Greg's Wellness Corner

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Healthy Foods

Here is a list of the major healthy foods that you should use to get started on your new journey: from a world of disease and despair to a world of wellness and joy.

Vegetables, Some Fruits, Other Plants:

include green and bright-colored, tasty foods that are full of critical macro and micro-nutrients.

Vegetables include green/leafy and bright-colored, such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choi, greens (collards, mustard, kale), Romaine lettuce; asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, kelp,  string beans; beans, carrots, onions, garlic, okra, peppers (orange, red, yellow, green), squash; mushrooms; sea vegetables; and, legumes.

Fruits include dark, bright colored fruits such as açai berries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, elderberries, strawberries, apples, grapes, pears, goji berries; plus, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangosteens, and pomegranates.
Note: You may need to avoid fruit during the first 3 stages of the program.

Filtered water: comes from whole raw vegetables and fruits, raw juices, grasses, and tap water that has been filtered. Most tap water contains contaminants including bacteria, viruses, parasites, dissolved metals, pesticides, herbicides, waste, lead, asbestos fibers, fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals.

 

 

Lean protein: includes fish (wild salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, tilapia), nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, whey protein, whole soy foods (tofu, tempeh, miso); lean, organic beef, free-range chicken breast without the skin, turkey breast without the skin; goat’s milk, raw milk, low fat plain yogurt; organic eggs, egg whites; low fat cheese, soy/tofu cheeses, blue-green algae (spirulina, chlorella);

grains (amaranth, quinoa); wild game (venison, bison, bear); organic seafood

(shrimp, crab, lobster); and most vegetables.

 

 

 

Unsaturated fats: include monounsaturated fat, Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat, some Omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, and certain saturated fats.

Monounsaturated fat is contained in extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nuts, cashews, avocados, peanuts, walnuts, and almonds. Omega-3 fats are found in cold-water fish such as wild salmon and sardines; and, nuts such as walnuts and almonds.

 

 

 

 

Organic whole grains: include amaranth, quinoa, kamut, barley, oat, rice germ/bran, and alfalfa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Foods

Here are some of the super foods that can help you to prevent or fight disease.

Cocoa powder: provide flavonoids

Coconut Oil (Extra Virgin): provides unsaturated fat  with lauric acid to help metabolize fat and lose weight

Cod Liver Oil (Norwegian): provides Vitamin D and Omegas-3s

Flaxseed (Golden), Flax Hulls: provides fiber, lignans, superior fats, i.e. ALA; add to smoothies and salads

Garlic: has anti-microbial, anti-fungal, antibiotic properties. If you don't like raw garlic, then, try aged garlic.

Goji Berries: contain unique carbohydrate compounds known as polysaccharides that fortify your immune system and enhance the body's ability to resist disease. Goji berries are also considered to be adaptogens, substances with a combination of therapeutic actions. An adaptogen invigorates and strengthens the system while helping the body to deal with stress.

Super Greens: provide chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients to help nourish, cleanse, and detox the body at the cellular level.

Green Tea, White Tea: provide antioxidant protection

Kale: is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll; contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration; also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer

Kelp: plus other sea vegetables (i.e. wakame, arame) provide critical nutrients that reduce insulin resistance, and have anti-cancer properties

Kiwi: provides  Vitamins A, C, E, potassium, and its black seeds can be crushed to produce kiwi fruit oil, which is very rich in alpha linoleic acid

Lemons & Limes: contains acetic acid, which has glycemic lowering properties

Mangosteen: contains unique phytochemicals called xanthones that give this fruit special medicinal properties, unavailable in any other common fruit. Mangosteen also contains other potent natural compounds like catechins, polysaccharides, quinones, stilbenes and polyphenols that each provide different benefits.

Mushrooms: medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, chaga, maitake, shiitake, and cordyceps offer potent immune system support and many other scientifically verified health benefits through the action of compounds such as polysaccharides. Some of those health benefits include anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antihyperglycemic, anticancer, and cardio-protective.

Noni: is believed to contain more than 150 nutrients, including vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, C and E), minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and selenium), protein, amino acids (including all the essential amino acids), phytonutrients, polysaccharides and digestive enzymes.

Nuts (i.e. Almonds, Walnuts): provide fiber, Omega-3 EFAs, plant protein

Olive Oil (Extra Virgin): provides monoun-saturated fats and oleic acid to help with Omega-3 EFA absorption
Note: The very best olive oils are buttery, rich and luxuriant to the taste, full of life, with very minimal 'peppery' qualities. This is because of their freshness as well as low acid content.

Onions: contain nutrients that provide antioxidant support

Quinoa: provides fiber and a high level of protein
Note: Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is an ancient grain that is high in protein (8 grams in 1 cup cooked), fiber (5 grams per cup) and a naturally good source of iron, zinc, Vitamin E, and selenium -- to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, or lean protein for a whole-grain medley.

Royal Jelly, Raw Honey: provides antioxidant and anti-fungal protection

Salt: provides critical nutrients (i.e. magnesium, sodium); avoid table salt (white in color), use Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt (light brown in color)

Sardines: provides Omega-3 EFAs, quality protein, and antioxidant support

Sea vegetables: may be a unique food source not only for the mineral iodine, but also for the mineral vanadium. As part of their natural defense mechanisms, sea vegetables contain a variety of enzymes called haloperoxidases. These enzymes all require vanadium in order to function. Although this mineral is not as well known as some of the other mineral nutrients, it appears to play a multi-faceted role in regulation of carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar.
 
Spinach: provides fiber, water, and chlorophyll, which helps to reduce insulin resistance

Tea (Green, White): provide antioxidant support

Tuna (canned): provides Omega-3 EFAs, quality protein, and antioxidant support

Wheat Grass: provides key minerals, chlorophyll, to reduce insulin resistance

Note: Wheat grass contains the highest percentage of absorbable vitamins, minerals and trace elements of any plant -- key nutrients for anyone fighting diabetes. Sweet Wheat comes from the world’s highest quality mineral-rich wheatgrass, and, is the world’s No. 1 100% Organic Freeze Dried Wheatgrass Juice powder.

Wild salmon (canned, flash-frozen): provides high levels of Omega-3 EFAs, superior protein, and antioxidant support

Yogurt: provides probiotic support, use organic or homemade

Note: This is not a complete list of super foods, but, it should be enough to get you started.

 

Health Benefits of Healthy Foods

 

Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, string beans, and celery are an excellent source of key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which help to address inflammation and insulin resistance within the cells.

Bright-colored vegetables
such as carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash, red onions, and eggplant provide similar vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help fight various diseases.

These vegetables, which should cover at least half of your plate, also contain fiber which slows down their absorption helping to delay the emptying of the stomach and thereby smoothing out the absorption of sugars into the blood.

Vegetables provide anti-glycemic and anti-cancer health benefits along with other health benefits for the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and other organs in the body.

Avocado is excellent because it contains monounsaturated fat, magnesium, potassium, folate, antioxidants such as Vitamin E, and fiber, which helps to remove cholesterol from the blood and improve bowel regularity and the health of the colon.

Fruits such as apples, berries, cherries, grapefruit, and pears also contain fiber to help slow down the absorption of the sugar. In addition, fruits provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients that help to nourish and protect the cells from excessive oxidative damage.

Dietary fiber (insoluble and soluble) in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and some organic grains help to lower cholesterol, normalize blood glucose levels, and maintain bowel regularity.  Insoluble fiber passes through the digestive tract relatively unchanged to keep us regular. Soluble fiber dissolves to form a soft gel that helps to lower our cholesterol and control blood sugar.   Some familiar foods that contain soluble fiber (pectins, gums, and mucilages) include apples, apricots, citrus, oats, lentils, dried beans and peas.

Fiber-rich vegetable sources include broccoli, string beans, turnips, lima beans, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, kale, collards, winter squash. Fiber-rich legume sources include black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, split peas, navy beans, and yams. Fiber-rich nuts and seeds include almonds, cashews, chestnuts, filberts, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts. Fiber-rich fruits include avocados, dried figs, blackberries, prunes, raisins, apricots, apples (with skin), and pears (with skin). Other dietary fibers include inulin, oligofructose, and psyllium seed husk.

Note: Inulin belongs to a class of fibers known as fructans that is a special storage form of partly indigestible starch found in many root vegetables including onion and garlic. Inulin sails straight through our small intestine and becomes pet-food for the bacteria that inhabit our large intestine. Our bacteria love the stuff, chomping away furiously on it and converting it into gases and fatty acids (which we then absorb into our blood stream). Consequently, inulin acts as food (prebiotic) for the good bacteria in our gut. Food sources include asparagus, leek, onions, and garlic. Higher concentrations exist in herbs such as dandelion root, elecampane root and chicory root.  But, avoid the man-made inulin found in processed foods such as bread, baked goods, and dairy products.

Sea vegetables (such as kelp/kombu, nori, wakame, and arame) are an excellent source of iodine and vitamin K, a very good source of the B-vitamin folate, and magnesium, and a good source of iron and calcium, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. They also contain measurable amounts of vitamins C and E.  Sea vegetables are well-researched as containing a variety of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, which may help to prevent some cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Marine alagae (chlorella, spirulina) is a true superfood that provides a plethora of vitamins, minerals, EFAs, antioxidants, etc. that help to strengthen the immune system and detoxify the body.

Filtered water comes from whole raw vegetables and fruits, raw juices, grasses, and tap water that has been filtered. Most tap water contains contaminants including bacteria, viruses, parasites, dissolved metals, pesticides, herbicides, waste, lead, asbestos fibers, fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals. Of these, the most contaminating to the body are the heavy metals and chemicals such as pesticides, chlorine, and fluoride.

Chlorine, which is used by your municipal water company to purify the water, is toxic to the thyroid and forms carcinogens when it combines with organic materials in the water. Exposure to chlorinated water (e.g. drinking, bathing, showering) may be linked with an increase in bladder and rectal cancers in the U.S, based on research conducted jointly at Harvard University and the Medical College of Wisconsin. There is also evidence indicating that chlorine damages protein in the body and may cause cells to mutate and cholesterol to oxidize. This disinfectant/bleach dries your skin, causes damaged and brittle hair, burns your eyes, and can make the following conditions worse: allergies, asthma, sinus conditions, diabetes, and skin rashes.

Because of health issues associated with fluoride/fluorine (e.g. Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases), many European countries have either reduced or discontinued their use of fluoride in their water.

Even if the municipal water supplies were pure at the treatment facility, the water has to travel through miles of pipes to reach your home, adding various pollutants and toxins. Consequently, it is imperative that you purify your water as best you can with one of three methods:

(1) Filtration, which involves a carbon or ceramic filter that removes some contaminants, including chlorine, some heavy metals, pesticides, and odors, but, may not remove fluoride, which is difficult to remove.

(2) Reverse Osmosis, which forces water first through a filter that removes sediment and then through a super-fine second filter that screens out microorganisms, asbestos, toxic chemicals and PCBs. Then, the water is passed through a reverse osmosis membrane and, finally, an activated carbon filter to provide a very tasty and pure water.

(3) Distillation, which heats the water to steam to remove almost all contaminants, but the water may have a poor taste with possibly damaged molecules.

Health Benefit of Water: Water helps to hydrate the cells to transport nutrients throughout the body. Also, water is the medium that keeps tissues soft and permeable, helps to regulate body temperature and helps to ensure proper bowel movement. And, because water is so important to the proper functioning of all systems of the body, you want to provide your body with filtered water only. Given that many people are dehydrated and have thick, sticky blood due to the high blood glucose levels, drinking filtered water is a necessity.

But, do not get carried away with drinking too much water, which can cause frequent urination, depleting the body of important minerals such as magnesium and potassium. It is just as important to get water from the green, leafy and bright-colored vegetables and some fruits.

Lean protein foods include wild salmon, tuna, organic  poultry (chicken, turkey without the skin), bison, venison, organic eggs (from free-range chickens), fermented soy, nuts and seeds. Lean protein foods, when properly digested, provide the necessary amino acids without the high level of saturated fat, antibiotics and growth hormone that come from conventional animal meat. This increases the body’s utilization of glucagon and insulin causing a decrease in the production of insulin, which leads to less fat storage and cholesterol production.

Health Benefits of Protein: These lean protein foods increase the production of growth hormones, stimulating the production of testosterone and muscle while burning fat. Some of these foods (beans, lentils, mushrooms) also provide fiber, which helps to slow down the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream preventing a high rise in the blood glucose and insulin levels.

In addition, the fermented foods such as homemade yogurt, miso and tempeh help to improve the intestinal flora balance, build the immune system and generate new nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids, digestive aids and the trace mineral GTF chromium. Wild salmon contains Omega-3 EFAs, high quality protein and the antioxidant astaxanthin.

Sardines (from the Mediterranean) contain Omega-3 EFAs, CoQ10, potassium, calcium, and, being small fish, they contain very little mercury. Lean organic beef and wild game provide the essential amino acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may help to metabolize fat.

Raw organic eggs from free-range chickens provide folic acid, choline and Omega-3 EFAs to help the cardiovascular system. Organic soy protein (with the isoflavones genestein and daidzein) can provide cardiovascular and anti-cancer health benefits, but soybeans, which contain hemaglutinins (that cause red blood cells to clump) and high levels of phytic acid, can increase the production of bad estrogen, leading to prostate and breast cancers.

Monounsaturated fat, which is considered to be the healthiest fat, contains large amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are predominantly found in olive oil (73%) and macadamia nut oil (80%). Monounsaturated fat, which is not “saturated” with hydrogen, is heart-healthy, and has none of the adverse effects associated with saturated fats, trans fats or Omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils. It is more resistant to oxidation, a process that leads to cell and tissue damage in the body.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat is another healthy fat that is contained in flaxseed oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and oily fish, such as wild salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring. Plant-based foods such as flaxseed, nuts, and wheat germ contain one of the Omega-3 EFAs, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Marine crustaceans and oily fish such as wild salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel contains the other two common Omega-3 EFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Other sources of Omega-3 EFAs include dark green vegetables such as seaweed, broccoli, spinach, kale; and, other green vegetables like spring greens, dark salad leaves, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and parsley. Walnuts are the only nut that contains both monounsaturated fat and Omega-3 EFA.

Omega-6 polyunsaturated fat is contained in walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, black currant seed oil, evening primrose oil and borage oil, which contain the Omega-6 EFAs, linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) Use GLA to activate Omega-3 fatty-acids (via delta-6 saturase), ensuring absorption by the plasma cell membrane while inhibiting delta-5 desaturase (conversion to arachidonic acid).

Health Benefits of MUFAs and EFAS: Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and essential fatty acids (EFAs), especially the Omega-3 EFAs, are critical to cardiovascular and mental health but cannot be made in the body. For this reason, it is essential that we acquire these fats from vegetable and plant oils.

MUFAs and EFAs are needed for heart and brain function, immune system support, healing, growth and development, bone health, joint health, muscle growth, stimulation of skin and hair growth, regulation of metabolism, control of inflammation, fat burning, and maintenance of reproductive processes.

EFAs bring oxygen and vitamins to the tissues, repair cell membranes, keep cells supple, generate electrical currents, are crucial to the electrical reactions of cells, and are involved in generating the electric currents that maintain a regular heartbeat. EFAs act as solvents to remove hardened fat and are crucial for weight loss; and, appear to regulate chromosome stability.

EFAs contain anti-inflammatory properties and do not clog the arteries or make the blood thicker like the oil or fat from animals or dairy products. These EFA oils lubricate the joints and arteries and keep the blood thin, preventing ailments such as arthritis and high blood pressure. They are also typically high in Vitamin E, providing antioxidant protection.

Since fats make up sixty percent of the brain and the nerves that run every system in the body, the higher the quality of the fat in the food, the better the brain and nerves will function. The brain sends chemical messengers throughout the body, telling each organ how to work. An important group of these chemical messengers are the prostaglandins (so-called because they were originally discovered in the prostate gland). Prostaglandins initiate the body’s self-repair system. The body needs both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats to manufacture healthy brain cells (the message senders) and prostaglandins (the messengers).

Specifically, the body uses the Omega-3 EFAs to make the beneficial Series 3 prostaglandins, which regulate platelet stickiness, arterial muscle tone, the inflammatory response, sodium excretion, and the immune function. All of these regulatory functions are reversing the fight or flight stress-related response in the body, so if the body is deficient in Omega-3 EFAs, it cannot wind down normally from the stress response, which may lead to anxiety, depression, or chronic fatigue – ailments that are prevalent in many people.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are better obtained from marine life (crustaceans known as krill) and from cold water fish such as wild salmon, sardines and tuna. Fish oil has been proven in many clinical studies to provide numerous health benefits to the cardiovascular, neural, joint, gastrointestinal, brain, skin, ocular, and immune systems.

EPA specifically protects the cardiovascular system by promoting normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increasing blood flow and enhancing immune function.

DHA specifically supports the cell membranes of the eyes, nerves and brain, which is 60% fat and predominantly DHA fat. Because ocean-raised wild salmon feed on smaller fish that eat EPA-and DHA-rich algae, they are an excellent source of the EPA and DHA oils. (But, farm-raised salmon, which are fed grain and other contaminants, do not contain much of these oils).

Flaxseed delivers the full benefits of Omega-3 EFA (alpha linolenic acid), the Omega-6 and Omega-9 EFAs, plus all of the fiber, protein, lignans, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which are important nutrients for overall good health. Lignans are a type of natural plant chemical contained within the cell matrix of the flaxseed that act as plant hormones. When bacteria in the digestive tract act on plant lignans, these compounds are converted into potent, hormone-like substances, known as a phytoestrogens.

Research findings have concluded that the chemical release of these phytoestrogens is able to block the action of certain cancer-causing substances associated with breast, colon and prostate cancers.

Similar to seeds, many nuts also provide the Omega-3 fats and quality fiber, which helps to slow down the body’s absorption of the nut’s carbohydrate content.

But if you’re trying to curb the carbs, the nut to avoid is the cashew. One ounce of cashews (about a handful) contains 9 grams of carbs, but only one gram of fiber. That’s 8 net carbs, and no other nut comes close to that amount. The next highest in the carb category is the pistachio with 5 net carbs. Most of the others have only two or three net carbs. The pecan has the lowest number of carbs – 1 net carb per ounce.

If you want more calcium, almonds are a good source. They also deliver magnesium, which helps the absorption of calcium. If you need to boost Vitamin E and potassium, then, eat hazelnuts. Brazil nuts provide selenium and zinc. The peanut provides good amounts of niacin, folate, and Vitamin E, but avoid the salty, roasted versions.

Concerning the Omega-6 EFAs, most people obtain an excess of linoleic acid from various foods. Linoleic acid can be converted to GLA, which is beneficial to the cardiovascular and nervous systems; and helps to increase absorption of Omega-3 EFAs.

But, the linoleic acid is not converted because of metabolic problems caused by diets rich in sugar, alcohol, or trans fats, as well as smoking, pollution, stress, aging, viral infections, and other illnesses such as diabetes. Consequently, it may be necessary to supplement with GLA-rich foods such as borage oil, black currant seed oil, or evening primrose oil.

(Some) Organic whole grains, such as amaranth, quinoa, kamut, barley, steel-cut oat, rice germ/bran, and alfalfa, provide vitamins such as the B-complex and Vitamin E; minerals such as chromium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron; and, insoluble fiber such as cellulose and hemicellulose.

However, grain products that are labeled “multigrain”, “stone ground” or “whole wheat” are not necessarily whole grain products – they are processed grains that cause glucose and insulin spikes. Check the ingredients carefully and look for “whole grain” as the first ingredient and at least 3 grams of fiber per serving/100 calories.

Health Benefits: Once you have stabilized your blood glucose level, some organic whole grains may provide some benefits because of the insoluble fiber (roughage), which helps to increase stool bulk, speeds the passage of stools through the bowel, and may help to prevent bowel cancer, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Insoluble fiber is also important in suppressing hunger since, with fluids, it helps to provide a feeling of fullness.

To summarize, these 5 “live” super foods provide vital nutrients and exert less strain on the gastrointestinal system and other organs because they contain organically-active nutrients, good bacteria, antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, essential oils, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

As a result, the body requires less energy to “break down” live foods and has the necessary energy and raw materials to strengthen the immune system and protect the body from oxidation, toxicity, acidity, inflammation, infection and the various systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

And, if you already have one of these diseases, these nutrients help to perform other biochemical functions that facilitate healing and reversing the disease in your body.