Healing Foods

06 . 24 . 10

Round two for Book Reviews! The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murry, N.D. with Joeseph & Lara Pizzorno. This one needs to be in your amazon basket – now. Everything you ever wanted to know about how all that healthy goodness gets busy making you feel like your best self can be found here, in these 895 awesome pages. Feeling anxious? Avoid caffeine and boost your intake of B vitamins, Calcium, and magnesium like leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seaweeds, and sesame. Come down with Bronchitis? Raw garlic is a superhero infection fighter, in Asia, it’s been called “Russian penicillin.” Crush a clove, let it sit for 10 minutes, douse it in honey to take the edge off and eat 2 daily. Canker Sores got you down? Avoid gluten (a group of proteins found in wheat and other grains) like the plague!

These food prescriptions are great, but the first 673 pages of the book are actually dedicated to an in depth analysis of individual ingredients. It teaches how to select and prepare foods that will “prevent illness and maximize health benefits.” Who doesn’t want more of that, right?

From the book, I picked out one fruit and one veggie that you’ve probably been seeing a lot of at the farmers market or Whole Foods because they are in season. If you have been passing them by, think twice! They need you to take them home with you! Here is the short rendition of their prolific profiles, but enlightening nonetheless!


  • Belong to the same family as Chard and Spinach.
  • Originated in North Africa and first grew along Asian and European seashores – the tribes that invaded Rome were responsible for their spread.
  • The largest beet consumers globally are Russia, France, Poland, and Germany.
  • Beet greens are higher in nutritional value than beetroots, as they are richer in calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.
  • Beetroots though, are an excellent source of fiber, manganese, and potassium.
  • Greens and Roots together, are a good source of magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6.
  • Beetroots have long been used for disorders of the liver, given their their stimulating effects on the liver detoxification process (ahem, college friends take note).
  • The pigment that gives beets their rich, purple-crimson color, betacyanin, is a powerful cancer-fighting agent.
  • When buying beets, look for turgid leaves and and a firm root.


  • Related to the Nectarine, which is basically just a smooth skinned Peach.
  • The fruit is native to China, was introduced in the middle east about 2,000 years ago, and was then (again) spread by the Romans.
  • Peaches and nectarines provide good levels of potassium, carotenes, flavonoids, and natural sugars.
  • Giving the fruit it’s red, orange, or yellow colors are phytochemicals like lutein and lycopene that prevent macular degeneration, heart disease, and cancer.

Recipes might come tomorrow, we’ll see. For more information on The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, click here.

  • I need to get this book! Thanks for sharing, this sounds so great.

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