EVERYDAY HEALTH – The Cold Hard Truth
According to a 2015 report from a federal advisory panel on nutrition, about half of all-American adults have at least one preventable, chronic disease related to diet and lack of physical activity.
In addition, 37 percent of women are obese, and another 30 percent are overweight. The situation is not new. Many medical practitioners and the public at large are finally acknowledging what the natural healing community has known for ages:
A good diet can not only promote health, but also prevent disease.
Today it is customary to talk about how food choices affect overall well-being and help ward off heart problems, cancer, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, depression, and myriad other ailments. Most people are also aware that a healthy diet can decrease the risk of disease by reducing predisposing conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Eating a balanced diet is the most effective way to ensure that our bodies receive the nutrients we need.
Unfortunately, the typical American diet does not meet many of the requirements for good health. Part of the problem relates to the types and proportions of foods people eat. Just as important to our health is how the foods are grown and processed as they make their way to our grocery shelves and kitchen tables.
Eating properly means:
- Selecting unprocessed or minimally processed foods.
- You want to avoid pesticides, dyes, and wax coatings.
- Adjusted to include more complex carbohydrates.
- Fewer proteins, and less fat.
- Consuming a wide assortment of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds supplies multiple nutrients.
- Supplements are always necessary (Green Stuff, Energy Stuff, Red Stuff and more).
- Juices from watermelons, raspberries, pomegranates, and tomatoes are filled with phytochemicals that help repair DNA and prevent cancer.
We should be thinking about our diets as part of our daily health routines.
There are six major groups of nutrients:
- And water.
You need all of these nutrients every day. How much you require depends on your health as well as your energy needs. Along with an understanding of these basic nutrients, you also need to be aware of the air you breathe, the balance of enzymes in your body, and the function of antioxidants in helping your body to combat disease and degenerative processes.
- Ann Larson
Super Foods: What are they & Why you need them?
In recent years, nutritional supplements have become increasingly high tech, providing physicians and their patients with advanced formulations for many health-care needs. But despite their many benefits, these products should not detract from the more fundamental route to combating chronic disorders and improving one's health: the consumption of highly nutritious, powerhouse foods. Like all healthful foods, "super-foods" enhance a variety of bodily processes - but simply do it better.
These foods contain high levels of;
- Dietary Fiber
These much-needed elements give the body both preventive and therapeutic health properties. Native traditions throughout the world have long held that certain vegetables, fruits, and grains are especially powerful purveyors of health benefits. But it was not until these natural products were studied through modern biochemistry, botanical science, molecular biology, and clinical research that their extraordinary properties became more widely known. In this article, we present 18 super foods that should be featured in the diet of health-care providers and their patients. The benefits described have been culled from the medical literature, and a sampling of the research conducted on these foods and their nutritional components is included in the references. What follows is a look at the specific preventive and curative properties of these super foods.
For thousands of years, apples (Malus sylvestrsis) have been used to address numerous medical conditions, including diabetes, fevers, inflammatory disorders, and heart ailments. In addition to confirming many of the healthful properties of apples, modern research has identified invaluable phytochemicals contained in the fruits. One phytochemical found in apples is phloretin, a natural antibiotic. Apples also contain pectin and pectic acids that add essential bulk to a diet. The apple's tannins, quercetin, alpha-farnesene, shikimic acid, and chlorogenic acid offer health benefits as well. By increasing the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, for example, they help offset cognitive decline due to oxidative damage. Apples also have high levels of phenols and polyphenols, and possess other antioxidant, chemoprotective properties. Consequently, they help guard against a variety of cancers, including leukemia and cancer of the colon, lung, breast, liver, and skin. These chemicals also provide essential nutrients that improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, and prevent atherosclerosis.
Although low in calories, bananas provide essential nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. They also stimulate probiotic activity, which sustains a healthy gut flora. Bacteria in the gastrointestinal system are critical for the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Bananas help keep this system on track. Recent findings have indicated that bananas may offer protection against kidney cancer, particularly in women, and aid renal function.
While garlic contains phytonutrients similar to those found in onions, it also possesses selenium, a substance that, according to some studies, offers protection against various cancers and the deterioration of the body caused by free radicals. Researchers have studied the ability of garlic to guard against heart disease and arterial calcification (hardening of the arteries) and to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Because it is a source of the flavonoid quercetin, garlic contains antibiotic properties that empower it to fight colds, stomach viruses, and yeast infections.
Ginger is used throughout the world to cure dyspepsia (stomach upsets), reduce gastrointestinal gases, and relieve nausea caused by pregnancy, seasickness, and even drugs used in chemotherapy. Ginger is composed largely of fragrant essential oi Is that give it a distinctive aromatic flavor. One of these oils, gingerol, makes it a natural sedative for calming the gastrointestinal tract. This oil also provides some protection against pathogenic bacteria that upset the stomach. Ginger is rich in antibiotic properties that combat the Gl infections which cause diarrhea and dehydration. Folk medicine has long honored ginger. While some scientists may dismiss folk medicine, it should be remembered that many modern pharmaceuticals were derived from folk remedies and then price-tagged. This folk science, now supported by modern science, has viewed ginger as a mild immune booster that wards off colds, flus, sinus congestion, and coughs. New evidence suggests that ginger helps to lower cholesterol. Preliminary findings in animal studies also suggest that ginger may help to treat diabetes.
- Ann Larson
The Vegetarian Diet & Protein Needs
The Vegetarian Diet
In recent decades, vegetarianism has shed its image as an offbeat lifestyle choice and attracted many Americans who want to take advantage of the benefits offered by plant-based eating. These people are adopting a vegetarian diet to improve their health, avoid the chemicals used in animal foods, reduce food costs, conserve natural resources, adhere to religious disciplines, and respect animal life. More than 7 million Americans now eat a vegetarian diet for these reasons and others.
For many individuals new to the vegetarian way of life, getting enough protein has proven difficult. Let’s break it down…
Protein; what is it, what does it do and how do I get it enough?
There is no question that protein is an essential nutrient. It helps to build, maintain, and repair just about every part of the body. It makes up our hair, fingernails and toenails, muscles, cartilage, and tendons, along with many hormones, antibodies, and enzymes.
- proteins are long-chain molecules made up of amino acids.
- There are approximately 22 of them in the protein we use.
- There are eight amino acids that the adult body cannot manufacture: valine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, and phenylalanine.
Because protein is so critical, we must ensure that we consume sufficient quantities. Otherwise, the body will break down more molecules than it can build up, resulting in overall deterioration. Pregnant women must be especially careful to avoid such a situation, as it will affect both their health and their unborn babies' as well. Below is a daily protein chart.
How Much Protein Do I Need as a Vegetarian?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently published a technical report on protein and amino acid requirements. This analysis finds that the safe level of protein intake for adults is 0.83 grams per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day -a level that "would be expected to meet the requirements of most (97.5%) of the healthy adult population." The safe levels of protein intake per kg of body weight are higher for children, while women who are pregnant or lactating require extra protein as well. 4 A simi lar recommendation for protein intake in adults - 0.8 grams of good-quality protein per kg of body weight -comes from the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences. 5 By this method, you multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.453 (to convert to kilograms), then multiply by 0.8. If you weigh 155 pounds, for example, you multiply that figure by 0.453, which is 70.2 kg, then multiply by 0.8 grams per kg to arrive at 56 grams of protein per day. The Institute of Medicine's 2005 recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for protein are as follows6 :
1.2 g/kg/d or 11 g/d
Children (boys and girls)
1.05 g/kg/d or 13 g/d
0.95 g/kg/d or 19 g/d
0.95 g/kg/d or 34 g/d
Boys, 14-18 years
0.85 g/kg/d or 52 g/d
Girls, 14-18 years
0.85 g/kg/d or 46 g/d
Men, 19 years and older
0.80 g/kg/d or 56 g/d
Women, 19 years and older
0.80 g/kg/d or 46 g/d
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