Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How Colorful Foods Beat Disease

This handout is available in pdf at 365fitt.com
Today, I spoke at the GTA (Galena Territory Homeowners Club) about "How Colorful Foods Beat Disease".  As I gathered my information and researched disease and nutrition, my goal was to create a table showing how diseases were caused by certain foods and/or were cured by certain foods.  While the words "caused" and "cured" are much too strong, I was really looking for a correlation.  The diseases that I focused my attention and research on were: inflammation, MS, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, obesity, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.  As I researched and created my table, I found some stunning correlations with regard to the "cause" and "cure", prompting me to eliminate the table in exchange for a few simple statements:
  • Refined sugars increase risk of almost all diseases.
  • Processed foods (including white flour) increase risk of almost all diseases.
  • A diet high in saturated fats increases risk of almost all diseases.*
*Grass fed meat is an exception to the saturated fats rule as the benefits (Omega - 3) seem to outweigh the negatives.

As the information unfolded before me, it was clear that a few simple statements would summarize that disease could be "fought" by certain foods:
  • Omega - 3 (grass fed beef, wild game, fish, organic eggs, wild rice, walnuts) can reduce your risk of disease.
  • Colorful foods (fruits and vegetables) can reduce your risk of disease.
It really was that simple.  By increasing your intake of Omega - 3 and colorful foods you could:
  • Improve brain function at the cellular level
  • Improve cell function at the cellular level
  • Destroy free radicals in the body
  • Improve the immune system
  • Decrease risk of disease...at the cellular level
So, what are the daily recommendations and how do you get started?  First, eat food with Omega - 3 every day.  Eat a minimum of 3 cups of colorful foods a day (and as much as 9 cups!!!)  Eat a variety of foods.  Start with 1 cup of colorful food and over the course of a week or two, build up to 3 cups of colorful foods.  Eventually, eat much more!

Colorful vegetables contain few calories, but are nutrient dense and are packed with tons of antioxidants and vitamins.  My favorites are kale, red, yellow and green peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, leeks, purple cabbage, beets, and carrots and winter squash.  While this is not a complete list, it is a readily available start. 

Finally, everybody should eliminate processed foods and refined sugars, and I'm sorry to say for many people, that includes bread products.

For more information, I suggest you take a look at the following:
  • Minding Your Mitochondria a powerful, powerful video about disease (MS) and one woman's story about reversing this disease through better foods
  •  Mark's Daily Apple an information packed site full of the disease fighting modern day hunter/gatherer diet (aka paleo).
Let me know if you have any questions. 


1 comment:

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