Monday, October 15, 2012

The Power of Nutrition

The tricky part about balancing healthy nutrition and exercise is complex and there is not just one fail-safe answer. So much depends upon an individual’s age, their medical history and family genetics. (It’s certainly best to check with a physician before starting a diet of your own since you want to make sure to have approved, smart food choices).

If there are foods that are scientifically and medically proven to assist in the prevention of aging, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, hypertension, some cancers and dementia -- which there are -- then why aren’t we doing just that?

I’ve been reading a book called SuperFoods RX, Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life by Steven Pratt, M.D., and Kathy Matthews. Mind you, this book is about eight years old, which means there are new studies and evaluations since that time, but there are some excellent points made in the book about the foods we should eat more of and why they do matter.

Here are a few quotes from the book: 
  • Did you know that “fresh isn’t always best. Some canned or frozen vegetables often have the same nutritional content as fresh. Frozen fruits and vegetables are usually flash-frozen just after being harvested, so their nutrients are locked in. Many are available already chopped, which saves a prep step”. 
  • There is promising evidence that beans may help to prevent cancer, particularly pancreatic cancer and cancers of the colon, breast, and prostate.
  • About 25 percent of the population inherits an aversion to the bitter taste of cruciferous vegetables. If this describes you, add salt, since that makes them taste sweeter. 
  • Rutin, a flavonoid found in citrus has an anti-inflammatory effect, possesses antiviral activity, and helps protect capillaries from age-related “breakdown”. 

Nutrition is complicated and as mentioned earlier on, there is not one fail-safe answer to what the best food is to eat. It’s a matter of being careful in the things we eat 80 to 90 percent of the time and occasionally enjoying that slice of pizza or burger once in awhile.

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