The foods you eat can play a major factor in your health. Heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, food allergies, gall stones, kidney stones, ulcers, plus a host of other conditions can be traced, in part, to what you eat. Despite the negative rep, your diet can also help you fight and even defeat some diseases. It’s all about choices.
Food as Medicine
Many foods can help you fight disease. Others do nothing for you, despite what you have heard. Some foods can really harm you. Here is a list of a few food facts and myths:
- Honey –Although many people swear that locally produced honey will help fight seasonal allergies due to the pollens in it, they are pollens that most people are not allergic to. Another myth: if you are diabetic and have switched to Agave Nectar, it is up to 90% concentrated fructose and is not much healthier for you than sugar, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, or any other sweetener.
- Fruits – Eat fresh whole fruits as often as possible, plus you can eat fruits packed in their own juices. Stay away from fruits canned in heavy or light syrup and miss out on the extra sugar. Is fruit really good for you? Yes, but eat it sensibly. While it can add vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet, it is also high in fructose and excess fructose is stored away as fat!
- Vegetables – If you love fruit, remember tomatoes are a fruit! And so is zucchini!
- Proteins – 50% of your proteins should be in the form of vegetables. Spinach and kale smoothies mixed with your favorite fruits make a nutritious breakfast. And nuts, seeds, and beans will help you maintain a healthier body weight plus add a variety of health benefits including helping to avoid or fight cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and kidney stones.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Found in fish (salmon being one of the best), flax seed, and walnuts can lower cholesterol and help lower your risk of heart disease. Eat tuna no more than once a month or avoid it and its high levels of mercury all together. Wild salmon is healthier and contains less of the harmful toxins found in farm raised salmon. (Store bought salmon should be marked either way.)
- Vinegar, Cranberry Juice, Lemons, and Beer vs. Bladder Infections – Urinary Tract Infections can be treated to an extent with apple cider vinegar (two teaspoons to a glass of water), cranberry juice, lemonade, and to a smaller amount, beer. Cranberry juice is often recommended to help fight bladder infections. However, cranberry juice is high in oxalate, which can promote some types of kidney stones. If you have kidney stones, drink lemonade and cranberry juice if you don’t.