The pancreas is like the lesser known cousin in a family full of popular organs like the lungs and heart. It quietly goes about its job, by breaking down the food we eat and converting it into fuel to feed our cells, and stores the food for the energy required.
The pancreas is an important part of our digestive system. It is situated in the abdominal cavity, behind the stomach. A healthy pancreas is a determinant of controlled glucose levels, which ultimately result in a better digestive system. So, when your pancreas is in trouble, you may experience an array of problems like vomiting, abdominal pains, diarrhea, and even diabetes.
Thankfully, the inclusion of certain foods in your diet can help to maintain a healthy pancreas. Some of them are listed below.
1. Turmeric: The Golden Spice
Turmeric has been an integral part of traditional medicine since time immemorial. It is known for its antiseptic properties and pain-relieving action. Including turmeric in your diet can reduce pancreatic inflammation. It also serves as an antioxidant. Add a teaspoon of turmeric in milk and drink it every day, you will see the results for yourself.
2. Garlic: Nature’s Antibiotic
Known universally as the stinking rose – garlic contains an adverse level of natural antibiotic properties, and incorporating it with different kinds of foods will only multiply its effect on our body. This helps in increasing the levels of immunity in our body, as garlic (when combined with other foods) repairs the tissues of internal organs like the pancreas. We suggest you try eating garlic and honey on an empty stomach to see quick relief from pancreatic pain.
Spinach is the most easily available green worldwide. Enriched with vitamin B and minerals like iron, it is bound to satisfy the fundamental needs of the pancreas. Here, the presence of iron in spinach helps to prevent inflammation in the pancreas, while vitamin B nourishes it. This leafy green vegetable also contains cancer-fighting agents that can minimize the chances of developing pancreatic cancer (1).
Therefore, include spinach in your salads or make a quick stir-fry with them using some butter, garlic, and basic seasonings in order to keep your pancreas smiling.
The presence of broccoli on your plate might have irked you as a child, but if we tell you that broccoli is a deterrent to pancreatic cancer, you wouldn’t avoid this cruciferous vegetable. Its cancer-fighting properties keep the body hale and hearty (2). You could make a salad out of it or even a creamy soup; just make sure it’s a part of your diet.
5. Red Grapes
The presence of a very powerful anti-oxidant compound called resveratrol is what makes the red grapes a cancer-fighting food (3). It helps in not just reducing the inflammation in the pancreas but also kills the cancer cells. You can either eat it raw (which is highly recommended), or you can sip some red wine and raise a toast to your healthy pancreas.
6. Sweet Potatoes
We’re sure you’ve come across this theory about food: if a food resembles an organ of our body, it helps in nourishing that particular organ. For example, walnuts for brains and tomatoes for the heart. Similarly, we can’t help but notice the uncanny resemblance of sweet potatoes to the pancreas in our body.
Intake of sweet potatoes is known to highly reduce the chances of pancreatic cancer. It also boosts the function of the pancreas. So, swap your white potatoes for a healthier spud (sweet potatoes) and pack a pancreas-protecting punch!
Oregano, a culinary herb, is considered to be rich in natural phenolic anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants help to fight disorders that are caused by oxidation — diabetes, for instance. Oregano has the capacity to slow down pancreatic amylase that helps in breaking down food into fuel for our body (4).
Including oregano in our diet in any form is beneficial for our health. We can use fresh oregano leaves, dried leaves or even oregano oil in our cooking and reap its benefits.
Dandelion belongs to the daisy family. Its flower leaves, as well as its roots, are known for its medicinal benefits. Drinking dandelion tea will detoxify the liver and pancreas, which eventually repairs the damaged pancreatic tissues by boosting the bile juice production (5). Apart from its anti-inflammatory property, dandelion is also famous for being an anti-depressant as well.
If you want to make your pancreas happy by eating right, make sure your diet includes the abovementioned foods. Eat light, eat healthily, and make sure you limit your fat intake.
Which of the abovementioned foods are already a part of your everyday meals? Leave your answers in the comments below!