4 Fantastic Foods to Start Eating Now!

Posted on Jul 25, 2012 | 17 comments

4 Fantastic Foods to Start Eating Now!

Functional Food Science

Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food. ~Hippocrates

We eat for a number of reasons — because we’re hungry, because we have a craving, or maybe because we are emotional or bored. But how often do we eat therapeutically? Despite truisms like “you are what you eat,” most of us have a disconnect between what we ingest and how that food affects our bodies.

The ongoing news about heart disease, type 2 diabetes and the obesity epidemic all testify to that disconnect and scientists have been slow in fully embracing the relationship between eating and health. The good news is that this is rapidly changing, and an article in Pharmacognosy Review highlights the new discipline of Functional Food Science: the study of foods that have a positive health influence on our bodies.

Medicinal Mushrooms

Science shows that there are many extraordinary properties of medicinal mushrooms, which have been used for centuries in many cultures around the world. They can modulate the immune system, neutralize oxidizing molecules, and even support cellular health.

Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake and More

For example, the reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is an excellent source of potent antioxidants and can protect against the damaging effects of radiation. Lentinus edode, commonly known as the delicious shiitake mushroom, has shown major cellular health benefits. In Japan, a compound derived from shiitake is one of the most frequently used complementary medicines for cancer patients. Grifola frondosa, known as maitake, has also shown cellular health activity and immune system support; Hericium erinaceus (also known as Lion’s Mane or Monkey’s Head,) supports good digestion; Cordyceps sinensis, the amazing caterpillar mushroom, supports internal organs like the liver and kidneys; and the gelatinous Tremella fuciformis supports healthy blood sugar.

How to Incorporate Mushrooms Into Your Life

Research demonstrates that medicinal mushrooms are a relatively untapped health resource, especially in the Western diet. Many people aren’t used to or don’t like the flavor and texture of the especially potent mushrooms. However, they’re easy to grow, contain many beneficial compounds and are easily metabolized by the body. For those seeking to incorporate more functional foods into their diet, specific dietary formulas containing a variety of mushroom species offer an excellent way to supplement your diet. Combining medicinal mushrooms into a synergistic formula can work to maximize mushrooms’ natural immune-supporting qualities and provide long-term immune system health. To see what medicinal mushroom supplements I recommend, click here.

Other Important Therapeutic Foods

Medicinal mushrooms may top the list of powerful therapeutic foods, but they are certainly not alone. Other top-functioning super-foods include:

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables, such as bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts are excellent for your cells and for overall health. In addition to an abundance of diverse phytonutrients and antioxidants, these vegetables contain amounts of a compound called brassinin, which helps support healthy cell growth. They also contain the precursor to the active ingredient DIM. Studies have shown that DIM supports healthy hormonal balance in part by promoting the excretion of harmful xenoestrogens, which are “bad estrogens” we encounter through toxins and pollution.


A number of dark colored berries, including açaí, blackberry, blueberry, black raspberry and others have been well researched for their powerful health promoting properties. They are high in antioxidants and other phytonutrient compounds shown to support healthy cells and immunity, among other important properties such as supporting the brain, eyes and even slowing the aging process.

Fermented Foods

Yogurt, sauerkraut and other fermented or “cultured” foods have been a traditional staple in many areas of the world for millennia. These foods offer some of the best source of viable friendly flora, or “probiotics,” which work to support the intestines and other areas of the body. Beneficial bacteria, such as those in the lactobacillus family and others, are shown to promote immune health, improve nutrient assimilation, promote healthy cells and even benefit our mental and emotional health.

Do The Body Good

Biomedical research is confirming what many cultures have known for thousands of years: functional foods do the body good. There are obvious advantages to becoming more mindful of the food we eat, including seeking out organic, locally grown produce, and making healthier food choices overall. However, in today’s world we need to take a more specific approach and emphasize those foods known to provide powerful support for optimal health. These are just a few great examples of what will assuredly become a long list of functional, healing foods to support a lifetime of wellness.

Learn more about Dr. Isaac Eliaz.

Your Thoughts
What do you think about this article? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below. We love to hear your feedback!



  1. Sometimes I take dried berry extracts when I don’t have fresh berries on hand. For maximum benefit, is it better to take them with food or on an empty stomach?

    Thank you.

  2. We’re so far removed from ‘real food’ — what nature provides in abundance if you look for it — that ready-to-eat processed food is what we think is ‘natural’. Gee, even the labels say it’s ‘natural’, good for your health, optimized for longevity, etc. Lies that we buy into without any thought. Weaning ourselves from this addictive habit is proving to be harder than we imagined… especially when those button mushrooms at the local Safeway store look so ‘perfect’.

  3. Love receiving your emails, so much good info. We continually need to be reminded about the proper foods, supplements. Keep it coming. Thanks.

  4. My wife and I have benefited from your articles like today’s for two years. We have been taking a combination of six medicinal mushrooms organically grown in a tablet. The difference that they have made for our immune system, increased energy and stamina have been remarkable.

    • What is the name of the product with the six medicinal mushrooms? Thank you.

  5. Thank you Dr. Eliaz for the great information that you provide. I would like to mention that I recently completed an online course with Dr. T Colin Campbell of Cornell University. Dr. Campbell’s book, the China Study, reports the results of the largest health study in modern history. I highly recommend the book as well as the movie- Forks over Knives. Bottom line is Fresh whole foods plant based diet with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables is superior to supplements. Supplements can certainly have their place but as the song says”there ain’t nothing like the real thing baby”.There a are multitude of synergistic interactions that occur when we eat a big fresh salad topped with say sprouts, sea vegetables, Kim -Chi- and Sauerkraut, onions, garlic, nice romaine lettuce etc that we will never be able to duplicate in Supplement form. Dr. Campbell recommends a whole food plant based diet. His finding from the China Study are convincing. Check it out , read the book , see the movie, perhaps take his ECornell course and let me know your own thoughts.

    Wishing You all Much Joy and Wellness,

    Steve Heller

  6. Your articles are always informative and useful me as well as for my patients.

  7. It is so good to confirm from Dr. Eliaz that the mushrooms we eat in Japan are potent and health boosting.We have them fresh all through out the year and include them in our daily meals.I also take some of your formulas (Metabolic Defence, Pectasol chelation complex).Thanks to them I can regulate my blood sugar problem.Thank you!

  8. Love your emails/messages. Wish You were more local. Question: According to Eat 4 Your Blood Type, Blood Type A’s should avoid mushrooms. What are your thoughts?

  9. Thank u for your valuable articles

  10. Yes, good article on 4 fantastic food and their properties. I am glad to see some reporting on the importance of Medicinal Mushrooms. I like exploring the many available mushrooms, but hard to build up a taste for some.
    Good article.

  11. It’s about time that someone writes about mushrooms. Keep up the good work! And don’t be a fool and eat whatever you may find on a cold winter morning. It could be poisonous and you could end up dead or getting a liver transplant. It’s no joke. If it’s in a supermarket make sure that it guaranteed safe to eat and an expert assures your buying organic fresh picked mushrooms.

  12. Korea’s traditional fermented foods include kimchi (various vegetables but usually Chinese cabbage — with salt and natural flavors, usually a little fermented fish juice, and almost always hot red pepper powder) and bean paste called doenjang. Doenjang is from soybean, quite similar to Japanese miso, but fermented somewhat longer; the taste is more pungent. Both kimchi (over 100 varieties) and doenjang are eaten daily or almost daily by most all Koreans.

  13. Dr. I am new at allthis , so keep the goodinformation coming

  14. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am going through
    issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having the same RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    • We apologize for the inconvenience. In the next few months, we will be redesigning our website and we are definitely going to incorporate this option for the future.

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    this web site, and your views are pleasant designed for new people.

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