The Crunchy Snack That Fights Cancer
by Joseph Mercola: Natural
Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Are you afraid
that trying to eat healthily will drain your wallet? Not to worry
some of the healthiest foods in the world are actually very,
very cheap. Planet Green lists a number of foods that are great
for your body but won't break the budget:
with vitamin C, vitamin B, and calcium, and costs just over a dollar
cruciferous vegetables neutralize toxins in your liver.
It's just a
few dollars a pound, it's a good source of vitamin B6 and folate.
of fiber, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
contain some of the highest levels of protein of any variety of
beans, and they also contain high levels of potassium, fiber, B
vitamins, iron, zinc, and manganese.
These are a
good source of folate, dietary fiber, manganese, protein, magnesium,
vitamin B1 (thiamin), phosphorus, and iron.
seeds contain 76 percent of the RDA for vitamin E.
good for heart health and loaded with vitamin E.
To see the
rest of their cheap superfood selections, along with a recipe for
each food, click on the link below.
to talk about health without coming back to the basics, namely food.
The state of your physical health is the result of what you put
into your body, and how you live your life. Unfortunately, the financial
situation of most people is strained these days, to say the least.
But that doesn't mean you can't maintain good health through your
It's a common
misconception that buying pre-packaged processed foods is less expensive
than eating fresh and cooking from scratch, but don't fall for this
notion. When you consider the nutrient value of fresh versus
processed-to-death denatured foods and the subsequent health consequences
of each choice, it's quite clear that you can eat well and improve
your health and still not spend a fortune.
with Your Diet
Your body was
designed to maintain equilibrium of health, and one of the basic
cornerstones is your diet. Unfortunately, most
Americans are flat out delusional about what constitutes healthy
misinformed about what foods are actually healthy, then even the
strictest adherence to your diet will get you nowhere.
I think part
of the problem is that a lot of people do not understand what "processed
food" means. They keep thinking they're eating healthy because they
leave the lettuce on their Big Mac's, and they choose vitamin water
over soda and eat microwaved veggies with their dinner...
One key aspect
of eating healthy is eating non-adulterated foods foods
that are as close to their natural state as possible. If you do
that, then basically everything you eat is a "superfood." You need
nutrients all of them and nutrients are found in abundance in fresh,
like the one by Planet Green above, and mine below, can be helpful
to steer you in the right direction. Just remember that broccoli,
for example, will likely not be a superfood any longer
if you buy the pre-packaged, sauced-up variety that comes in a microwaveable
bag... Ditto for canned
health foods like beans and vegetables, and irradiated
and pasteurized almonds.
In order for
any of these foods to impart the health benefits you'd expect, they
must be eaten as close to their natural state as possible. If you
don't understand (and implement) this key point, you'll never experience
the truth of your diet being your number one health insurance policy.
Your Personal Biochemistry
factor is that we all have different nutritional needs. Everyone
needs the basic nutrients of fats, protein and carbohydrates, but
the ratio of these will vary from person to person based
on their personal biochemistry, or simply "nutritional type."
There is no
one-size-fits-all diet even if you're only eating healthy
A simple way
to ascertain how well-suited your diet is for your constitution
is to evaluate how you feel after eating. If you feel hungry, irritable,
sleepy or sluggish after you eat, it's a sign that you're likely
not giving your body the fuel that it needs to do its job properly.
I outline the
details of nutritional typing in my book Take
Control of Your Health, but I'm pleased to now also be able
to provide the entire
online nutritional typing program for free to everyone. We've
previously charged $29 for this program that we're now offering
free of charge. It's such an important factor, I urge you to take
advantage of this offer to improve your health.
Take a fresh
salad, for instance. On the surface, this is a healthy meal. Yet,
the same salad is not ideal for everyone. Your body may do best
with some chicken, olive oil and onions added. Or you may feel better
by adding some grass-fed steak, and using spinach instead of lettuce.
while vegetables have potent medicinal qualities, the amount and
type of vegetables you should eat daily will also depend
on your nutritional type.
Swiss chard, as well as collard greens, kale, and regular lettuces
are typically too high in potassium for protein types and will tend
to cause biochemical imbalances, whereas these veggie varieties
are on the recommended list for carbohydrate types. Protein types
tend to do better with vegetables that are lower in potassium, such
as cauliflower, green beans, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, and
some foods may not be deemed a "superfood" in general, if they're
right for your constitution, then they are superfoods for you (again,
provided they're not processed or cooked into oblivion).
Once you know
which foods your body needs (and which you do better without), you
will truly be on the road to increased energy, an upbeat mood, and
a decreased risk of chronic disease. In short, you'll be on your
way to reaching optimal health.
Diet as "Health
While the Green
Planet article above focuses on nutrient-dense foods that are easy
on the pocketbook, I want to redirect your attention here to foods
rich in nutrients that can help stave off a majority of health problems foods
that really give you lots of value. Some of these foods would not
make the 'Most Inexpensive' list, but their value to your
health is tremendous.
As I've discussed
on numerous occasions, one of the primary risk factors of diseases
of all kinds is chronic inflammation in your body. Low
inflammation levels and a strong immune system typically go hand
in hand, and together these two factors lay the groundwork for robust
Some of the
foods below are both inexpensive and highly nutritious while others
do cost a bit more but can go a long way toward healing your body
of chronic inflammation and boosting your immune system naturally,
without resorting to either supplements or drugs.
Some of these
foods are also excellent detoxing agents, which is yet another important
factor to consider as most of us are exposed to toxic chemicals
on a daily basis, even when we actively try to avoid them.
"Superfoods" that Harness the Innate Power of Your Immune System
and Quench Inflammation
grass-fed milk Raw organic milk from grass-fed cows
contains both beneficial
fats and bacteria
that boost your immune system. An outstanding source of vitamin
A, zinc, and enzymes, raw organic milk is not associated with any
of the health problems of pasteurized milk such as rheumatoid arthritis,
skin rashes, diarrhea and cramps. Although raw milk availability
is limited in the US, depending on where you live, you can locate
the source closest to you at RealMilk.com.
protein Even if you don't have access to raw milk,
you can use a high-quality
whey protein derived from the milk of grass-fed cows to receive
much of the same health benefits. Whey protein contains beta-glucans
and immunoglobulins, which protect your immune system and support
your body's natural detoxification processes.
foods If you are serious about boosting your immunity,
then adding traditionally fermented food is essential. One of the
most healthful fermented foods is kefir
an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food full of friendly
microorganisms that balance your "inner ecosystem" and strengthen
immunity. Besides kefir, other good fermented foods include
natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, and olives.
organic eggs from free-range chickens – Raw, free-range
eggs made it to my 2008 list of the 10
Healthiest Foods Under $1, and they're still an inexpensive
source of high-quality nutrients that many people are deficient
in, especially high-quality protein and fat. A single egg contains:
- Nine essential
- Six grams
of the highest quality protein you can put in your body. Proteins
are nutrients that are essential to the building, maintenance
and repair of your body tissues such as your skin, internal organs
and muscles. They are also the major components of your immune
system and hormones.
- Lutein and
zeaxanthin (for your eyes).
for your brain, nervous- and cardiovascular systems.
And as long
as you have a good source for fresh, organic eggs, you need not
worry about salmonella
if you choose to eat them raw. To find free-range pasture farms,
try your local health food store, or go to http://www.eatwild.com
beef or organ meats Grass-fed beef is very high
in vitamins A, B12
and E, omega-3 fats, beta carotene, zinc and the potent immune system
(conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid). But don't confuse
"organic" with grass-fed, since many organically raised cows are
still fed organic corn, which you don't want. However, most grass-fed
cows are raised organically.
oil Besides being excellent for your thyroid and
your metabolism, coconut
oil is rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin
– a compound also found in breast milk that strengthens a baby's
chain fatty acids, or triglycerides (MCT's) also impart a number
of health benefits, including raising your body's metabolism and
fighting off pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Additionally,
a very exciting and recent discovery is that coconut
oil may serve as a natural treatment for Alzheimer's disease,
as MCT's are also a primary source of ketone bodies, which act as
an alternate source of brain fuel that can help prevent the brain
atrophy associated with dementia.
Make sure you
choose an organic coconut oil that is unrefined, unbleached, made
without heat processing or chemicals, and does not contain GM ingredients.
and raspberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity compared
to other fruits and vegetables. They are also lower in sugar than
many other fruits. Other good ones include natural
cranberries, which have five times the antioxidant content of
broccoli, and have been found to decrease total cholesterol and
LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in animal studies. Unsweetened cranberry
juice has also been traditionally used to successfully treat urinary
– Broccoli is also on Green Planet's list, and for good reason.
This humble vegetable is indeed a superfood with near miraculous
powers of healing and disease prevention. It contains the highest
amount of isothiocyanates,
a cancer-fighting compound, of all the crunchy vegetables. Isothiocynates
work by turning on cancer-fighting genes and turning off others
that feed the disease.
containing isothiocyanate include:
shown that eating cruciferous vegetables can significantly reduce
your risk of breast, bladder, lung and prostate cancer. Best of
all, you don't need to eat massive amounts of these veggies to take
advantage of their health benefits. Studies have shown that just
spears a week (5 servings) can make a difference in your health.
– A superfood if there ever was one, chlorella is a single-cell
freshwater algae that acts as an efficient detoxification agent
by binding to toxins (most of which promote chronic inflammation),
such as mercury, and carrying them out of your system. The chlorophyll
in the chlorella helps you process more oxygen, cleanses your blood
and promotes the growth and repair of your tissues. (For more information,
please see my interview
with expert, Ginny Banks.)
– As for beverages, clean pure water is a must for optimal
health, but if you want another beverage, a good choice with added
health benefits is high quality herbal teas.
tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea and comes in the form
of a stone-ground powder, completely unfermented. The best Matcha
comes from Japan and has up to 17 times the antioxidants of wild
blueberries, and seven times more than dark chocolate. Tulsi
is another tea loaded with antioxidants and other micronutrients
that support immune function and heart health.
Worth the Price?
Last but not
least, when shopping for fresh foods, do you have to buy everything
a few instances in my list above where organic is essential, such
as when buying eggs, dairy products (including milk, yoghurt, cheese
and butter) and meats. Ideally, you'll want these to come from free-range,
grass-fed animals that have been raised organically. If you can't
afford to buy everything organic, focus your attention on these
instead of organic vegetables. They will actually give you the greatest
health benefits for your money.
This is because
conventionally-raised animal foods, which are given pesticide-laced
feed, tend to have higher concentrations of pesticides. Non-organic
meats can have up to five times more pesticides than non-organic
vegetables! Conventionally-raised animal products also contain inferior
most fruits and vegetables contain unacceptable
and unsafe levels of pesticides, so it's a wise choice to buy
organic produce as often as you can. Alternatively, and perhaps
even preferably, look for fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables
that are in season, as oftentimes locally grown foods are raised
according to organic standards at a more affordable price.
2011 Dr. Joseph Mercola
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