Tofino Nutrition - Top 8 Foods to promote Longevity
by Adam Buskard, Tofino
Research shows that the following foods help promote healthy living and longevity!
This power food helps build your blood. It is high in iron and vitamin K which helps stop bleeding (a remedy for nosebleeds). All of the dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale, swiss chard, and leeks, are very high in vitamins and nutrients, such as magnesium, folic acid, iron, vitamins A and C. Eat your spinach to increase your stamina!
This vegetable is the richest source of beta-carotene which protects against night blindness. It is also preventative against cancer (breast, prostate, and colon). Beta-carotene is especially protective of the lungs and is a must for smokers to help prevent lung cancer and emphysema. But be careful... if you eat too many carrots you may turn orange! (a condition called carotenia).
This fruit is very rich in potassium. Did you know it has 60% more potassium than bananas? Potassium is an important mineral to treat high blood pressure. It is especially important for people on certain diuretic blood pressure medications that deplete the body of potassium. As well, Potassium can help people who experience muscle cramps. Avocados are also rich in vitamins B, E and K and they have the highest fiber content of any fruit. An avocado has approximately 20% fat content, which can make it a misunderstood fruit, but cholesterol-free, avocados contain only the ‘good fat’. They are extremely high in unsaturated oil content -- second only to olives.
If you suffer from allergies, you might benefit from eating more onions!! Onions, as well as apples and grapes, are high in the antioxidant quercetin which has natural anti-histamine properties. Onions also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Onions have immune-boosting properties as well, to help cure the common cold and decrease phlegm and inflammation of the nose and throat. Onions may be especially beneficial for women who are at increased risk for osteoporosis, by destroying the activity of osteoclasts which break down bone. What a miracle food! Don’t cry!
A great cleanse for your liver! Beets increase the antioxidant enzyme glutathione in the liver, promoting detoxification. Beets also protect against cancer, especially colon cancer and were used traditionally as laxatives. In Roman times, beets were considered an aphrodisiac! They are rich in the mineral boron, which plays an important role in the production of human sex hormones.
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is an ancient grain that originated in the Andean region of South America, where it has been an important food for 6,000 years. In recent times this crop has come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%-18%), making it a healthy choice for vegetarians and vegans. Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus, and it is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten free and considered easy to digest. You need to shop at health food stores to find this one!!
Highly preventative against cancer, broccoli and all other members of the cabbage family (cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage) contain a substance called genistein which has been shown to inhibit the spread of cancer tumors. Also broccoli is very high in vitamin C (even higher than citrus!)
Blackberries rank highly among fruits for antioxidant strength. Antioxidants are important in fighting free radical damage (which causes aging and chronic disease). Blackberries are ranked at the top for antioxidant capacity (even greater than blueberries!) Also the seeds of blackberries are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids!!
Consider introducing these foods into your diet on a regular basis to promote healthier living and disease prevention!
The recommendations made in this column are for educational purposes only. For a detailed personal assessment, please contact Dr. Jeannie Doig, Naturopathic Doctor at 250.522.0033 or email email@example.com at the Pacific Rim Chiropractic and Naturopathic clinic in Tofino and Ucluelet.
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Tofino nutritionist Dr. Jeannie Doig writes about the Top 8 Foods to promote Longevity in the February 2011 issue of Tofino Time Magazine.