Posts Tagged ‘anti cancer’

Cereal Grains:A NUTRITIONAL COMPROMISE

Since the time that mankind is present on this earth, the natural diet of humans has been food that could be hunted, fished, gathered or plucked. As my main topic today is “GRAINS” I would only be focussing on talking about them as foods that were plucked – “seasonal fruits and veggies” is another topic altogether to discuss which is beyond the limit of this discussion. I will save my next post for that.

So, coming to GRAINS (The so called “Good Carbs”)

Man rarely ever consumed cereal grains up until about 10,000 years ago. With the increase in population the supply of the natural resources became more limited, thus it became necessary to provide supplementary means of nourishment and thus agriculture was born 10,000 years ago.

The eight cereal grains (wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, rye and millet) provide 56% of the calories and 50% of the protein consumed on this planet.

On one hand we would not have cities, civilisations and industrialisation without cereal grains, on the other hand cereal grains are a nutritional compromise. Today if we take away rice, wheat and corn almost 1/2 the people on this planet will not eat. The decreasing supplies of our ancestral natural diet of wild animals and wild plants, along with huge increase in the planet’s population has made agriculture a necessity for survival.

Cereal grains are not nearly as healthy , nor as nutritionally complete, nor as perfectly suited to our ancient digestive wiring as the foods that these grains have replaced. Ex. milk and cereals in place of bacon and eggs for breakfast.

The health complications and implications of eating a diet high in cereal grains, way different from the diet that we were designed to eat are recently beginning to be understood.

As Dr.Loren Cordain points out, humans have had little time since inception of agricultural revolution 10,000 yrs ago to adapt to the new food type.

Whole grains are not really any better.
Grains have a host of nutritional shortcomings. It’s finally coming to light that the refined grains which constitute most of our cereals, pastas, and breads – are absolutely useless nutritionally.

The researchers are not 100% sure that the so-called “whole” grains are any better. No grain can be eaten in a completely unrefined state. No one plucks wheat from ground and starts eating.All grains need to be milled and ground to some degree, one reason being that in their natural state they contain many “anti nutrients” called “Phytates” that interfere with the absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the grains, especially the absorption of essential minerals. As compared to the refined grains whole grains have been less processed and milled therefore they contain more of bran the outer coating of the grains providing fibre for the diet.

Most of the “whole grains”  on the cereal packages are fibre lightweights. Its rare to find a cereal with 5g of fibre per serving–most have 1or 2 g fibre per serving ,making it a pretty bad nutritional bargain.

Now comes something crucial “Gluten Issue”. Gluten is a primary component of grains such as barley, rye, oats, and especially wheat. One of the seven top allergens in the diet is wheat. Amongst doctors, nutritionists and naturopaths who practice integrative and functional medicines, their one of the first dietary orders for patients who have multiple complaints is to take them off wheat, dairy and sugar. Dr. Jonny calls Grains the Starch “juggernauts”as almost all of them raise the blood sugar and insulin quickly.

In my personal experience with my clients suffering from high, uncontrolled sugar, allergy issue, fat loss issues etc, putting them off wheat,dairy and sugar allowing only limited gluten free varieties of carb sources , high protein, high fat diet show excellent results within 3 months.

Make a choice out of millets ragi, bajra and jowar. Oats can also be a better choice as they are least processed.😀It is advisable to choose the less processed variety, such as Steel-cut oats or old fashioned rolled oats, to get full health benefits .

Stay tuned, stay updated, stay fit😀

 

** The above information is for educational purposes only. Consult your doctor for specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. **

 

Reference:-

Bowden,J, Ph.D.,C.N.S(2007). The 150 Healthiest foods on earth. Pp:74-75 Beverly,M. A: Fair Winds Press.

VIT D Deficiency – An Epidemic

vitamin-d-and-the-sun

Today, mejority of the urban indians have low vitamin D levels and are on injections or supplements to correct the deficiency. Yet, there are many who ignore the importance of Vit D and other vitamins in the human body.

Vit D is a miraculous nutrient and its deficiency is linked to lifestyle disease including obesity, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

We know that Vit D plays a major role in Human bone health but its health benefits are not just limited to bones.

Vitamin D expert William Grant, PhD, puts it this way:

The health benefits of vitamin D extend to at least 100 types of disease, with the strongest evidence for many types of cancer (breast, colon, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and rectal), cardiovascular disease, diabetes types 1 and 2, respiratory infections such as type A influenza and pneumonia, other infections such as sepsis, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.”- (taken from article by Dr. Jonny Bowden).

Research shows that sufficient amount of this hormone-like vitamin helps in balancing the hormones thus lowering the risk of Hyper/Hypothyroidism and PCOD, the two most prevailing health concerns amongst the young generation today. Balanced levels of vitamin D also helps in weight loss, keeps you feeling young and energetic.

You can get vitamin D from the sun but it must get converted to its usable form D3. Proper absorption of vitamin D relies on the presence of essential fats in the body. Bring in that desi ghee (homemade or organic),groundnut, mustard and coconut oils. Learn about fats well rather than blindly following the media. Stick to your roots. Use your common sense. If coconut oil or mustard oil was “FATTY” than entire south India and west bengal regions would have been obese.

To my clients surprise, I add besan pakodas (yup those deep fried gram flour snacks) to their diet plan and ask them to enjoy it once a week (obviously homemade especially during these rainy days). These provide the body with essential fats required for assimilation of vit D. No, this essential fat intake will not affect your cholesterol levels, Leading an in-active lifestyle and eating packaged foods and biscuits will. And, Besan (gram flour) is rich in phytosterols and fiber just like our very famous “OATS”, One more reason to stick to your local traditional food 🙂

So this rainy season, chuck the guilt out and enjoy your homemade besan pakodas and bhajiyas 🙂 (Remember the rule of thumb- only eat when hungry & DO NOT OVEREAT).

When Vit D is assimilated well it improves brain health as well. Wonder why those pakoras always make you feel good? 😉

Dosage:

Vitamin D expert Zoltan Roma, MD, MSc, author of “Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin, states that “Research now indicates that the correct figure for the minimum daily requirement is 4000 IUs”.- taken from Article by Dr. Jonny Bowden.

It is always advisable to get your Vit D levels checked and take the supplements as advised.

References:-

1) Bowden, Jonny, Dr. “Vitamin D Toxicity: What You Need to Know.” Weblog post. Jonny Bowden. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2015.

2) Bowden, Jonny. “Can Vitamin D Protect Your Brain?” Web log post. Jonny Bowden. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2015.

3) Diwekar, Rujuta. “http://www.outlookindia.com/article/vitamin-d-and-our-fave-snack/294681.” http://www.outlookindia.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 July 2015.

Guava – The Nutritional wallop

Guava

Since October is the Breast cancer Awareness month, I thought to write about a food that helps fight cancer and immediately GUAVA came to my mind.

Guava which is widely & easily available in India – (the feri walas bring it to your door steps) is a wonderfully fragrant fruit which is packed with amazing nutritional properties. Guava is rich in antioxidants. According to the widely used test of antioxidant power, both red and white fleshed guava scored highest in the top ten fruits and vegetables tested with red fleshed guava containing more antioxidants compared to the white fleshed.

The No 1. Nutrient compound called carotenoid present in GUAVA that makes it a “SUPERSTAR” is “LYCOPENE”. When we hear LYCOPENE we immediately associate it with the image of tomatoes in our brain’s eyes. Well GUAVA is better source of lycopene than tomatoes. 1 cup of guava contains 17 % more lycopene than an equivalent amount of tomatoes. In lab experiments lycopene is shown to provide more protection against free radicals than any other memberof the carotenoid family including the beta-carotene ( Yes the one that you know is present in  carrots).

“Promising research show that lycopene is associated with Significant reduction in Prostate cancer. In a research done at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, 30 men already having prostate cancer were given lycopene supplements. Those given the lycopene supplement had smaller tumor and less Spreading of the cancer. Not just this but the tumors in the participants who took lycopene supplement showed signs of regression and decreased malignancy. Research also shows that lycopene inhibits breast cancer cells.” (J.Bowden, pp. 119)

Guava’s nutrient content benefits you in both – cooked and uncooked form. Apart from lycopene, Guava also contains good amount of potassium. “1 small cup of cut guavas give you a whooping 688 mg of potassium which is 63% more than what a medium banana gives.” (J. Bowden, pp 119). There have been tons of research that show that people  who eat potassium rich ( UNDERSTAND NATURAL SOURCE) foods have low rate of heart disease and stroke. Latest studies show that people who consume potassium rich food on regular basis have lower blood pressure than those who don’t.

Not yet over, this super fruit is rich in fiber and vitamin C. 1 cup of Guava provides almost 9 grams of fiber and fiber rich diets have been linked with lower rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. the same one cup quantity of guava provides a good 376 mg of vitamin C, the immunity enhancing hero vitamin. Guava also contains folate, decent amount of calcium and magnesium and significant amount of vitamin A and beta-carotene.

Whenever I take diet consultations, I come across clients (read mainly women) who express their desperation to loose weight and that too fast but as they start talking about their daily diet these things come out “I eat chaats, puffs or samosa or those haldiram fried snacks, bag of chips and sometimes pani puri also. I know it’s all junk food but that’s all that is available in my office.”

My advice to all is that – STOP BLAMING ON OTHERS OR YOUR SITUATION AND START PRE PLANNING YOUR DAY WHICH INCLUDES ALL YOUR MEALS AND SNACKS. REMEMBER EATING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR WELL BEING. START CARRYING SMALL DUBBAS OF HEALTHY SNACKS WITH YOU TO OFFICE/COLLEGE OR WHEREVER YOU GO. THE DABBA MANUFACTURERS NOW MAKE NICE ATTRACTIVE COLORFUL DABBAS TO SUITE YOUR LIFESTYLE SO WHY FEELING ASHAMED OF CARRYING THEM???

Make guava the “grab-n- go” snack and you will never regret nor will you have the guilt of eating “JUNK”.

NOTE: Most Guava juices are sweetened and processed so don’t provide the SUPER nourishment that eating actual fruit does.

Take care 🙂

Reference:

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

“NUTS” over “PEANUTS”??????

peanuts-and-peanut-butter

OK!!!! First of all sorry for being away from my blog for a long time. It has been very hectic past 6 months but now i am back on track and will definitely try to get you good articles every month 🙂

SOOOOOO !!!!! Here we go again. We all know that majority of Indian regions are home to peanuts/groundnuts. They are local,nutritious and our traditional/ancestral diet was based on peanut/groundnut oil and roasted/boiled peanuts. Yet, today we fear them thinking about their fat and cholesterol content. Everyone  is running behind the BIG “OLIVE OIL” and “COOKING OLIVE OIL” (read my article on olive oil on this blog), Safflower oil, Sunflower oil, Rice bran oil and X Y Z that’s advertised by media. Who really knows about “Filtered groundnut oil”??? Yes, FILTERED. Well this is again a topic of discussion but i will leave it out of this one for now.

Thyroid patients are asked not to eat peanuts. I don’t know why they are never advised on not eating BISCUITS, CHIPS and other packaged foods???? Peanuts once cooked do not have any adverse effect on Thyroid.

Anyways coming to the point, lets see how amazing PEANUTS are for us and there is absolutely no need to avoid them.

Peanuts are actually not NUTS. They belong to the Legume family like the peas and beans (kidney beans,Lima beans etc), but their nutritional properties resemble nuts and they look like nuts hence we consider them as nuts.

  • A study done at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences found that “peanuts rivaled many fruits for their antioxidant content.” Peanuts rank as high as strawberries in their antioxidant content. Another study was done by researchers at the Purdue University to check the “impact of peanut consumption on total diet quality”  and it was found that “including peanuts in the diet significantly increased magnesium, folate, fiber, copper, vitamin E, and arginine consumption.” All of these micro nutrients play an important role in the prevention of heart disease (J. Bowden, PP 153-154).
  • Peanuts are also high in NIACIN. This is a B vitamin which plays an important role in keeping the nerves, skin and digestive system healthy.
  • THE FAT JAZZ- The fat in peanuts is “MONOUNSATURATED” – the same like Olive oil & Mediterranean diet. And i am sure all of you have read/heard ample of research studies on Mediterranean diet and olive oil being associated with lower levels of heart disease, cancer and longer lifespan. You read about it/ hear about it and then spend mindlessly on such diets and olive oil, not even once trying to find out how good our local food is.
  • University of Florida research also found that peanuts have a high concentration of a polyphenol called “p-coumaric acid“.  A research paper in American Journal of physiology-cell physiology showed the powerful antioxidant effect of p-coumaric acid when used in rats. In this study the p-coumaric acid significantly inhibited the oxidation of bad (LDL) cholesterol in rats. Research has shown that “ROASTING” the peanuts increases the levels of p-coumaric acid in it, thus boosting the overall antioxidant content by as much as 22 percent(J.Bowden, pp 154). That’s why my diet plan suggests “ROASTED” peanuts 🙂

CAUTION: Agreed peanuts are awesome but don’t hog on that market bought peanut butter. Regular “grocery store” brands of peanut butter are loaded with sugar and trans fats. Read the label to find sugar and “Partially Hydrogenated oils” – Trans fats.  Either make your own peanut butter at home (plenty of healthy recipes online) or buy the one that states “Natural” on the label and does not have sugar and partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list.

STOP degrading our local, seasonal and natural foods and start to include them in your daily diets. THEY R NOT MAKING YOU FAT. YOUR WRONG FOOD CHOICES, STRESSFUL ENVIRONMENT AND WRONG LIFESTYLE IS.

 

Reference:

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

Sweet Potato….. sweetheart….

Sweet potatoes do not belong to the potato family. They belong to the morning glory family. They are sweet, dark and full of antioxidants (the good stuff that fights the bad guys developed in our body due to day to day stress and environmental factors).

Reasons to eat em:-

1. Even though it is starchy, it is rich in fiber and powerful antioxidants from the carotenoid family, especially beta-carotene.

2. Loaded with heart healthy potassium, vitamin A and also contain calcium. An article in the Journal of agriculture and food chemistry found that extract from sweet potato has cancer fighting properties.

3. Sweet potato contain phytochemicals like quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory.

4. It contain Chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant.

5. 1 medium size sweet potato has only 103 calories. (remember medium)

6. Not recommended for diabetics but if you do not have any high blood sugar issues ( weight related or diabetes), these guys are great for you.

7. If you are a daily workout person than a medium boiled sweet potato along with a grilled chicken or grilled fish and green veggies is a perfect post workout meal.

Choose them and serve them with steamed broccoli. Yes even to your kids. Remember kids like to try colorful stuff. Make it as colorful and presentable as possible and main thing is “EAT THEM YOUR SELF”  because kids learn by observing adults.

Reference:

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.