If you have never experienced pancreatic pain, you may not even know exactly what the organ is or its importance in your body. The pancreas is part of the digestive system and lies in the abdominal cavity behind the stomach. Your pancreas is responsible for producing many important hormones like insulin, polypeptides, somatostatin, and glucagon.
The pancreas is spongy and produces the enzymes that break down food--different ones for different foods. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that results in severe pain, fever, and diarrhea. Health of this organ is vital for overall health. There are many foods that can help protect your pancreas--eight of the most popular follow.
Garlic is an allium species vegetable; other members of this family include leeks, shallots, onions, chives, and fenugreek. These foods contain sulfur, arginine, selenium, oligosaccharides, and flavonoids that have been shown to prevent pancreatic cancer.
Spinach is an excellent choice for a healthy pancreas.
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed a diet that includes spinach and other vegetables provides protective agents against pancreatic cancer.
3. Probiotic Yogurt
According to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, probiotics can be beneficial in maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria in the body.
Yogurt contains active cultures that can help ease digestion, protect the digestive system, and may help reduce the risk of certain health issues.
Cherries are a naturally rich source of antioxidants and perillyl alcohol, which is a compound proven to help prevent pancreatic cancer.
When purchasing cherries, you should go organic when possible, in order to avoid being exposed to pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
An extract from medicinal mushrooms has been shown to inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer cells.
Mushrooms are a good source of fiber, selenium, potassium, and vitamin D2 with very few calories, good both cooked and raw.
Broccoli’s flavonoid apigenin protects pancreatic tissue.
To receive all of the vital nutrients from broccoli, eat it raw or only lightly steamed. Cooking can remove a vast majority of the nutrients.
7. Sweet potatoes
Shaped eerily like a pancreas, sweet potato provides protection for the pancreas, releasing sugars gradually into the body, thereby not putting undue stress on the digestive system.
8. Red grapes
Red grapes are an excellent source of resveratrol, a beneficial antioxidant. Resveratrol helps prevent blood vessel damage and reduces inflammation.
More specifically, the compound also induces cellular death (apoptosis) in pancreatic cancer cells.
By following a diet rich in good foods for the pancreas, you can keep the organ healthy and reduce the risks of inflammation, infection, and cancer.
Along with a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, regular exercise can also play an important role in helping maintain a healthy pancreas--and every other organ as well.