Eating Your Way To A Healthier You
With obesity, aging, cancer and heart disease on the rise, a whole new food movement has taken shape to find ways to boost our bodies with
ingredients that combat and prevent illness. Not entirely new, but definitely growing, more and more people are looking for healthier meals and
snacks. Beta-carotene, antioxidants and omega 3s are no longer completely foreign to our vocabulary. And while many of us may not know exactly
what these things are, we do know they are good for us.
There’s a certain trendiness to this new eating. Magazine headlines tout the benefits. Food packaging displays them boldly. But studies show
the benefits are much greater than simply being in vogue. New evidence promotes these super ingredients for everything from arthritis and acid
reflux to cancer, migranes and dimentia.
Here’s a short glossary of a few of these ingredients.
Antioxidants are molecules that slow down the oxidation of other molecules. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and enzymes such as catalase, and superoxide
dismutase are antioxidants. Widely found in many foods such as blueberries, broccoli, garlic, and whole grains, their slowing capabilities are
known to prevent heart disease and cancer, reduce blood pressure, and slow the effects of aging.
Beta-Carotene is a nutrient that converts to Vitamin A in our body. One of the better-know antioxidants, beta-carotene is found in apricots,
carrots, cantaloupes and leafy greens like spinach.
Isoflavones are found manly in legumes such as soy and chick peas.. Soy foods differ in their concentration of isoflavones, but all
traditional soy foods like tofu, soy milk, tempeh and miso are rich in isoflavones. Processed soy foods such as soy hot dogs or soy ice cream are
a bit less concentrated. Considered an estrogen mimic, eating foods with isoflavones are recommended for women in menopause.
Lutein is found in the red, orange, and yellow pigments of fruits and vegetables. Some examples are tomatoes, carrots, squash, and also green
leafy vegetables. Necessary for good vision and lowers your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration. It may also prevent or slow down the
thickening of arteries that is called arteriosclerosis.
Omega Oils are essential fatty acids and include Omega 3s and Omega 6s. Foods rich in The sea provides us with most Omega 3s while land gives
us our Omega 6s. Most well known for Omega 3 is salmon. Promoted as a regulator, Omega oils in your diet are also found in flaxseed, canola, dark
leafy greens and walnuts. Benefits of omega oils includes lowering the cholesterol and triglycerides that cause heart disease, and also aids the
fight against asthma, depression and arthritis.
Sterols are a chemical cousin of cholesterol found in plants. In your diet, sterols can lower your cholesterol by about 10%. Foods to eat to
get your dose are legumes and vegetable oils. Many products add sterols to make them heart-healthy such as Smart Balance margarine and Minute
Maid Premium Heart Wise Orange Juice.