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Archive for foods

Staying Healthy: Nutritious Foods

For the first almost half of this year our first blog/podcast of each month has covered a holistic monograph (our 2021 focus) dealing with family preparation.  For the remainder of the year, we’re going to look at various ways of staying healthy. For most of us that would start with eating right, i.e., getting all the nutrition we need. There are many popular programs that seek to give us that illusive perfect diet. We’ll look at several.

You don’t have to be talking about nutrition with me before you start hearing me espouse Dr. Joel Wallach’s list of essential nutrients. He was nominated for the Nobel prize in Medicine in 1991 for his work on necessary nutrition for humans and supplementation to provide them. He documented over 90 nutrients that we need every day: 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, twelve amino acids, and three essential fatty acids. I remember reading an article in the Journal of American Medicine shortly after the turn of the century that stated that they recommended that at a minimum every American should be on a good, quality Multiple Vitamin because all the necessary ones would be impactable (if not impossible) to get anymore from just food.

You can’t watch TV for any length of time before you’re seeing advertisements for “systems” that offer you programmed meals for various purposes – mostly losing weight. But I always question whether weight loss becomes more important than healthy eating. How many nutrients are missing from these focused diets?

Last month I heralded the new programs that portion prepare your ingredients and offer packages that only need to be cooked by you.  And I do like many aspects of these programs. But remember, YOU select the meals you want to prepare, so there is the potential to “get in a rut” and continually eat only the things you know you like and skip the variety that will provide an assortment of nutrients. I believe the folks designing these meals seek to provide balanced meals, but they don’t decide what you order, or how strictly you stick with the recipes.

We used to carry hundreds of books to cover every aspect of diet, nutrition and health. But few people bought them and fewer still spent time researching the nuances of the offerings there. There were many “words of wisdom” in them. I remember books like:

  • Eat Right for Your [blood] Type – It focused on how bodies of different blood types “burned” nutrients differently, and what was good for one blood type may not be so good for another one.
  • Eat Your Colors – It taught us that blue and purple foods helped to control obesity and were antioxidants that protected us from free radicals and cellular damage; greens contain chlorophyll and carotenoids that protect human eyes and skin; red foods protect us from oxidation damage, especially from ultraviolet light and tobacco smoke; among many other things, the vitamins and carotenoids in yellow and orange foods play a role in age-related macular degeneration and cataracts; and white foods contain more fiber, potassium and magnesium.

I’ll address the book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water more fully in a future session. But for now, we need to know that the water content of our foods is also important to our health.

Remember, each of us has many common traits of anatomy – but each of us is also different genetically. Therefore, I don’t believe that is ONE perfect diet for the whole of us! So, if you were reading/listening to this to find the perfect answer, I’m sorry.  The purpose of this session is to address the fact that there ARE many nutrients that may be missing from your diet, and that absence WILL affect your health and enjoyment of life.

Even the Food & Drug Administration publishes a Food Pyramid describing a “healthy diet”; but I note that it has changed twice in my lifetime, based on new research, and new food production techniques.

Those of us who are healthier will need to study our family histories, our genetics, our current health and make judgments. Keys will include better food sourcing, better food preparation, more food variety, limiting food intake, …, AND a really good, quality Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement to help fill in some of the dietary gaps!

–  For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.

Heart Healthy Foods for February

February is American Heart month. This February marks the 51st anniversary of American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., claiming more lives than all cancers combined. It is important for us to take a serious look at what we can do to lower our risk for heart disease this month and throughout the year. I will share with you the following tips to get started on your path toward Heart Health.

Be active. Physical activity is one of the best ways to fight off heart disease and other chronic conditions. Any amount of activity is better than nothing. However at least 30 minutes a day is ideal. If you can’t devote a full 30 minutes, split your exercise into 10-minute segments.

Maintain a healthy diet. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein, nuts, seeds, beans, peas and lentils. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in fat and sugar. High fiber foods can help prevent high cholesterol.

Aim for a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight especially in your mid-section is hard on the heart and can increase risk for diabetes. Losing 5-10% of your starting weight can make a big difference in your blood pressure and blood sugar.

Know your numbers. Have your levels checked. Staying informed will allow you to better manage your heart and prevent certain health conditions from developing.

Dark chocolate on Valentine’s Day? My answer would be “yes”. Why?

  1. Dark chocolate may give your brain a boost. Dark chocolate, made from the seed of the cocoa tree, is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.
  2. Cocoa may calm your blood pressure.
  3. Dark chocolate can help you lower your cholesterol. There are a number of products out there to help lower cholesterol. But by all means, don’t use dark chocolate as a license to purchase a case of dark chocolate. It is just an added benefit.
  4. Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower your risk of heart disease. Keep in mind these dark chocolates should contain at least 50-70% cocoa.

Another tip: these dark chocolates should be sweetened with natural healthy sweeteners, not refined sugars. Where can you find these healthy sweeteners? “At the Health Patch” of course!

Your Wellness Friend:
Shirley Golden, Staff ND, The Health Patch – Cultivating Naturopathic Care for Total Health
1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, ph:736-1030, e-mail: jehovah316@netzero.net.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is intended for
educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Eat Live Foods

live, food, vegetable, health, naturalI often espouse eating “live” foods and many of my customers then ask “Do you mean I can’t cook my food?” Laugh-Out-Loud (lol)! No, I don’t mean you can never cook your foods, but I do think we eat too many foods that are overcooked and over processed.

So what does it mean to eat “live” foods? Live foods are food from which the vital nutrients have not been removed. We generally call these types of foods “unprocessed” foods. In order to enhance shelf life for our food products, suppliers remove nutrients that cause shelf life to be shortened. But that causes them to contain fewer vital nutrients and aren’t as good for your health.

I’m an advocate of selecting your food from the perimeter of the grocery store – the outside edges. That’s where you find the fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs and spices, the cheeses and dairy products, the fresh cuts of meat and fish, fresh eggs and water. And this is where you find the colorful foods. Did you know that there are even books written about “Eating Your Colors”? Every different shade of food provides some different nutrients. For example, deep red and purple foods provide antioxidants to get rid of free radical damage; orange and red food provide carotenoids such as beta-carotene which aids bone and cell growth, and lutein which is important for healthy vision; green foods provide a powerhouse of nutrients such as fiber, folate, potassium, and the A-C-E vitamins; and crimson, blue and brown foods provide flavonoids that contribute to proper brain function and blood flow.

While canned foods still have some nutrients, I put them in the intermediary – the heat of canning kills many vital nutrients, and the added salt used in the canning process preserves the contents from spoilage but adds sodium which can cause several health issues.

And then there are the packaged foods. They have had most of the “live” nutrients replaced with long-lasting preservatives. The focus is on shelf life. And they will fill you up, but they provide little nutrition.

So what are some things you can do to eat better? Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Shop from the outer perimeter of the grocery store. Enlarge the variety of foods you eat to get a better variety of nutrients and prepare your own foods as much as your lifestyle will permit.

Consider one of the popular mail-in food programs we see advertised so much now. They ship the fresh foods along with recipes for preparing them. You can involve the family in the preparation to enhance family time and learn to cook together. And you get a freshly prepared meal.

And you might then consider the next step – a small backyard garden to get just the food you enjoy in the freshest form available – pick them from your backyard and take them in and prepare them for a family meal! Whether you dig up the whole back yard, simply prepare a few small raised beds, or put together a collection of pots and pans for a deck or porch container garden, it can be a life-changing and tasty new hobby.

– For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73130, call 405-736-1030, e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com, or visit TheHeathPatch.com.