What to Eat or Not to Eat: THAT is the Question!
In today’s society, we are faced with multiple choices when it comes to food selection. But which is the lesser of two evils: purchasing less nutritious foods that are sold at prices good for the wallet, or consuming nutrient rich foods good for the body? With multifarious economic constraints tugging on customers nationwide in the United States, the decision is becoming more and more difficult. What’s more, consumers are not completely aware of just how detrimental some ingredients in commercial products can be to the body. We wonder why obesity is becoming an issue, why Type II Diabetes is a more common disease occurring in younger individuals, and why even the reported incidences of many cancers is increasing. Luckily for us, there are numerous ways to prevent this from happening to ourselves and the ones we love in an economically-friendly way. By becoming more conscientious about what we put into the temple that is the human body, we can nourish our minds, bodies, and souls with delicious and nutritious foods that can contribute to the health and happiness of each individual. Just as some foods, like foods with white sugar, flour, and rice, along with those that contain high fructose corn syrup and trans fatty acids can hurt the body, there are several foods that can do just the opposite. As Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, once stated, “let food be thy medicine.”
Many people who rely on medications to maintain ailments will be surprised to find that a multitude of illnesses can actually be well-managed by all natural foods instead. For example, cayenne pepper can be used as an added spice to meats and salads, and provides immediate cardiovascular benefits upon entering the mouth. It dilates the blood vessels and allows better blood flow to all tissues, and has even been shown to relieve peptic ulcers. (Some doctors choose this instead of an anticoagulant to prevent damage from heart attacks, while others use it to regulate the bowels.) The DHA found in fish, which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid, can be consumed to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and colon cancer propagation, as well as improve one’s cognitive function overall. (Walnuts produce alpha-linolenic acid, which can be converted in the body to DHA; if fish oil isn’t easily accessible enough, walnuts can be a great alternative.) It also explains why children who are breast fed early in life usually perform better in schools and standardized test settings; this is found in human breast milk and provides brain nourishment for the infant early on in life, setting the pathway for increased intellect later. Lastly, foods rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can really do a number on overall health. Fiber is responsible for cleaning out the gastrointestinal tract, reducing serum cholesterol levels in the blood, maintaining glucose levels, and preventing the formation of carcinoma cells in the intestines. Are any of these ingredients hard to find? Certainly not! These, among a multitude of other healthy foods, can be found in the nearest grocery store.
But what is the perfect combination of these foods? Certain nutrients need to be present at the same time as other nutrients in order to work properly in the body. It is important to understand that we can make our own healthy decisions. However, nutritional experts determine in what combination these foods need to be consumed in order to be most effective in the body.