends eating 2 cups of blueberries a week.
Another food cure is for insomnia. Skip the warm milk. It doesn’t produce enough of the relaxing hormone serotonin to be effective. The absolute best food to eat is: tart cherries. They’re the best food source of melatonin – the neurotransmitter that induces sleep. And our body has a harder time producing it naturally as we get older. But the amount of melatonin in a cup of tart cherry juice is just the right amount to help insomniacs get better sleep. Sweet cherries contain melatonin too – but not as much. So drink a cup an hour before bed. And if it’s too tart, you can dilute it with water, or mix in a little apple juice.
Finally, the best food cure for high cholesterol is actually two foods: oats and avocado. Oats are loaded with soluble fiber. So they reduce plaque buildup in our arteries and can reduce BAD cholesterol. But that’s only part of the equation – because you also need to raise your GOOD cholesterol. To do that, eat more avocado. One study found that people who added avocado to their diets increased their good cholesterol by 11-percent in just one week.
If you’d like to read about more food cures, check out David Grotto’s book, “The Best Things You Can Eat.”