Healing Foods

  • A Better Butter: Which spreadable nut best meets your needs?

    Peanut butter may pack plenty of protein, fiber, and stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction, but to reap the diverse health benefits of nature’s nuts and seeds, you’ll have to look beyond the standard jar of Skippy. “We need more variety than just peanut butter,” says Susan Levin, staff dietitian for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

    By Kate Trainor
  • Tooth-Friendly Foods

    You brush and floss daily, and these are important steps in your daily routine. But did you know that a few of “nature’s toothbrushes” also can help keep your mouth healthy? From fighting periodontal disease to killing bacteria and fighting stains, certain foods and beverages play a vital role in oral care.

    Brush up on ways to keep your mouth healthy.
    By Gina Roberts-Grey
  • Cranberry Cure-all

    Holistic practitioners have long extolled the virtues of cranberry juice for overcoming urinary tract infections (see Alternative Medicine Chest in the January 2007 issue), and in recent years, researchers have identified proanthocyanidins (PACs) as some of the berry’s more important health-promoting constituents. The berries also pack more antioxidants than grapes.

    By James Keough
  • Taking Cholesterol to Heart

    The last time Bonnie went for her annual check-up her doctor warned her to watch her cholesterol. At 240, it hovered well above the normal 200-or-lower range, making her a likely candidate for a heart attack. Instead of filling the prescription he handed her for a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, however, Bonnie sought a second opinion and a more comprehensive blood test.

    By Dennis A. Goodman, MD, FACC
  • Quest for Healing—Go Ahead: Indulge!

    I’ve often regarded chocolate as a guilty pleasure, but it really goes beyond pure indulgence, doesn’t it? Yes! Recent scientific evidence has shown that if we have enough chocolate, it will lower our blood pressure, potentially lower our cholesterol, give us some of the vitamins we get in our servings of fruit and vegetables, and may even act like a baby aspirin.

    By Judy Brooks
  • Nuts to You

    I’ve always been a nut about nuts. Back when I was a kid in the Parkmead School cafeteria, my mouth watered whenever I pulled a peanut butter sandwich out of my crumpled lunch sack. Saturday matinees at the El Rey weren’t complete without the crunchy nirvana of an Almond Joy candy bar. And I was ecstatic when Mom and Dad popped open a can of cashews for their bridge parties.

    By Richard Mahler
  • You Say Tomato, I Say … Marinara

    A couple of years ago, for the first time in memory, I decided not to grow my own tomatoes but to let my father do it instead. He was sick with emphysema, too weak to do much of anything except gaze at the TV or out the patio door at the garden he used to love to tend. Between the door and the garden was a bright porch, which I lined with seedling tomatoes in terra-cotta pots.

    The secret to squeezing the most out of this potent disease-fighter? It's in the sauce.
    By Nina Martin
  • Spotlight on High Cholesterol

    On a routine visit to his doctor, Jerry Richardson*, a 54-year-old executive, got the unsettling news that his number was up: His total cholesterol level had soared to 280, well above the normal cutoff point of 199.

    What do almonds, tea, soybeans, and exercise have in common?
    By Christie Aschwanden