Shiitake is one amazing mushroom. It tastes good and retains its immune system-enhancing properties when cooked. “If you eat a
shiitake mushroom everyday, you could see changes in the immune system that are beneficial,” says Sue Percival of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. When volunteers, in her study, ate an ounce of shitakes daily for a month, they had less inflammation, and their immune system’s T-cells functioned better. You will often find shiitakes sold next to button mushrooms in the produce section. Dried shiitakes, which are generally sold in small bags, are best soaked before using.
A traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries also benefit the immune system. Find dried, red goji berries in the herb section, ready to be added to smoothies. They also make a bright, attractive replacement for raisins in granola and dishes like grated carrot salad.
Regulating low blood sugar can be as easy as drinking a blueberry smoothie. Elderly people who drank one a day for three months found their blood sugar levels became more balanced. Added to this anti-diabetic effect, they noticed their memory improved.
To help regulate blood sugar look for prickly pear cactus in the grocer’s Mexican section. While not a cure, it is so beneficial that it can slow the severity, inflammation, and cell destruction of pancreatitis and may help prevent it. Cactus leaves are sold in jars as “nopales”. Fresh leaves are sold in the southwestern part of the United States, where they grow wild in the desert. Check the internet for instructions on removing the tiny spines.
Nuts help prevent diabetes and heart diseases. Eating only an ounce or two of pistachios daily decreases high blood sugar. There is even a correlation between eating nuts and increases longevity. Some migraine suffers find they can reduce the number of attacks by adding fresh, grated ginger to meals.
Artichoke leaf supplements improve liver function and lower cholesterol, but just eating artichokes themselves offer similar benefits. Buy organically grown, artichokes are one of the vegetables they spray heavily.