Healing Food: You Are What You Eat

The evidence is that what we put in our mouths can either put us on the road to health or bottle us up with disease.

“Five of the ten leasing causes of death in the United States are nutritionally caused,” says Neil Stone, professor of medicine. He says, that “Such diseases like heart disease, cancer and stroke can often be prevented”.

Scientists say that we might slash the death rates for diseases by seventy percent with a  little more attention to our diets .

John Potter, professor of epidemiology explains that “we eat too much of the wrong things and we eat things in our foods like preservatives and pesticide residues that the body doesn’t handle well- or at least not in the quantities we consume”.

Evidence from the Kitchen

People who eat a variety of foods that contain a mixture of protective vitamins, minerals and other substances do, in fact, have less disease.

Studies have shown that vitamin C can reduce your risk of cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce blood sugar and increase levels of HDL cholesterol, the kind of cholesterol that protect your heart. Calcium not only helps prevent osteoporosis, it can reduce the risk of high blood pressure-and of colorectal cancer by 67 percent. Potassium can reduce the risk of stroke by 40 percent. And fiber is something of nutritional wonder: studies indicate it can help prevent high blood pressure, control blood sugar, lower cholesterol, alleviate constipation and help you lose weight.

Studies at the National Cancer Institute showed that male cigarette smokers who ate one serving of dark yellow or leafy green vegetables every day cut their risk of lung cancer in half.

Researches abroad are reporting similar findings. Italian studies indicate that those who regularly eat melon have a 40 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer, while those who eat fresh fruit, green vegetable and fish reduce their risk of a heart attack anywhere from 40 to 60 percent.

Studies in China have found that people who eat spinach, squash, eggplant and green beans reduce their risk of stomach cancer anywhere from 25 to 50 percent.

And a study in Greece reveals that women who eat the most cucumbers, lettuce and raw carrots are five to eight less likely to develop breast cancer then women who eat the least.

Know Your Eating Habits

To change any habit you have to become aware of it. Overeating is a habit, or, a collection of many habits, all of which lead to consumption of more calories than you need.

Ask yourself:  Do you eat when ever at restaurants because you’re “paying for it anyway”? Do you “taste” practically a whole dinner while preparing it and then sit down to eat again with the family? Do you nibble half-consciously while watching TV or reading a book? Do you stuff your mouth whenever you’re depressed, anxious, tense, angry, disappointed? Do you use food to calm your nerves or to reward yourself when you’re completed a trying task? Do you get carried away when something “irresistible” is set before you?

The best way to realize your fattening eating habits is to keep an eating diary in which you record every morsel of food or drink (except of water or other noncaloric beverages) that passed your lips. Write down what you eat and how much and also the circumstances under which you eat it-time of day, place, what you were doing , who you were with,  how you were feeling, and any precipitating events (for example, “fight with spouse” or “got raise”).

You should keep this eating diary daily for at least a week, preferably two. It will seem a terrible bother at the beginning. According to Dr.Albert Stunkard, psychiatrist who developed many of the behaviour modification techniques for weight control, you’ll enjoy your diary when you realize how revealing it is. He’s explain that just having to keep track helps people cut down on how much they eat. For example, when you know you’re going to have to record that half-pint of ice cream you sneak in at midnight, you’re less likely to eat it.

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