Foods We Eat

Nutrition value and nutrient content in the foods we eat

 
Nutrition in the Foods that we eat !

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Apples - Reduces cholesterol.
Asparagus - Mild laxative, kidney stimulant.
Aubergine (eggplant)
Beer - Reduces heart disease, promotes bone health.
Cranberry - Treats urinary tract infection (UTI).
Cucumber - Skin friend, ant repellent.
Kiwi Fruit (Chinese gooseberry).
Muscovado Sugar (a.k.a. Barbados sugar)


   

Everyday we are confronted with a myriad of food choies. I am sure you know oily fries, cheesy pizzas, greasy burgers are definitely not at the top range of nutritious foods for us. Fruits, wholegrains, vegetables on the other hand bring heaps of life preserving, health-giving nutrients to our bodies.

Take vegetables for example. The origin of the word "vegetable" comes from the Latin "vegetare", meaning "to enliven or animate". It is certainly appropriate, as there is growing evidence that the nutrients contained in vegetables can help prevent, and even treat, many diseases. Scientific tests have shown encouraging results for treatiment and prevention of chronic degenerative diseases such as, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.

Vegetables provide the broadest range of nutrients, including carotenes, fiber (fibre) and phytochemicals of any food types. Besides, they are also a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates (eg. potatoes), and protein (eg. soy). Vegetables have minimal fat. Even if they do, it is in the form of essential fatty acids.

Fruits, in general, are an excellent source of many important antioxidant nutrients and phytochemicals. Eg. vitamin C, carotenes, polyphenols, and flavanoids. Fruits also contain natural fiber (fibre) which helps clear toxins from our bodies.

Fruits, however do contain a fair amount of fruit sugars (eg. fructose). For the same weight, fructose is also 1.5 times sweeter than sucrose (white sugar). Having said that however, our bodies handle fructose differently from sucrose. For our bodies to use fructose (fruit sugar), it has to be changed to glucose by the liver. As a result, blood sugar (glucose) levels do not rise as rapidly after fructose consumption compared to other simple sugars.

Conversely, consuming sucrose (white sugar) results in an immediate rise in blood sugar levels. Most diabetics cannot tolerate sucrose, however most can handle moderate amounts of fruit (and fructose) while their bodies can still control the blood sugar levels. In fact, fruits have a lower glycaemic index than white bread and other refined carbohydrates.

If you are worried about sugar intake, limit yourself to 4 servings or less per day. I always recommend taking the whole fruit rather than just the juice as you will alos be taking in lots of good dietary fiber as well. Many vitamins are also located just below the peel/skin. Jucing the fruit leaves much of the pulp behind (which means lots of vitamins are also lost in the pulp).

Some good news to dieters. Consuming fruits regularly may also help to control appetite (resultong in better weight control). In double blind studies, consuming fructose 30 minutes to 150 minutes before mealtime actually reduced a person's desire to overeat. Conversely, glucose, sucrose, and even aspartame (artificial sweetener) may actually increase a person's appetite, which makes a person more inclined to overeat.

Grains, one of the first ever cultivated crops. Even the word "cereal" comes from the Roman "Ceres", the Roman Goddess of agriculture. The cultivation of grain foods (eg. bread) contributed significantly to civilization growth. Grain cultivation and agriculture created a consistent supply of food staple which led to an increase in population of early villages. The improved nutrition led to healthier people better equipped to deal with the environment. Which led to more land being sought and worked. ... and the cycle continued.

Whole grains are a major source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, the B vitamins, and minerals.

Nuts and Seeds, are the embryo of plant reproduction. They contain the blueprint for the entire plant. Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, phytochemicals (eg. protease inhibitors, ellagic acid, polyphenols), essential fatty acids, protein, and minerals. Nuts are also a good source of arginine. Arginine is an amino acid that is important in would healing, immune functions, promotion of the production of insulin and growth hormones.

 

Lots more info to come. All you want to know about the nutrient contents and the nutritional benefits of the foods we eat. From Apples to Almonds to Red Wine. From Carambola to Olive Oil to Zucchinis.

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