5 Good Foods for Pancreatic Health

List of Foods That Protect Your Pancreas

The pancreas is an important organ in the body that carries out digestive function. It secretes enzymes and insulin that help digest food and metabolize sugar respectively. A normal pancreas can perform its tasks without causing any pain or showing any symptoms of indigestion. Diseases like pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer can cause serious damage to pancreas. To prevent this from happening, you can choose to include foods that promote pancreatic health to avoid inflammation and cancer. 
  1. Dark Leafy Greens such as Kale and Spinach
    Kale is one of the pancreas-friendly foods. Not only it is nutrient-rich, kale is also very easy to cook. You just have to remove the vegetable from its stem, chop and sauté with some garlic and drizzle of olive oil.

    Kale score 1000/1000 on an ANDI scale. ANDI is an abbreviation of Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, which shows the nutritional density of a food. Kale is a good source of kaempferol, a dietary flavonoid that has been linked to lowering the risk of pancreatic cancer.

    Spinach is loaded with vitamin B and iron, which are essential to the pancreas. It is also an easy-to-prepare vegetable. You can stir-fry it with garlic or simply add it to your salad. Other leafy greens such as Swiss chard and mustard are also good foods for pancreatic health.

5 Foods for Pancreas Health

  1. Whole Grains such as Oatmeal and Brown Rice
    Whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice are among the best foods for pancreatitis patients. They are rich in B-complex vitamins, which helps improve the condition of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis patients are supposed to avoid refined foods including white breads, sugar and pasta.

    Pancreatitis sufferers may experience loss of weight because there are not enough enzymes produced by the pancreas to assist in digestion. Eating a large amount of whole grains along with lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables can prevent weight loss, malnutrition and even diabetes. Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, barley and buckwheat are great supplies of dietary fiber.

  2. Blueberries and Red Grapes
    Blueberries are packed with pterostilbenes, which are phytochemicals with high antioxidant content. Antioxidants help get rid of free radicals in the body responsible for cell damage and other chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Besides ability to eliminate free radicals, pterostilbenes also contain antiproliferative properties capable of inhibit malignant cell growth.

    As reported by Reuters in April 2008, a laboratory study has indicated that skin of red grapes can destroy pancreatic cancer cells. Researchers have found polyphenolic compounds in red grape skin called resveratrol. Resveratrol is found in some plants as a compound to protect themselves against pathogens. Certain fruits like blueberries, raspberries and peanut have resveratrol, but the skin of red grapes contain the highest amount. Therefore, moderate consumption of red wine also help to maintain good pancreatic health in normal people.

  3. Cruciferous Vegetables such as Broccoli and Cabbage
    Researchers in Texas have found the answer for the benefits of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli on pancreatic cancer prevention. Some active plant chemicals called glucosinolates are highly contained in cruciferous vegetables. Glucosinolates are compounds consist of nitrogen and sulfur that are derived from amino acids and glucose. They are converted into isothiocyanates -- potent anti-carcinogens -- through metabolic process. The research results have been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, providing a good base for further studies on anti-cancer properties of vegetables of this quality.

  4. Reishi Mushrooms
    Reishi mushrooms are used mainly in Asia as a medicinal herb. It is also called by a few other names such as ling chih, lin zhi and mannentake. The mushroom is available in assorted colors including white, yellow, red, blue, purple and black. The red and black varieties are often used for medicinal purposes. Reishi mushrooms have been cultivated for commercial uses in the US and some Asian countries since the 1970s.

    A report has been published by The American Journal of Chinese Medicine in 2011, in which the reishi mushroom has shown its ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. On the website of The University of Maryland Medical Center, reishi mushrooms have been suggested for the use of pancreatitis treatment. Reishi mushrooms are considered an alternative medicine. You should talk to your doctor before using.

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