Monday, April 18, 2011

I Need More Phytochemicals ~ And So Do You

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I've been reading a lot about the Standard American Diet (the S.A.D.) - That 85% of us will die of heart disease, cancer or diabetes. - That our children's generation will be the first generation who won't outlive their parents. - And that we are causing this by what we're eating.  Does this freak anyone else out?  Or is it just me?

Don't you think it's time we look at what's wrong with the way we eat and do something about it?

We already know that most of the food out there is high in calories, but low in nutrients.  We're hungry so we grab something to eat.  If that food doesn't give our bodies the nutrients we need, we aren't satisfied and we eat more food.  The cycle continues.  We end up eating way too many calories and we still haven't satisfied our need for nutrients.

Waste products build up in our cells when we eat foods that lack antioxidants, vitamins and phytochemicals.  Without nutrients, our cells don't function normally.  Our bodies can't remove normal cellular waste. Our poor diets lay the groundwork for obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases that will eventually kill us.  The crazy thing is that this is something we can change!

"When consistently consumed in adequate quantity and variety, phytochemicals become super-nutrients in your body.  (Phytochemicals  are plant compounds that have a huge effect on human cell function and the immune system.) 
They work together to detoxify cancer-causing compounds, deactivate free-radicals, protect against radiation damage, and enable DNA repair mechanisms.  When altered or broken strands of DNA are repaired, it can prevent cancer from developing later in life."  (Dr. Joel Fuhrman in Eat For Health)

So how do we get these phytochemicals?  We eat lots of good real food like green vegetables, berries and seeds.  Dr. Fuhrman recommends setting a goal of eating at least 3 fresh fruits with your breakfast. I do this by having an apple, blueberries, strawberries and raisins in my oats every morning. When I'm eating a lot of good food I naturally tend to eat less of the bad.  It makes me happy to eat this way knowing that I'm treating my body right and strengthening my immune system.  I've also noticed that my tastes and cravings have truly changed.  When I've just had a huge delicious spinach strawberry salad and a smoothie, I have no desire for a donut or a Coke.

Over the last few weeks I've been a little lazy about feeding myself and my family good food, so I'm rereading "Eat For Health".  It motivates me and gets me back on track. My kids and I will be running a 5K in a couple weeks, so I'm going to need all the help I can get just to keep up with them.  My kindergartner will be running it for his first time.  It should be fun!

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