Health & Wellness

Published on June 5th, 2011 | by thevyne

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Your Diet May Be Balanced-But Are You?

By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer” of Chicago Fit 4 Life

The average American diet is roughly 8% fruits, vegetables and beans. We are told to eat 5 or more portions a day, but to get real impact on your weight or health, you need to radically and dramatically increase daily intake, and put a special focus on green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and salad. Often what keeps us from doing this is that we are told to pursue a “balanced diet” and to “eat sensibly”. But what if your body is out of balance and overweight? In order to attain balance, we might need to pursue an “unbalanced diet” where we simply invert the ratios of fruits and vegetables in relation to everything else?

There is also a growing body of evidence that shows that plant-based foods help to control food cravings and overeating. They are nutrient dense, which simply means they are packed with all sorts of good things for you, which is something most of us know. But what is new is the idea that a diet very high (much more than the recommended 5 servings a day) can help turn off our cravings for processed foods. Maybe you are getting older and would be motivated by the fact that certain fruits like Pears help to preserve your eyesight, lower your cholesterol and help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Just being told that “something is good for you” often does nothing. So here is a list of fruits and vegetables with the low down on what actually makes them “good for you”:

List of Fruits and Vegetables

Wild Mixed Berries (blue, rasp, straw, black, cran, goji, coffee, noni, acai, etc.): as a whole are a nutritional powerhouses. They can help joint health, heart health, cancer prevention, muscular degeneration along with a host of other benefits from their plethora of antioxidants and nutrients.

Kiwis: are an often overlooked fruit, as they almost taste too good to be so healthy! They have twice the vitamin C of oranges, and are one of the most nutrient dense fruits on the planet. They are very high in fiber and potassium for a healthy heart. Kiwis have been shown to not only prevent oxidative DNA damage, but they have been shown to help stimulate the repair of the cellular damage that has occurred.

Cherries: are loaded with antioxidant compounds that are anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-cancer. They contain the wonderful quercetin, an anti-cancer compound. They also contain ellagic acid, like raspberries, a powerful anti-tumor compound that causes cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells, with no change to healthy cells. It is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial.

Pomegranates: just a few ounces of juice everyday will help lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and help slow aging. Pomegranates are also shown to help prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, help prevent blood clotting, slow the growth of prostate cancer, and improve erectile dysfunction

Red Delicious Apple: has the most antioxidants of any apple, mainly due to its deep red color. Apples, like cherries, they contain quercetin, which is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that may help prevent Alzheimer’s and heart disease. It is also high in pectin, a great soluble shown to help lower LDL cholesterol. Apples are also high in boron, which may help prevent osteoporosis and arthritis.

Eggplant: makes you smarter. Eggplant has a compound called Nasunin which protects brain cells from damage. It also improves cardiovascular health with its high levels potassium and fiber.

Carrots: help improve eye, skin, and hair. Carrots are great because they can be cut up and used as a healthy snack to just nibble on throughout the day. One carrot has enough vitamin A for an entire day.

Broccoli: reduces the risk of stomach, lung, and rectal cancer. High levels of vitamin C & Folate. Sweet Potato lessen the effects of arthritis. Helps reduce the risk of colon cancer and diabetes. High levels of iron, calcium and fiber.

Tomato: is a metabolism booster. Lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes are renowned for their cancer-fighting capabilities. This vegetable can be used in paste, soup, juice, or sauce form for whatever, whenever. High in levels of potassium, fiber, Vitamin A & K

Kale: is known for its detoxing ability, its prevention of cancer, high levels of vitamin C & Folate

Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast : ½ orange or 1 8 ounce glass orange juice or cranberry juice 2 slices of tomatoes Water

Lunch: Mixed salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers Low fat/low calorie salad dressing Water Afternoon Snack Bowl of berries of your choice Or 1 apple sliced

Dinner: Green Beans Broccoli, carrot, cauliflower medley steamed Evening Snack 2 servings raw vegetables

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