NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Tuesday October 17th 2017

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“Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food”

Hello, This month we are very lucky to have an article written by Dr. Sara Jean Barrett, a Naturopathic Physician in Bloomington also doing health sessions here at Running Wolf. www.altsolutionsforhealth.com 

– Connie Norman

By Sara Jean Barrett

Hippocrates, a man commonly known as the father of modern medicine, is responsible for this insightful quote. In 431 B.C. he was really on to something. Our cells are made from and operate on what we consume. Throughout history many cultures have recognized the power of eating certain foods for all sorts of ailments. In the modern era food can be more than our medicine, it can also be our poison. We live in an age where we are surrounded by damaging products in our food; refined sugar, trans fatty acids, and high fructose corn syrup just to name a few. Additives, fillers and synthetic compounds are rampant in our foods and we must be diligent to avoid them. Even over 2,000 years later we still have nature’s perfect foods that promote health. In this article I am going to highlight some “super foods” that can have medicinal properties.

Wild blueberries– these tiny fruits pack a giant anti-oxidant punch! Wild blueberries (as opposed to cultivated) may even have more antioxidant power. Studies have shown that blueberries can reduce diabetes risk, improve vision and urinary health, and slow the aging process. No need to go hunting in the woods for wild blueberries, they are available in the frozen section of many co-ops and grocery stores.

Green tea-this light tasting tea is full of antioxidants and a compound called EGCG. Green tea may help reduce the incidence of breast, stomach, esophageal, prostate, and bowel cancer. For the anti-cancer effects you will need to drink between 5-10 cups per day. Green tea does possess caffeine so if you are sensitive to caffeine be cautious about drinking several cups per day. Green tea is a nice coffee replacement in the morning and can also be drunk cold in the summer. Mix it up by adding sliced cucumber, fresh mint leaves and even fruit.

Wild caught Alaskan salmon– salmon provides a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids which help to reduce inflammation in the body. Studies have shown salmon to have preventative effects on cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Avoid eating farmed salmon which can be high in environmental pollutants particularly PCB’s.

Dark green leafy vegetables– including kale, collards, and swiss chard are particularly dense with phytonutrients and minerals. Dark green leafy vegetables might just be the most nutrient dense food per calorie available for us. While they are full of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene, and lutein perhaps vitamin K deserves the spotlight. Vitamin K helps prevent osteoporosis, regulates blood clotting, reduces calcium in circulation helping to prevent atherosclerosis and may help prevent diabetes.

Cruciferous vegetables– broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and bok choy all contain a compound called indole-3 carbinol that provides cancer fighting properties. These vegetables also contain sulforaphane which promotes liver detoxification of carcinogens before they can damage cells. To maximize their benefit lightly steam, sauté or lightly bake them. Eating too much raw cruciferous can interfere with the thyroid and overcooking will destroy some of the health benefits.

Apple cider vinegar– has been used for centuries as a way to preserve food and as a health tonic. Some properties include weight loss, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and reducing blood sugar in diabetics. A study in 2007 showed that taking 2 TBS of apple cider vinegar before bed reduced morning glucose levels 4%-6%. Apple cider vinegar also contains chromium, which can help lower blood sugar. If you make dietary changes that could lower your blood sugar be sure to talk with your doctor and carefully watch your blood sugar levels.

Spices– a whole article could be written on different spices and their individual health benefits. To name a few- turmeric, popular in curry, is anti-inflammatory and helps ward off Alzheimer’s Disease. Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar as well as fight gas and bloating. Thyme is strongly anti-microbial and has a mucolytic action to help break up mucous if you have a cough.

Water– this list would not be complete without water. Mild dehydration has been linked to a myriad of diseases. A rule of thumb for myself is anytime I feel slightly ill whether it be a headache, cold symptoms or even a minor injury I start treatment with a glass of water. We require water to flush out toxins, maintain normal bowel function, protect and moisturizes our joints, aid in nutrient absorption…. need I say more?

In conclusion, when making choices try to eat food as close to nature as you can find and reap the health benefits!

Running Wolf Fitness Center (612)872-2388. Join for better health! Open to everyone, cost is $10./mo.-ind. & $30. /mo.-family. We have great fitness and nutrition classes.

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