1. You can’t buy the nutrition you need in a bottle.
There is no replacement for whole food.Nutrients do not work in isolation. They release their nourishing, healing actions through synergy with other substances within their source. These other substances include thousands of important phytochemicals.
“That’s why foods are almost always a better choice than supplements, and whole, fresh foods are more beneficial than processed,” says James A. Duke, PhD former chief of the Medicinal Plant Resources Laboratory in The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods: Proven Natural Remedies to Treat and Prevent More Than 80 Common Health Concerns .
Dr. Duke also reports some “new stars” found in whole foods such as lutein, quercetin, resveratrol, carotenoids, and flavonoids.
Flavonoids are over 4,000 bioactive compounds having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Carotenoids, antioxidants that provide the bright coloration of fruits and plants, include beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
2. Healthy foods outperform some drugs.
Food is far, far safer too. Dr. Duke gives these examples:
• Turmeric may be more effective than Celebrex (celecoxib) for arthritis pain.
• Capsaicin found in hot chile peppers proves more effective for muscle and joint pain relief than the now-banned drug Vioxx.
• Ginger proves more effective than Dramamine for motion sickness.
• One-half a pomegranate, rich in phytoestrogens, is equivalent to a daily dose of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms. Dr. Duke doesn’t yet recommend it as a substitute though.
• Pterostilbene, a flavonoid found in blueberries lowers cholesterol as effectively as Lipanor (ciprofibrate) in clinical studies.
If you decide, to make healthy food your medicine, let your doctor know. He or she can work with you in this step to good health. Some medications need to be gradually withdrawn.
Each person is unique. You may need medications for your condition.
3. Fats are not bad.
Although high in calories, fats count as essential healthy foods. They can help you lose weight. Fats satiate your appetite. Therefore, you eat less because you want less.
The problem is most people eat too much fat. The USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting overall fat intake to around 30 percent of your daily calories with most sources coming from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids such as fish, nuts, andhealthy cooking oils.
Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats. Saturated fats (found in red meat and dairy products) and trans fats elevate LDL, “bad,” cholesterol and contribute to heart disease.
Trans fats or partially hydrogenated fats are in man made foods like margarine. Trans fats are often packaged and marketed as “fat-free food.”
“Most fat-free food is also food-free food,” says Marion Hauser, MS, RD inThe Hauser Diet
These additives are often not digestible and poor tasting. They’re high in sugar content, chemicals, dyes, and other unnatural ingredients.
Monounsaturated fats are good for you. They’re healthy foods that help your heart and blood vessels by raising HDL, “good” cholesterol and have no effect on total cholesterol. Foods high in monounsaturated, “good” fatsinclude:
• olive oil
• some nuts (especially walnuts)
• fatty fish like salmon and tuna rich in omega-3 fatty acids
• flaxseed, hempseed, chia, and perilla rich in linolenic acid (ALA)
Eat more healthy foods like the Mediterranean’s do!
4. Processed food is woefully empty of the nutrients you need.
You may have felt reassured by processed food’s package label listing a host of vitamins. Processing strips food of vitamins, important phytochemicals, and fiber too.
Adding vitamins back doesn’t replace all these natural nutrients. These “added in” vitamins may be synthetic. Synthetic vitamins are less bioavailable then natural occurring vitamins.
Plus, processed food usually has a high glycemic load. This means it spikes your blood sugar and ends up increasing your appetite.
5. Boost your immunity by reducing sugar.
Sugar adds useless calories to your diet. It contributes to being overweight and hampers your immune system. Experts report that as little as one teaspoon of sugar can shut down your immune system for about an hour.
The average American consumes 150 pound of sugar a year!
Pop is the number 1 source of sugar in the diet. A 12-ounce can has 48 grams of simple carbohydrates (sugar). That translates to 12 teaspoons of sugar in each can.
Dr. Ross Hauser, reports, “A sugar load hampers immune function for four hours! So the person who has a soda every few hours is suppressing the immune system all day!”
A recent large Swedish study found that people who drank five or more soft drinks a day had nearly double the risk of pancreatic caner of those consuming none.Scientists believe pancreatic-cancer risk rises when the pancreas has to work harder to produce extra insulin to deal with sugar.
6. Fresh vegetables and fruits lose half or more of some vitamins within one to two weeks.
To keep healthy foods healthy, buy smaller amounts more often.Vegetables and fruits keep their nutrient longer if you leave the peels on.
A tasty, simple, and efficient way to get more vitamin rich fruits and vegetables into your healthy diet is through all natural juices and smoothies.
Local and fresh is always the best. Although if your produce has to travel long distances to your store, frozen produce may be better.
Choose organic food when available.
7. You need a good supplement, even when you eat healthy foods.
A study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Associationreported that taking multivitamins helps prevent serious diseases including cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Further, Dr. Donald Davis, biochemist at the University of Texas at Austin, discovered that of the 13 major nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, six have declined by as much as 38% over the years. These nutrients include protein, calcium, vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, and riboflavin.
This marked decline is due to agricultural practices that deplete the soil and plant breeding techniques to increase crop yield.
8. Not all supplements are created equal.
Supplements lack regulation, so their ingredients may vary from what the label indicates. Look for GMP certification (good manufacturing practices) or TGA certification (Therapeutic Goods Administration) indicating that the company has met quality standards.
Ray E. Strand, MD and Andrew Weil, MD, noted nutritional medicine experts, recommend a comprehensive antioxidant and multivitamin as the foundation for nutritional insurance.
This includes daily vitamin C, natural vitamin E (mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols), selenium, mixed carotenoids, coenzyme Q10, and others.
If you have unexplained symptoms like feeling tired, dizzy, or weak, have multiple aches and pains, or have a chronic illness see a natural medicine physician.
You may benefit from lab tests to look for key vitamin & mineral deficiencies such as folic acid, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.
These healthy food tips serve as an introduction on how to step on the healthy foods path. Of course, drinking enough water is important too.
You might also add some of these natural healing herbs to your diet:ginseng, ginger, reishi mushroom, green tea, and garlic.
Don’t be hoodwinked by corporations selling their wares. Do not fall prey to skillful marketing playing on the desire for the quick, easy, and sweet fix.
Take control of you health—choose healthy foods and a good natural health nutritional supplement