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October 18, 2013

The well balanced diet that incorporates a “rainbow of natural colors”

rainbow of natural colors
Image courtesy of Supertrooper/

Eating a well balanced diet that incorporates a “rainbow
of natural colors” is a great way to benefit from all the fantastic phytonutrients discovered.

Below is the list of 10 foods that pack a wallop

Tomatoes - Cooked tomatoes contain Lycopene, a very potent and powerful
antioxidant capable of neutralizing free radicals. Studies indicate that the increased Lycopene from cooked or stewed tomatoes are linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer and other digestive tract cancers as well as protection from developing arteriosclerosis. Uncooked tomatoes are also a very good source of vitamin C.
Spinach - Naturally loaded with iron and the B vitamin- Folate (Folic Acid) which has been shown to help prevent neural tube defects in babies and it also helps lower homocysteine levels in your blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid metabolite that irritates and damages blood vessels which is linked to heart disease.Spinach also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful phytochemicals that may ward off macular degradation , which is a leading cause of blindness.

Red Wine - The French eat a diet rich in cheese and buttery sauces but suffer far less heart disease than Americans. This goes against everything you are told by the majority of “medical experts.” They tell you that eating all that animal fat (saturated fats) found in rich gravies, meat and cheese is linked to heart disease and heart attacks. Americans have been restricting their dietary intake of these natural saturated fat foods, yet the rate of heart disease continues to rise. The French people on the other hand continue to consume these natural foods as they please and are not plagued by high rates of heart disease. They call this the “French Paradox” and what they found is that the French people consume much larger amounts of red wine than most Americans.
It’s not the alcohol in the red wine that benefits you, (alcohol is very damaging to your body) but the wonderful antioxidants known as polyphenols found in red grapes and the resveratrol which is a natural component of the red grape skin and seeds.
The polyphenols found in red wine are very good at neutralizing harmful free radicals and the latest research is showing that they may also “inhibit the production of endothelin 1, a peptide that contributes to hardening of the arteries.” Resveratrol is mentioned for its unique ability to boost HDL (the good form) of cholesterol, but there are literally hundreds
of scientific studies that also show Resveratrol to be a potent cancer fighter and preventer.

Nuts - loaded with natural fats that can actually lower high triglycerides and LDL (the bad form) cholesterol while raising HDL (the good form) cholesterol as well. There are very few foods or nutrients which can lower LDl and raise HDL at the same time. Eating these natural fats in place of the “man made” unsaturated fats like hydrogenated vegetable oils found in potato chips, margarine and donuts, is a very healthy idea.
Broccoli - Loaded with many potent phytochemicals including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that “may detoxify cancer causing substances before they have a chance to cause harm.” Broccoli is a great source of beta carotene, fiber and vitamin C. Just 1 cup of broccoli actually contains more vitamin C than an orange.
Oats- While consuming oats is a good source of fiber, the biggest benefit may be in its
ability to help lower high cholesterol. Oats naturally contain beta glucans which can lower
cholesterol levels by getting rid of excess precursors to cholesterol found in your intestines.
Oats are also a natural source of the very beneficial vitamin E like compound called “Tocotrienols”
Salmon- Salmon are a good source of the beneficial Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Among other things, Omega 3 Fatty Acids are well known for their benefits in helping to “prevent platelets in your blood from clumping together and sticking to your arterial walls in the form of plaque. They also drive down triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol.” Researchers are now also suspecting that the Omega 3 Fatty Acid DHA may be beneficial in protecting your brain cells from damage and thus help to prevent the development of Alzheimers disease as well.

Garlic- Garlic is loaded with sulfur based compounds called allyl sulfides. These sulfides are what gives garlic that strong smell and they are responsible along with other substances for the benefits of protecting your heart. Garlic may also have antifungal and antibacterial properties as well.
Green Tea- Green tea contains powerful phytochemicals known as polyphenols. One type of polyphenol called a catechin, may inhibit the growth of new blood vessels that would normally feed and nourish a tumor. These same catechins may also prevent DNA damage from occurring to your cells that normally is caused by various carcinogens. Recent reports suggest that using green tea as a mouthwash may be very beneficial to inhibit cavity causing bacteria.
Blueberries- Pound for pound blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit or
vegetable. One of the most highly beneficial phyto nutrients found in blueberries is a flavonoid called- “anthocyanin.” The anthocyanins found in blueberries are well known for their ability to combat free radical damage that is linked to heart disease and cancer, but recent studies involving rats have demonstrated that the anthocyanins found in blueberries may be very beneficial to boost brain function.
When elderly rats were fed cyanin for 9 weeks, they outperformed a control group at navigating mazes and balancing on logs. After four months the elder rats that were given the anthocyanin performed the memory tasks just as well as the younger rats. Blueberries also seem to help fight urinary tract infections much like cranberries.

And Now the Bad News: Potatoes
Potatoes are supposed to be one of the world's greatest foods, filled with calcium, niacin, iron, vitamin C and plenty of carbohydrates. A diet of milk and potatoes, the textbooks say, will provide all the nutrients the human body needs. But there is trouble lurking beneath the skin. According to a controversial new theory, potatoes, eaten in large quantities by a population increasingly sedentary and overweight, may be a major contributor to America's alarming rates of heart disease and diabetes.
The problem, according to Meir Stampfer, a nutrition professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, is potato starch. When you eat a potato and that starch hits the saliva in your mouth, its tightly bundled molecules immediately get turned into sugars, which make a beeline for the blood. "You ate a potato," says Stampfer, "but your body is getting pure glucose." The flood of blood sugar sets off a chain reaction. Insulin pours out of the pancreas. Triglycerides shoot up. HDL (good) cholesterol takes a dive. "It's a perfect setup for heart disease and diabetes," says Stampfer.
This is not just a potato problem. It's also a problem with white bread, bagels and most white rice. But couch potatoes don't have to give up their spuds altogether, as long as they eat them in moderation. Or they could switch to sweet potatoes and yams, which metabolize less rapidly and wreak less havoc with blood sugar.
Based on an article in Time Magazine

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