You probably have some idea of your pancreas, and maybe even know its function, but would you know where to find it?
First off, the pancreas is located behind your stomach, closer to the beginning of the small intestine. The pancreas, although often forgotten, is very important to the digestive system. Its exocrine cells help produce enzymes that help digest food.
Another function is to release hormones like insulin and glucagon into the blood to help maintain blood sugar levels. In the case of diabetics, the pancreas attempts to pump out more insulin because the cells do not use it up. This causes sugar to build in the bloodstream.
How does pancreas aid in digestion?
The pancreas produces chemicals at the right time and in the right quantities in order to aid in digestion. When food reaches the duodenum, a fluid containing digestive enzymes is then released, which helps break down the food into smaller bits so it can be absorbed through the intestines.
Because the pancreas holds a vital role in the human body, it’s important to keep it healthy, and the easiest way to do so is through diet.
Food for a healthy pancreas
There are many health concerns associated with the pancreas, like diabetes, pancreatitis, and even pancreas cancer.
Consuming foods for a healthy pancreas can help ensure this organ continues to perform its duties and that you stay healthy overall. Here are foods to eat for a healthy pancreas that can easily be incorporated into your diet.
- Blueberries and cherries – known for their antioxidant properties
- Broccoli – contains cancer-preventing chemicals
- Garlic – provides essential nutrients
- Red grapes – contain antioxidants
- Red reishi mushrooms – help reduce inflammation
- Spinach – good source of vitamins and minerals
- Sweet potatoes – contain cancer-preventing nutrients
- Tofu – source of low-fat protein
- Tomato vegetable soup – contains antioxidants
- Yogurt – source of probiotics
Natural remedies for healthy pancreas
Promoting pancreatic health naturally involves eating the foods listed, as well as not smoking, staying away from unhealthy foods, drinking plenty of water, taking a hot shower or bath to stimulate digestion, and reducing stress.
Another important note about a pancreas-healthy diet is to keep it low fat. Try not to consume over 20 grams of fat a day, and a sole meal should not contain more than 10 grams. Furthermore, for a healthy pancreas, minimize alcohol intake and consume more water in order to stay hydrated. Dehydration has been linked to pancreas flares.
By knowing which foods can benefit your pancreas, you will be able to make different combinations and create healthy pancreas recipes to enjoy on a regular basis.