Foods for Healthy Pancreas

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

The pancreas might not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about keeping the body in tip-top shape but this organ generates important enzymes to aid digestion. Other major organs—like the lung or the heart—may overshadow the pancreas but it plays a crucial role in keeping the stomach working efficiently.  The pancreas neutralizes stomach acids by releasing digestive enzymes to protect the stomach. It also produces insulin, which minimizes sugar levels in the body. Simply put, the pancreas is one hardworking organ and you should care for it!

Unfortunately, the pancreas is prone to inflammation. The food you eat doesn’t just nourish the body; it could also keep your organs healthy. To keep the pancreas healthy, try boosting your diet with the following:

Red Rishi Mushrooms

In ancient China, red rishi mushrooms were traditionally prepared as medicine to soothe inflammation. Red rishi mushrooms contain the same benefits for pancreatic health as garlic and onions. These mushrooms, however, are only found in specialty stores. You could try checking out the Asian food section in your local grocer.

Garlic

Garlic contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It’s also rich in nutrients that will benefit the pancreas. In some clinical tests, garlic is seen as a promising all-natural treatment for several types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer!

Antioxidant-Rich Fruits

Blueberries, cherries, grapes, and tomatoes — these fruits are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants that protect the pancreas from various diseases. Most importantly, antioxidants contain properties that inhibit cancer cells from spreading to various parts of the body. Grapes, in particular, contain resveratrol, an antioxidant known to benefit the pancreas. To maximize the cancer-fighting benefits of antioxidant-rich fruits, turn to juicing! Drinking freshly juiced or pureed fruits helps retain the fruits’ nutrients.

Yogurt

All-natural yogurt contains billions of probiotics that not only promotes better digestive health, could also strengthen the immune system and stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself. The pancreas aids in digestion and naturally, the probiotics from yogurt also help keep the organ healthy. If you’re eating yogurt for better pancreatic health, choose Greek yogurt. In a pinch, low-fat yogurt and plain, unflavored yogurt are great alternatives to Greek yogurt too.

Tofu

Did you know tofu helps protect the pancreas from excess fat? Perfect as ingredient for stir-fries or prepared as dessert, tofu is rich in pancreas-friendly nutrients! Tofu, which comes from soya bean curds, is high in protein and low in fat. Boosting your protein intake helps build leaner muscles. It also keeps the organs healthy and free from fat buildup.

Coniferous Vegetables

Coniferous vegetables—like Brussels sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, and cabbage—contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that aid in pancreatic health. If you want to eat your way to a healthier pancreas, boost your diet with spinach stir fry with fresh onions and garlic. This simple recipe is packed with iron, vitamin B, and vitamin C — all nutrients that can keep the pancreas in tip-top shape! We recommend eating fresh, organic coniferous vegetables but frozen veggies are a great option too.


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