[caption id="attachment_7364" align="alignleft" width="300"] via Patrick Feller on Flickr[/caption]
by Scott Jackson
When you ask anybody "what are the healthiest foods in the world?" they will answer -"fresh fruits and vegetables". Then ask them how much they eat and most will say "not many or none".
The majority of Americans are eating the standard American diet (S.A.D.). The sad diet includes way too many processed and junk foods. Fast foods, processed foods, candies, imitation foods as well as fatty meats are the predominate table fare for most Americans.
It is no wonder that health related issues are on the rise in America. Even with the government recommending 5 - 8 servings of fruit and vegetables daily, many people get their vegetables from the lettuce, onions and pickles on the top of a slab of meat. Not the best way to get your vegetables and certainly not enough.
So why not eat more fruits and vegetables? If you look at nature and see who are the closest to us in body type (gorillas, chimps, bondos) and study what they eat you will get a better idea of what we were intended to consume. These large animals consume a raw vegan diet. They primarily consume fruits, leaves, stems, shoots and other raw plant matter.
They have digestive systems that are similar to ours. They have the same teeth structure. They have hands very similar to ours. Hands that are designed to pick fruit and grab other plant matter. Man and these large apes are all fruigavores. Fruigavors eat mainly fruit and vegetables.
So here are some reasons we were designed to eat raw vegan food:
1. No other creature on earth except man cooks its food before it is eaten.
2. Every creature in nature has a food that is designed for it and is eaten in its raw natural state.
3. Our digestive system is much longer that a carnivore's and is designed to digest fruits and vegetables, not meat.
4. We are not designed to hunt and kill prey. We do not have claws, canine teeth that can kill, eye sight for seeing in the dark, superb hearing or other physical traits that carnivores have.
5. Our sense of smell is not as good as a carnivore and we can't use it to track or hunt with.
6. When a carnivore smells prey it salivates and natural hunting instincts kick in. We are usually repulsed by the natural smell of other animals. (Ever smell a barnyard and think how delicious it smells?)
7. Think of how you react to the smell of fresh fruit. Smells goods and can make your mouth water.
These are just a few of the many reasons why we were designed to eat a raw vegan diet. Simply by adding more fruits and vegetables, like Mother Nature intended, you should see some improvement in your health.
About the Author:
Scott Jackson weighed 298 pounds at the beginning of 2006 and lost an amazing 100 pounds in less than six months on a raw food diet. Scott is now a raw lifestyle coach and chef. He is the author of "Raw-licious Healthy and Delicious Recipes". If you are interested in adding more raw foods in your diet go to http://www.rawweightloss.com and Scott will give you a free copy of "Raw-licious Healthy and Delicious recipes".
by Jamie Clark
Imagine feeling great, having tons of energy, and enjoying incredible health all the time. If you eat the following healthy, great-tasting foods regularly (while avoiding unhealthy processed foods and sugar) you will be amazed at how incredible you'll feel. Try it for a week and see what happens!
Possibly the healthiest nut in the world, almonds are packed with good stuff like protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamin E and monounsaturated fat. Eating a handful of raw almonds every day will boost your energy and help to lower your "bad" cholesterol levels.
When it comes to healthy vegetables, it's tough to beat broccoli. This delicious green veggie has been shown to help prevent numerous health problems and will provide you with everything from fiber to calcium to cancer-fighting phytonutrients!
Red bean varieties (such as pinto beans and red kidney beans) are great sources of healthy protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They're also full of important minerals like iron and magnesium. Beans are powerful "prevention" foods that have been shown to help fight cancer, stroke and heart disease. Plus, due to their high-fiber content, they're great for anyone trying to lose weight and keep hunger in check.
Forget plain white potatoes. They're simply not that healthy. Start eating great-tasting sweet potatoes and you'll get a huge boost of beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber and B vitamins. Plus, sweet potatoes rank much lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes so they're less likely to spike your insulin and blood sugar levels (which can make your body store extra fat and zap your energy).
This high-fat fish is one of the healthiest types of animal protein you can eat. It's got the important omega-3 fatty acids everyone needs for optimal health and disease prevention. Always remember to choose grilled fish (not fried!) and, when possible, choose wild salmon as it is less likely to contain high levels of mercury.
All berries are healthy, but blueberries may be at the top of the list in terms
of ounce-for-ounce nutrition. These nutrient-dense fruits are loaded with powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals, not to mention fiber and healthy carbohydrates. If you want to stay young, there may be no better "anti-aging" food than blueberries ... so eat a handful every day!
The common apple is an incredibly powerful health food. Apples contain lots of important vitamins and minerals, including significant amounts of vitamin C. But the apple's most important nutrient may be pectin, a type of fiber shown to help lower cholesterol levels, maintain healthy blood glucose levels, and even help you lose body fat. The other great thing about apples is that they're very portable and can be used as a quick snack just about anywhere you go.
Jamie Clark is a long-time health writer and is co-editor of FreshHealthyUseful.com. For more useful health news and articles, be sure to visit http://www.freshhealthyuseful.com/ .
Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/martinlabar/2231159/
by Eric Thorn
A by-no-means-exhaustive search on the internet regarding "processed food" turns up some very divergent and controversial information and opinions on the subject. One camp eschews any kind of processed food; the other touts the safety and convenience of it.
What is processed food? Wikipedia describes "processed food" as any food that is changed from its natural, raw state. Did you peel your banana before you ate it? Cut your apple into slices? Stir-fry your dinner vegetables? Scramble your egg? You just processed your food by that definition. Following are common food processing techniques listed in the Wikipedia entry:
* "Removal of unwanted outer layers, such as potato peeling or the skinning of peaches
* Chopping or slicing, of which examples include potato chips, diced carrot, or candied peel.
* Mincing and macerating
* Liquefaction, such as to produce fruit juice
* Cooking, such as boiling, broiling, frying, steaming or grilling
* Addition of gas such as air entrainment for bread or gasification of soft drinks
* Spray drying"
Under that broad of a definition, nearly every food we eat is processed. However, most of us tend to define processed food in a much narrower sense. For us, "processed food" is food which has been chemically altered through additives such as flavors, flavor enhancers, binders, colors, fillers, preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, etc., or which has been manufactured through combination or other methods. Generally speaking, if the ingredients aren't "natural", then we consider it to be processed.
If you want to make yourself totally paranoid about your food (and that's not too hard to do), there is plenty of information out there spelling out all the horrors that await you from eating processed food: the cancers and diseases you will get from the dioxins and thousands of other toxic chemicals; the shorter life span you will have; the damage you personally are inflicting upon our planet through your consumption of processed food, etc. There is no shortage of Chicken Littles running around squawking about the sky falling. And, to some extent, they're right. The chemicals in our food and our environment are certainly not doing us any favors.
But are things really as bad as they make them out to be? The truth is, processing has made the world's food supply much safer to eat, and has made the storage of food a much healthier and more viable option. Processing kills pathogens, and extends the shelf life of food. Were there to be a food shortage or even a famine, shelf items are going to keep you alive a lot longer than raw food, which will be rotten within a few days. Processing had made it possible to transport food to famine-stricken areas, thus helping to relieve suffering worldwide. Processing even increases the bioavailability of some nutrients, such as lycopene, found in tomatoes.
Despite these benefits, a diet exclusive in processed foods will almost certainly lead to disease. Our bodies are designed to eat natural, raw foods; there's no doubt about that. Raw foods contain beneficial enzymes and nutrients that are destroyed through processing. Just because a pill contains the "nutrients" of a whole shopping list of vegetables doesn't mean our bodies get the same benefit as eating the vegetables themselves. Nutrients, enzymes, and other components of the foods we eat work synergistically. We really don't know how well they work when they're isolated from each other, or when we ingest synthetic versions.
We should eat as many raw foods as we can daily. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to our meals and snacks is an easy way to accomplish this. However, a totally vegan diet is just not feasible for most people. Time and resources are often strong opponents to good health. Additionally, there is not enough raw food for everybody to suddenly adopt veganism, nor would everybody want to. We must each find the proper balance that works for us.
Eliminating all processed food is probably not going to happen for most of us. But we can make better food choices and supplement our diets with missing components. We can opt for the apple over the apple juice. We can choose a baked potato or salad over french fries. We can choose whole-grain bread over the white fluff that is passed off as bread. We can take the time to read food labels. Chances are, if you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't be eating it. We can choose processed foods with a very short list of ingredients; the longer the list, the more processing involved, and the more nutrition lost.
Our bodies are amazing organisms, capable of extraordinary things. They are designed to filter out toxins at an astounding rate. They have a highly sophisticated defense system. They have an amazing ability to recover from serious damage. The key lies in providing our bodies with the necessary building blocks to accomplish what they were designed to do-to keep us alive!
About the Author:
Eric Thorn, a successful businessman, highly recommends the all natural Zija Moringa Beverage, 100% organic with vitamins, minerals & essential amino acids. Learn more about Zija visit http://www.zijapower.com.
Buy the book: Twinkie Deconstructed [affiliate link]
Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/75468125@N00/2291289407/