Winning Combinations

Often people talk about what not to eat for better health, but actually, the bigger part is what to eat.  The more good stuff we eat, the less bad stuff will get into our body, moving the focus toward something better!

Eating is a form of chemistry.  What we eat makes up our blood chemistry, which in turn determines the state of health of each of the cells in our body.  It’s amazing what our body can do when it gets what it needs and wants!

Over the past few decades there has been increasing knowledge of substances in plant based foods known under the broad category of phytochemicals.  There are thousands of these substances that plants produce that can be gotten nowhere else, and when we get them into our bodies, great things start to happen with our health.  One of the most amazing things that our body can do with the right stuff is fight diseases like cancer.  This happens in two ways; some of these substances help prevent the growth of cancer in the first place, while others prevent blood supply from developing when cancer does start to grow.  By combining these types of natural actions, our bodies have a much more powerful defence system to protect us with!

It isn’t about just taking one thing or another, but getting combinations of these nutrients.  Research has found that while one substance may have a certain level of effectiveness, and another may also have a certain level, by combining them together the positive effects are larger than the sum of the two independently.  This is called synergism.  It means 2 + 2 can equal 10 under the right circumstances!

The point is, seek to eat about 5 to 8 different fruits and vegetables a day.  Start looking at the plant foods as the main part of the diet, instead of a side dish.  Make the meat the side dish, it really doesn’t have much to offer as far as nutrition goes anyway, and it is a large contributor to heat disease, cancer, diabetes, blood vessel disease, kidney disease, and a bunch of other stuff that just isn’t nice.  Remember, the animals are eating the plant based foods and getting all the good stuff, then we eat them, or their milk.  With the animal products, we also get exposed to the diseases that may be in their system.

Try a few new combinations.  Take five or six pieces of fruit and cut them up in a fruit salad, then add a few chopped walnuts or almonds.  Use five or six vegetables in a stir fry, and serve it with rice.  Try different types of beans, Mexican and Indian foods with their combinations of beans and rice are extremely nutritious and can be seasoned to taste delicious, they don’t need to be hot spicy.  Learn to use garlic and other herbs to season foods.  Have unsweetened fruit juice instead of Coke or Lucozade.  Have some ground seed mix on porridge for breakfast, and throw in a few frozen blueberries.  Frozen fruit with custard makes a great desert, and Soy custard is available at Tesco if you want to go one step further or suffer from dairy intolerance.  Use wholemeal breads and cereals.  There are scores of fun ways to get the good stuff into the body, and the rewards are tremendous!  Remember, anything your body gets from an animal product first came from a plant, but by the time we get it almost all of the good stuff is gone! 

One of the things that makes life fun and refreshing is making a hobby of healthy cooking and eating—after all, what is life about but to live to the fullest?   

For more information see:

http://www.emeraldhef-ie.org/food_stuff.htm

See also:

 http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/healthpromotion/