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,
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.
to Almonds to Red Wine. From Carambola to
Olive Oil to Zucchinis.
Lots more info coming soon. Please register