MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
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A nutritious salad does not have to be dull and boring. Remember, eating should be a pleasure.
HEALTHY EATING OVERVIEW
Just as filling a car with good fuel makes it run smoothly and efficiently, fueling our bodies with the kind of food that provides optimum nutrition is one of the best ways to achieve good health. In fact, scientists are discovering that certain foods actually protect against disease. Carrots and Broccoli, for example, contain Beta-Carotene, which appears to be able to help the immune system destroy cancer cells. Healthy eating, however, also means eating less of the foods that are bad for us and avoiding foods that might contain harmful additives and pesticides.
Fad diets, based on extreme quantities or combinations of food, should be treated with caution and followed only under expert advice. It is surprisingly easy to miss out on essential nutrients and damage your health through malnutrition.
GUIDELINES FOR OPTIMUM NUTRITION
Most dietitians and nutritionists agree on certain guidelines for optimum nutrition. Many of these are based on traditional eating habits of people in southern Italy and Greece, areas with a history of low rates of long-term disease and high life expectancy.
Make a third of your daily diet starchy complex carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and whole grains. Eat at least seven portions a day of fruits and vegetables, preferably organically grown. Obtain protein from poultry, fish, legumes, cereal, and low-fat dairy products, rather than red meat. Use skim milk and low-fat dairy products instead of full-fat dairy foods. Eat oily fish for essential fatty acids. Use olive oil or other mono-saturated oils for salads and cooking. Eat plenty of foods high in fiber. Steam vegetables rather than frying or boiling. Drink fruit juices and enough water to keep your urine pale in color.
Ideally, eating a sensible well-balanced diet would mean we had no need for nutritional supplements, but there is growing evidence that the mass-processing of food may destroy some vitamins and minerals. Supplements can sometimes be beneficial. For example, additional Folic Acid for pregnant women can dramatically reduce the occurrence of spina bifida and other birth defects. Extra Selenium, a mineral that helps prevent cancer and which may be at dangerously low levels in the Western diet, could also be worthwhile. However, care should be taken with vitamin and mineral supplements. Excess Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, and Iron, for example, can cause health problems and increasingly it appears that benefits lie in the way food components work together, rather than in individual vitamins and minerals. See the links below for more information about nutritional guidelines, supplements, diets, and food analysis.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
Foods high in fiber, such as rice, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, prevent constipation, help lower blood cholesterol, and protect against bowel disease.
Dietary Fiber is made up of a complex group of substances, and although largely composed of carbohydrates, it is not broken down by the body for energy. Fiber is found only in plant foods and, because it is resistant to digestive enzymes, passes through the intestinal tract without being absorbed, helping to soften and increase the bulk of the stool. Insoluble fiber (found in rice, nuts, wheat bran, whole grains, and dried fruits) speeds the passage of food through the intestines and may help prevent the buildup of carcinogens that could cause cancer of the colon. Water-soluble fiber (found in oat bran, legumes, fruits, and vegetables) lowers blood cholesterol levels and inhibits the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream, preventing a sudden rise in blood sugar, which is particularly important for diabetics.
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Constipation
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Diabetes
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hypertension
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: High Cholesterol
Pesticides are used to prevent damage to crops, especially when large quantities of attractive produce bring huge profits.
ADDITIVES & PESTICIDES
Not all additives are bad, some are necessary to keep food safe from fungi and bacteria and to prevent it from spoiling. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), for example, is used to prevent fruit juices from turning brown and to prevent fatty foods from going rancid. Other natural and synthetic additives are used to color and flavor food. However, some additives do have potential side effects, which can vary from vomiting to asthma or behavioral problems (See Allergies. Nitrites and nitrates used to preserve processed meats and smoked fish may convert to potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines, and their intake should be limited. Pickled foods are also said to contribute to cancer. There is also concern that toxins can enter the body via food, damaging cells and causing illness. Fruits and vegetables may harbor traces of pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones are given to livestock and farmed fish to protect and fatten them; and fish and shellfish from polluted waters may contain unacceptable concentrations of heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium, and lead.
Try to reduce the threat to your health by choosing organically grown fruits and vegetables that have not been sprayed with pesticides, and organically farmed meat and eggs. Remember that large fish from the top of the food chain, such as swordfish and pike, are most likely to accumulate excessive toxic metals.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics - Additives
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
FOODS TO LIMIT OR REPLACE
There is a general consensus among experts that certain types of foods should be limited or replaced.
Keep the number of calories obtained from fat at or below 30 percent of your daily total intake of calories. Limit the intake of red meat and cheeses, which are high in saturated fats. Limit saturated-fat intake to less than 10 percent of total fat calories. Replace butter with a low-fat spread or soft margarine, high in polyunsaturated fats and low in trans-fats, and spread it lightly. Avoid junk and processed foods loaded with preservatives, colorings, and flavorings. Limit sugar intake so that blood sugar levels remain even. Limit salt intake - avoid adding salt to meals and eating salty foods, such as potato chips and processed meats. Reduce caffeine intake by limiting tea, coffee, cola drinks, and chocolate. Drink herbal teas and water instead. Limit alcohol intake, although drinking one glass of red wine a day may lower the risk of heart disease.
Plums and blackberries are good sources of antioxidants, which can help protect against heart disease and cancer.
Exciting research since the late 1980s has highlighted the role of antioxidants in protecting against cancer, heart disease, premature aging, and other health problems. Antioxidants work by seeking out and deactivating free radicals, which are molecules produced by the body as part of its defense against bacteria. In the few seconds that free radicals exist, they can damage DNA and affect cholesterol so that it "furs up" arteries. Chemicals, cigarette smoke, and industrial pollution can also increase free-radical levels. The body produces some antioxidants but we need to obtain more from our diet.
The main antioxidant nutrients are Vitamins A (as Beta-Carotene), Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, and the minerals Selenium, Zinc, Manganese, and Copper. Bioflavonoids, found in some fruits and vegetables, including blackberries, black currants, lemons, plums, and cherries, also have antioxidant properties. Carotenoids, which are substances similar to Beta-Carotene, can help protect against damage by environmental toxins. They are found in tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, turnips, Brussels sprouts, red peppers, garlic, onions, yogurt, and wheat germ.
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics - Antioxidant Index
A midday meal of complex carbohydrates and protein, such as fish with whole wheat pasta or whole wheat bread, can help avert the after-lunch energy stump. A heavy meal containing saturated fats may cause sleepiness.
The stimulating effects of caffeine are well known, but other foods can also affect mood. Chocolate contains chemicals and stimulants that can lift the spirits. High-protein foods, such as meat, milk, and eggs, can produce feelings of calm because they contain an amino acid, Tryptophan, that produces serotonin, a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter. Starchy and sugary carbohydrate-rich foods also increase blood sugar and are thought to raise serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin may be linked to depression and hostility, and low blood sugar to irritability, depression, and mood swings.
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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