The pancreas is an organ in the upper abdomen that plays a vital role in healthy digestion. When your pancreas can’t work at optimal levels you can experience fluctuations in blood sugar and trouble with digestion. Proper nutrition can be your first line of defense to avoid these disturbances and more serious conditions like pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
Energy levels are tied to the pancreas, as this organ is where food is broken down to be absorbed by the body, and stored for future use as energy. It’s easy to give your pancreas the nutrients it needs to function at full capacity and keep your body absorbing and storing energy at optimum levels.
Just feed your pancreas!
Here are some of the most important foods to incorporate into your diet for a healthy, happy pancreas.
Fruits and Berries
There’s a reason that we’re all attracted to brilliantly colored fruit on a bush or tree. Many of these fruits provide vital nutrients that keep our bodies – and our pancreas in particular – in running order.
Red grapes are pleasing to the eye and beneficial to the pancreas. Their top-notch standing is due to the resveratrol they provide. This strong antioxidant is a powerful warrior when it comes to pancreatic health.
Cherries and blueberries make tasty pies and muffins, and can help you avoid cell damage. Both fruits are great sources of antioxidants that help keep your pancreas healthy and functioning in top form.
Fatty foods clog up our systems and can cause our pancreas to work overtime. To make sure your pancreas does not get worn out plan a low-fat diet that is easier for the body’s enzymes to break down and absorb.
The Pancreas Foundation recommends consuming 20 grams or less of fat per day, and no single meal should contain more than 10 grams of fat. Ways to avoid high consumption of fat include eating fish and boneless chicken breasts as sources of protein.
A great alternative to add moisture to a dish without adding fat is to use fat-free chicken broth instead of oils, butters, or cream-based liquids.
Some of the most stinky vegetables are also the most helpful when it comes to pancreatic health. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage contain potent chemicals.
The nutritional value of these vegetables is most powerful when veggies are steamed – and be sure not to cancel out the positive benefits by drowning them in butter and salt.
It’s no wonder this bulb is rumored to ward off vampires and nearly every other supernatural affliction the human imagination can conjure. The truth of the matter is that the healing and preventative benefits of garlic are near super-hero proportions.
It’s nearly impossible to avoid the hubbub about leafy greens these days – but they deserve all the attention they’re getting.
Spinach is at the top of the list for its copious amounts of vitamin B and iron, which your pancreas needs to function properly. But if spinach isn’t your favorite, you can gain similar benefits from adding more mustard, Swiss chard, and kale to your diet.
Try steaming these greens with garlic, or tossing them in a salad with red onions and a tangy vinaigrette.
While nutritional information can vary, most experts agree that a sensible diet that follows the federal dietary guidelines will provide your pancreas with the nutrients it needs to perform at its best. Avoiding high fats, sugar, and alcohol are also common-sense ways to help maximize your pancreatic health.
Keep your pancreas – and the rest of your body – in top condition by paying close attention to nutrition and adding a few of the foods listed above to your daily diet. We only have one body; it’s important that we take care of it.