(NaturalNews) When observing the typical diet of American consumers, with all the fried foods, aspartame-laced "diet" products and pasteurized, hormone-ridden dairy products that typical people consume, I sometimes ask myself a question that perhaps you've pondered, too: What on Earth is keeping all these people alive?
The answers may surprise you. Hidden inside the typical western diet of highly-toxic processed foods are gems of natural medicine that you'd never suspect are really health foods. So here, I've assembled a short list of the five most powerful health-enhancing foods that don't seem like health foods but which are quite possibly the one remaining source of natural medicines for mainstream consumers.
#1 - Mustard
Mustard, believe it or not, is a medicinal paste made from the seed of the mustard plant. It's a superfood that's been around for at least 5,000 years, and it's one of the few common sources of cancer-busting selenium, a trace mineral often missing from over-farmed soils. (http://www.naturalnews.com/030916_mustard_he...)
Mustard is known to help in reducing migraines, and it's a natural anti-fungal and antiseptic. Another benefit of mustard is that it's never made with MSG or yeast extract. Mustard products -- even conventional products from non-health-food companies -- are still very healthful to consume.
Raw cabbage is a proven cure for stomach ulcers. It's also an amazing anti-cancer food with that can help prevent (or even reverse) many types of cancer. Throughout the history of the civilized world, cabbage has been one of the most medicinal foods ever consumed. It's also good for you when cooked (cabbage soup) or fermented (sauerkraut).
It's best to make your own cole slaw at home, but if you purchase store-bought cole slaw, be sure to avoid processed ingredients often used in cheaper cole slaw recipes such as high-fructose corn syrup and canola oil (which is often GMO).
#3 - Cinnamon, cloves, rosemary, paprika and other spices
Nearly all the pungent cooking spices are actually powerful medicines.
Rosemary is a powerful digestive tonic and internal detoxification herb. Ginger is legendary as an immune-boosting, circulation-enhancing tonic herb that's also fantastic for beating winter colds and flu. Ginger even works to relieve muscle pain! (http://www.naturalnews.com/029986_ginger_mus...)
If you're into curry, then you'll be glad to know that turmeric, the main ingredient in curry, is also an amazing source of natural medicines. It's a powerful anti-cancer as well as an anti-inflammatory medicine. If you really want great pricing on curry powder and other spices in bulk, visit a Middle Eastern food store in your local area, where these aromatic spices are often sold at the best prices in town.
In Southern and Midwestern cuisine, barbeque sauce is a surprisingly good source of bitter alkaloids and health-enhancing spices (often including mustard and paprika), but this is only true with the rich, homemade sauces, not the processed "Kraft Foods" sauces (which are usually loaded with sweeteners and highly processed ingredients).
Nearly all the common spices you find in grocery stores are medicinal foods. But avoid common table salt (or white "sea salt") because it's just a processed, refined combination of two poisons. The only salt you should regularly consume is a full-spectrum salt that's off-white in color, such as Celtic salt or Royal Himalayan Pink Crystal salt (http://store.naturalnews.com/index.php?main_...).
#4 - Raisins
Raisins may not sound super cool, but if you think about what they really are, it becomes obvious how powerful they can be as natural medicine. Raisins are dried grapes, of course, meaning they contain all the natural medicine of grape skins.
Remember: Most of the medicine in grapes is found in the skin (and the seeds, but most raisins are made from seedless grapes). This is why it's so important to buy only organic raisins, because grapes sprayed with fungicides have low levels of resveratrol. Organic grapes have the highest levels of resveratrol, which is one of the most miraculous natural medicines in the world (http://www.naturalnews.com/033349_red_grapes...).
Raisins are also very high in naturally-occurring antioxidants, making them a fantastic overall source of nutrition. When consumed with nuts, their glycemic index is slowed, so I recommend eating raisins with things such as pecans or walnuts (both of which superfoods in their own way, as you'll see below).
#5 - Common nuts: Walnuts, pecans, peanuts and more
Once again, nuts may not be on your list of the "coolest" foods, but they probably should be: Walnuts are an amazing natural medicine that helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. They're very high in natural antioxidants and also help reduce the risk of prostate cancer (http://www.naturalnews.com/028584_walnuts_pr...).
Just remember: When you buy nuts, raw is best because heat processing destroys the natural medicine found in foods. Avoid "salted" nuts because they're almost always salted with toxic sodium chloride (simple table salt). Avoid "flavored" nuts because they almost always -- yes, nearly ALWAYS -- are made with MSG flavor enhancers such as yeast extract or autolyzed proteins.
Just look for plain, simple, unsalted nuts... then find ways to work those into your recipes or smoothies. I like to blend cashews into smoothies to give them a creamy milk-like flavor!
The five common health foods in review
So there you have it, the five health foods that you probably didn't even know were health foods!
The good news about these is that they're available in virtually every grocery store in North America (and around the world). Once again, they are:
• Mustard • Cole Slaw • Common spices: Cinnamon, cloves, paprika, etc. • Raisins • Walnuts, pecans, almonds and other nuts
Eat more of these (and less processed junk food) and you'll be healthier as a result!
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.