This past month I solved a health issue in my family with food. It wasn’t expensive, or difficult. It consisted of integrating two safe and allergy friendly items into our teenager’s diet to help combat mild anemia. It would have been the third month of symptoms including vomiting, nausea, breathing problems, and weakness that would have required her to miss school and potentially a visit to the Doctor, a blood draw and a diagnosis.

Since our daughter has multiple food allergies, it wasn’t as simple as eating liver. But it was simple to add back some foods that she had taken out of her diet. The foods? Eden Foods Canned Pinto Beans and Roland canned Artichoke Hearts. Take a look at the nutrition information below:

At the same time our daughter and I were talking about health, nutrition and foods that keep us healthy and others that make us happy, my dear husband had discovered via Dr. Oz that cranberry juice helps to take the fat out of blood (therefore cholesterol).

Here are 5 Foods that will keep you healthy. Alternate them, but definitely consider integrating them.

1. Beans

When I grew up, beans were frowned upon as items that produced gas and were fattening. We eat them often since combining beans with rice is a complete protein. Eden Foods has many different bean and rice combinations that are allergy-friendly and super easy to take on trips. The Eden Foods Pinto beans that we eat have Kombu (a seaweed) added, which helps to increase the calcium and iron content. A can of beans equals 30% DV of Iron.

2. Artichokes

Artichokes are a fantastic vegetable. In the US we only pay attention to a fraction of the vitamins that are contained in this super food. They contain good amounts of Vitamin K, Folate, and Vitamin C. Added to that Calcium and Iron, very well balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 and I think you’ll agree that this is truly a super food. We buy them in the can for their increased Iron as a whole can has 45% DV of Iron.

3. Cranberries

Thanks to my husband I’m including this in our list.  Cranberry juice has long been known to assist with urinary tract infections, but I didn’t know that it cleans blood of fat. It is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K (link to Nutrition Data here).  Here’s a link to the Dr. Oz show that my husband watched recently that made him excited about Cranberries. A glass of cranberry juice has 4% DV of Iron.

4. Raisins

Raisins are the cheapest dried fruit on the market today and they’re a good source of Iron as well. Most raisins, unless they say differently on the label, are safe for those of us with peanut and tree nut allergies. They’re versitile, you can throw them into salads and yogurts – you can also find more recipes at loveyourraisins.com. There is a recent study that said ‘eating raisins three times a day may significantly lower blood pressure for individuals with prehypertension’. Here’s the link if you’d like to read more on the recent study: Snacking on Raisins May Offer A Heart-Healthy Way to Lower Blood Pressure (published on the American College of Cardiology Web Site). A 3oz package of raisins contains 6% DV of Iron.

5. Lamb

Finally, Lamb. A cooked Lamb shank has an amazing array of very healthy minerals in high amounts. Additionally, it boasts good amounts of B6, B12 and pantothenic acid. I recently posted a recipe for steamed lamb shank here. If you’re not so thrilled on steamed foods, I have an equally amazing lamb stew recipe here. Lamb shank is not expensive, and it is very low in fat. A cooked lamb shank has 31% DV of Iron.

Do you have any favorite foods that you’ve integrated into your diet for health reasons? I’d love to hear what they are!

(disclaimer: I’m not a medical doctor, or nutritionist, just a mom! I encourage open discussions with medical professionals, if you or a loved one think you have a medical condition, please call a professional.)

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