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Pancreas: These foods protect it

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Pancreas: These foods protect it

Which foods prevent pancreatic diseases? We have put together nutritional tips to support the function of your pancreas and reduce the risk of diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

The pancreas is located between the stomach, duodenum and spleen. Without this important organ, some of our body’s basic functions no longer function. For example, the regulation of blood sugar levels, which occurs with the help of insulin produced by the pancreas. To ensure that the pancreas continues to perform well, you can support it through nutrition. We have put together for you which foods can prevent or even alleviate pancreatic diseases.

Diabetes as a result of a diseased pancreas

If the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin or the body’s cells can no longer absorb it well enough, those affected develop diabetes mellitus. It is also popularly referred to as diabetes because the disease is associated with elevated blood sugar levels. Diabetes is the most common disease related to the pancreas.

Pancreatic cancer is much less common, but all the more dangerous. It is often only recognized late and then has poor chances of recovery. Pancreatic cancer has achieved notoriety with prominent patients such as Patrick Swayze, Steve Jobs and Luciano Pavarotti. Less dangerous, but also very unpleasant, is inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

Diet influences risk of pancreatic disease

With the right diet you can influence the likelihood of developing pancreatic disease. What your pancreas doesn’t like, for example, are fatty and sugary foods, alcohol and nicotine. On the other hand, you can do something good for yourself with fresh fruit and vegetables and bitter foods.

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1. Lemon

Lemons are generally considered to be very healthy and so it is not surprising that they are also good for the pancreas. With lots of vitamin C, the fiber pectin and other ingredients, they stimulate digestion, have an anti-inflammatory effect and support a slow increase in blood sugar.

2. Pumpkin

Pumpkins are not only popular with Halloween fans, but also with the pancreas. They contain enzymes that stimulate cell renewal in the organ and relieve it. The orange autumn fruit can counteract the preliminary stages of diabetes or alleviate existing diabetes.

3. Salat

Your pancreas is also happy about a crisp spring salad – ideally with lots of fresh rocket and other types of lettuce that contain bitter substances (e.g. chicory, radicchio or Chinese cabbage). The bitter substances stimulate the production of digestive juices in the stomach, bile and pancreas. This means that fatty foods can be digested better.

4. Garlic

The flavorful tuber garlic also has a supportive and preventive effect. With numerous beneficial nutrients such as sulfur-containing compounds and antioxidants, garlic protects the pancreas from inflammation and cell damage and reduces the risk of developing diabetes, pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis.

5. Artichoke

The flowering fruit artichoke also has many properties that support the function of the pancreas and protect it from diseases. To ensure that the artichoke’s health-promoting ingredients are preserved as well as possible, you should prepare the mild, nutty fruit as gently as possible, for example by steaming it.

6. Berries

How about a colorful mix of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries? Soft fruits contain antioxidants, fiber and polyphenols. These substances have a positive effect on blood sugar levels, digestion and inflammation and cell damage. So it can be really tasty to support the function of the pancreas!

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7. Spices

Not only do spices provide intense flavor, but they can also stimulate your pancreas’ digestive enzymes and insulin production. Your pancreas is happy about laurel, anise, fennel, chamomile and lovage. Excessively hot spices should be avoided – especially if there is already an inflammation of the pancreas.

8. Espresso

Because espresso is so bitter, it is also one of the foods that promote pancreatic health. So feel free to pursue your need for a pick-me-up in the afternoon. However, espresso and other types of coffee should always be consumed in moderation, otherwise negative effects on health will outweigh the positive ones.

Which foods you should avoid

If you are prone to pancreatitis or suffer from acute inflammation of the pancreas, you should pay particular attention to your diet. In addition to the well-known pests such as fat and sugar, there are a few other foods that should be avoided. These include, for example, cabbage or legumes, which are actually considered healthy but are difficult to digest.

Of course, our nutritional tips should not be viewed in isolation, but should ideally be embedded into a generally healthy lifestyle. The foods mentioned should be part of a diet that is rich in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and, if possible, free of fats, sugar, alcohol and nicotine.

Diet is not the only factor in the health of your pancreas. Sufficient exercise and avoiding excess weight also contribute to a pancreas that serves well well into old age. Preventing illnesses through a healthy lifestyle is always much easier than getting them back under control or treating them after they have broken out.

By Ina Dechant

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