Lifestyle

Kittle: Nutrient-rich superfoods contributes to healthy lifestyle

“Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food.”

—Hippocrates

 

I was inspired to write about nutrition after recently watching the documentary, Food Matters.

The film sets about to uncover the trillion dollar worldwide “sickness industry” and gives people some scientifically verifiable solutions for overcoming illness naturally.

The filmmakers interviewed several leading experts in nutrition and natural healing who said that not only are we harming our bodies with improper nutrition, but that the right kind of foods, supplements and detoxification can be used to treat chronic illnesses as fatal as terminally diagnosed cancer.

The simple truth is this—healthy food can significantly prolong your life.

Superfoods are the latest trend in the food and health industries, referring  to nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being and more nutritionally dense than the rest.

Research from Stanford medicine is proving that some components of superfoods may play a role in decreasing the risk of developing cancer, including phytochemicals and antioxidants.

Phytochemicals are found in plants that protect plants against bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Eating large amounts of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables (yellow, orange, red, green, white, blue, purple), whole grains/cereals, and beans containing phytochemicals may decrease the risk of developing certain cancers as well as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

The action of phytochemicals varies by colour and type of the food.

They may act as antioxidants or nutrient protectors, or prevent carcinogens (cancer causing agents) from forming.

Antioxidants are substances that inhibit the oxidation process and act as protective agents.

They protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals, byproducts of the body’s normal chemical processes.

Free radicals attack healthy cells, which changes their DNA, allowing tumours to grow.

Antioxidants can include vitamin C which may protect against cancer of the oral cavity, stomach and esophagus.

It may also reduce the risk of developing cancers of the rectum, pancreas, and cervix.

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C may provide protection against breast and lung cancer.

Examples of some foods high in vitamin C are red and green peppers, oranges, papaya, strawberries and broccoli.

Beta carotene, also known as provitamin A, may help decrease the risk of developing cancer.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, this nutrient may prevent certain cancers by enhancing the white blood cells in your immune system.

White blood cells work to block cell-damaging free radicals.

Examples of some foods high in beta carotene include carrots, squash, collard, spinach and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin E is essential for our bodies to work properly.

Vitamin E helps to build normal red blood cells, as well as working as an antioxidant.

Research is finding evidence that vitamin E may protect against prostate and colorectal cancer.

Examples of foods high in levels of vitamin E include sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, bran cereal, whole wheat bread and wheat germ.

Other superfoods to consider are wheatgrass, kale, parsley, blueberries, avocado, maca, almonds, acai and gogi berries, coconut and coconut oil and raw cacao.

Most of us don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, and when cooked they’re depleted of most vitamins and minerals.

Juicing your vegetables is a perfect way to enjoy a variety of vegetables and consume the recommended daily serving.

With a rise in digestive issues and the ability to absorb nutrients another benefit of drinking your superfoods is that the juice goes directly to your bloodstream.

Juicing offers detoxifying benefits, improved energy, clearer skin, mental clarity and sense of well-being.

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