Food and Diet

Food and Diet

Why do things that are "good for you" always taste bad? 
Well, they don't have to.  At last researchers are finding that fun foods can also be healthy.  


By now most of us know that a glass or two of red wine a day is good for your heart.  The flavonoids in wine reduce cholesterol levels, open up arteries and increase blood flow.  No wonder a glass of wine makes me feel so good!  And flavonoids not only help our hearts they also reduce the growth of cancer cells in the breast, prostate, liver and mouth.  And then they go on to help prevent osteoporosis!  But what to do if you don't like wine or don't want to drink alcohol?  Drinking grape juice brings the same benefits - but it must be the dark grape juice.  Neither grapes by themselves nor white grape juice have the healthy flavonoids -- these are stored in the seeds of the red grapes and are only released when the grape is crushed and made into juice.


Tea is another healthful drink as most types of tea have high levels of anti-oxidants.  Anti-oxidants gobble up something called "free-radicals" which are toxic by-products of normal metabolism.  Left alone in the body, free radicals make cells age more quickly and encourage them to become cancerous.  Researchers have found that tea is an even stronger anti-oxidant than vitamins C and E.  So drinking tea helps your body fight off young cancer cells, reduces heart disease and protects against osteoporosis.  Tea also contains the natural precursor of a common drug to treat asthma.  It helps to open up the bronchi when you are sick with a cold or bronchitis.


With all these good things to drink, don't forget to put out the nuts.  Walnuts are high in flavonoids and offer the same health benefits as wine and grape juice.  Cashews, almonds, and peanuts are high in unsaturated fat and can actually reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL.  Nuts also provide a good source of vitamin E and protein.  And, they are rich in an amino acid called arginine, which opens and relaxes blood vessels.


Another great health food is CHOCOLATE!  Cocoa and dark chocolate are rich sources of flavonoids (more so than milk chocolate).  Like wine and grape juice they open your arteries - and your heart.  For many people the brain chemicals released when chocolate hits the tongue are the same as those released when we fall in love.


So enjoy the good things in life - but need I add -- enjoy them in some moderation.  I recommend kissing the person in your life between bites and sips.  Kissing is great for your immune system and lifts your spirits even better than chocolate.  If there's no person around to kiss, then hug your child - or your dog or cat - all great for your spirits and health.

If you have any questions or comments or if there is a topic you would like me to write about, please let me know through the email address on the contact page.
Maquita Schwarz (a.k.a. Dr. Guild)