To Your Health
May, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 05)
The Power of Alkalizing Foods
Most of us have heard that diets high in fruits and vegetables can help us lose weight and reduce our risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, arthritis and even wrinkles. As a matter of fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, 8 to 10 servings a day can cut our risk of some cancers in half! In 1998, the University of Naples in Italy studied an elderly population and found that those who lived the longest and were the healthiest ate a lot more fruits and vegetables than those who died before their time. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the USDA Food Guide Pyramid advocates eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day for optimum health!
Food science has just recently come to realize that there is much more to micronutrient nutrition than just vitamins and minerals. Indeed, there may be well over 1,000 different plant chemicals, known as phytochemicals, that may have metabolic activity in humans. Further study has shown that the fruits and vegetables that come in rich vibrant colors, like tomatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli, blueberries and raspberries, are much more potent and beneficial than the pastel-colored produce like iceberg lettuce, bananas, celery, corn and potatoes.
Turn That SAD Frown Upside Down
As we have become more aware of the amazing and broad spectrum of health, weight-loss, and disease-preventing benefits of foods especially high in this "new" array of such micronutrients, a new name for them has arisen: superfoods. The "SAD" fact remains that in spite of all the support from mainstream medical organizations like the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association, and governmental health organizations like the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging, the USDA, and even the U.S. Surgeon General, few of us manage to eat the recommended minimum of two fruits and three vegetables daily. Even counting the "pale" plant foods like French fries, green-gassed bananas and iceberg lettuce, few achieve the daily minimum. Only a small percentage of the population enjoy the optimal nine servings that emphasize fresh and organic phytochemical-dense deep-green and brightly colored fruits and vegetables!
The reasons for this lack of adequate consumption are deeply ingrained in our American culture and lifestyle, though it can no longer be attributed to ignorance. What is obviously needed is an educational initiative, along with ways for people to enjoy the benefits of fruits and vegetables. This article is an introduction for some and for others, a review of the power and importance of eating more "alkaline" fruits, vegetables and plant foods. Our SAD choices in food must change. Education and the new advances in food technologies are the keys. Talk to your doctor for more information on how you can break free of the SAD cycle of weight gain and disease to achieve your health goals.
Promoting Weight Gain and Disease:
The Standard American Diet
- High in animal fats including dairy products
- High in unhealthy fats: saturated, hydrogenated
- Low in fiber
- High in processed foods
- Low in complex carbohydrates
- Low in fruits, vegetables and other plant based foods
Replacing SAD With Glad:
Sample Superfoods for Health and Wellness
Donald L. Hayes, DC, graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 1977 and is the author of five health and wellness books including his latest, Weight Loss to Wellness. To learn more, visit www.greensfirst.com.