Now I know this blog is for health nuts but I got to thinking (which can be dangerous)… What if, somehow, however inconceivably, someone found their way onto this blog whose interest in healthy living was marginal. I know, I know. It’s a kooky thought but this person could be you, reading right now. Maybe you find the writing humorous but aren’t really ready to go all out. Maybe having to keep track of the difference between a centrifugal and a masticating juicer and the benefits and reasoning behind each is a bit arduous. Maybe you don’t care all that much about the difference between juicing and blending or why one should dehydrate their food or grind their own grain. Maybe the how and why of it all is just a bit too much. Maybe you just want to keep it simple. After all isn’t simplicity crucial to a healthy lifestyle? I think so. Stress about diet as I’ve said again and again is just another stress and even those who think green can be neurotic about their lifestyle. So I thought possibly a little something about essentials would be appreciated. So here you have it; 8 essential foods to eat daily and a little bit about why.
1) Let’s start with spinach. Popeye was no dope however strange his musculature. Spinach builds bones, enhances eyesight and sexuality, grows muscle, and keeps your heart in tip top shape. It’s a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which decrease the risk of stroke, heart disease, and osteoporosis plus, folate increases blood flow to the penis. It’s also packed with lutein, a compound that fights age-related macular degeneration. It’s great in salads, cooked or juiced. Some worthy substitutes are Kale, bok choy or romaine lettuce.
2) Let’s go from Popeye to Bugs and talk about my favorite veggie to juice, carrots. Now that’s what’s up Doc. Carrots are incredible cancer fighters which also enhance eyesight and boost immunity. It’s all about the carotenoids. These fat-soluble compounds are associated with reduction of a broad range of cancers, as well as reducing the risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. The best substitutes are sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper or mango. Most red, yellow, and orange vegetables and fruits are spiked with carotenoids but none are as easy to prepare, or are as low calorie as carrots.
3). Yogurt—mmm mmm good! Now look my vegan buddies just let people do their thing. This 2000 year old food’s health benefits are undisputed. Like spinach, yogurt is a bone builder but it also fights cancer and boosts immunity. Fermentation spawns uncountable probiotic organisms that reinforce the millions of beneficial bacteria in your body. These boost the immune system and provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic so buy ones that read “live and active cultures” or better yet, make your own. Yogurt is also a great add to blended smoothies. For variety try kefir or soy yogurt.
3). “You say tomato, I say tomato”, wait… could those lyrics be written? Anyway, however you say it tomatoes are a beautiful and brilliant fruit (that’s right, scientifically speaking, tomatoes are a fruit people). They fight cancer keep your heart healthy and boost your immune system. Red ones are where it’s at because they’ve got more of the antioxidant lycopene, and it’s ok if they’re processed because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene that way. Studies have shown that a lycopene rich diet can decrease the risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Tomatoes can be eaten raw or juiced but aim for at least a full glass or eight red cherry tomatoes a day. Other lycopene rich foods are red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya and guava.
4). Blueberries; the core of any good smoothie and possibly the most antioxidant food on the planet. Blueberries are a brain stimulant and are even called the “brain berry” because of their ability to help prevent age related memory loss. They’re also an incredible cancer fighter, they keep your heart healthy, prevent diabetes and boosts immunity. Blueberries are also rich in fiber and vitamins A and C and they are as potent frozen or dried as they are fresh. Açai berries are the new fad and are an adequate substitute but you can also try purple grapes, prunes, raisins or strawberries.
5) Beans, beans, good for your heart; the more you eat, the more you’re smart… (well they’re a brain stimulant too. What did you think I was going to say?) They also make you strong because they help promote muscle growth. Black Beans are the best by far because they’re filled with anthocyanins, an antioxidant compound that has been shown to improve brain function. Close seconds are pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans as well as peas and lentils.
6) Sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t but you should eat them anyway. Nuts, particularly walnuts promote muscle growth, stimulant your brain, fight cancer boost immunity and keep your heart strong. Walnuts are richer in omega-3s than salmon, they’re packed with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine and they’ve got as much muscle-building protein as chicken. Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia and hazelnuts are a close second but none really compare to the walnut.
7) Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey. A kiddley divey too but you shouldy doats. Lots of em. If this joke’s gone past you, google “Mairzy Doats” and understand that I’m talking about Oats. And I’m saying you should eat them, like the mares and does do… (Explaining jokes just ruins them huh?) Anyway, Oats are the last but certainly not least of the 8 essentials because they’re incredible for your heart, they stimulate your brain and they promote muscle growth. Why? Because they’re crammed with soluble fiber, which lowers the risk of heart disease and they’ve got 10 grams of protein per ½-cup serving so they deliver steady muscle-building energy. Quinoa, flaxseed and wild rice are great as well.
Wow… for a keep it simple article this sure turned into a long one.