|Water ... the elixir of life|
What food to eat this second-half of our life
By NORMA L DIZON
A JPNHS Batch 66 member has asked what kind of foods should we eat at this stage of our life.
We are now on our second-half of our life and are now reaping whatever indulgences we have had in our youth. So how do we address daily living to regain health and vitality?
I am setting aside what I was thinking to write this time to answer this need -- to know what to eat now that we have already some health challenges such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, being over-weight or obese, arthritis, asthma, allergies (common here in North America), sinusitis, diabetes and all other debilitating diseases.
We have addressed the last time about the body needing water because we are 75% water. All degenerative chronic diseases according to our Dr Batman (for short, his name is too long – refer to “Water-the Elixir of Life last issue) could be reversed.
Drink your water, he says and remedy the unintentional chronic dehydration (UCD) that is the cause of these degenerative chronic diseases (even cancer is considered by him as caused by UCD).
Do not wait to be thirsty; time your drinking of clean water in order to supply your body with optimal hydration. Usually, your water need is half of your weight in pounds, divide by eight equals the number of glasses of eight ounces of water you need to drink to be properly hydrated.
For instance, if I am 160lbs. then one-half is 80, divide by eight, then I have to drink water 10 glasses of eight ounces water everyday.
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Depending on activities and climate, this need is adjusted accordingly. If you take diuretic drinks, meaning drinks that pull out water from your body – you have to take additional glass of water to replenish what is drawn out.
Example: I love coffee in the morning and when I go out for social meetings -- sipping coffee while having a nice ‘chat’ with a friend.
For every cup of coffee or cola drinks or tea taken, a corresponding cup of water should also be taken. Herbal teas with no caffeine, natural fruit juices and clear soups are considered part of the water intake requirement of the body.
Since I am one who have degenerative diseases (diabetes and cancer), I take my water needs as soon as I wake up, two glasses of water before taking my breakfast.
Since I take coffee with breakfast, I take another glass of water 30 minutes or an hour after and swallow all the nutritional supplements I need to take and of course the drugs as advised by doctors.
This is usually my process when it comes to water intake -- one to two glasses before eating and one glass after about 30 minutes to one hour after.
I drink more when I do my exercise. I do what they call aquatics (water exercises) in a swimming pool with sea water (or salted water).
In Canada … because it is winter and with the heater in the apartment, I drink more before sleeping in order not to dry out or else itchy dry skin will be the problem.
Note: Cancer is systemic and even if surgery was used to address the acute part of it, one has to be always one step ahead of this disease in order not to succumb to it.
Just like diabetes, which is a progressive one, it has to be reversed in order that it will not progress – hence, my continuous study in order to beat these two degenerative diseases.
With the bulk coming from heredity, I could only hope that holistic nutrition knowledge applied will let me live longer with all faculties intact.
Now, we address food, the source of nutrients for our body.
Of course, do not forget to breathe deep to get oxygenated properly. In addition to food, we need air and it provides a lot of what we really need in the body.
Remember, only 10% of how the body works is known. The rest are still being discovered.
The processes of our body is a miracle in itself and we are wonderfully made that no scientist can duplicate the mechanics of our life in totality.
In addition to oxygen, water, and sunlight, the body needs five groups of known nutrients: carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.
The first three are called macronutrients and the other two are called micronutrients. They are called macronutrients because the body uses larger amounts of these measured in grams.
|Get the habit of reading the labels of the product you want to take home to know the unwanted ingredients they contains|
Energy value for carbohydrates and proteins is for every gram equals four calories, while energy value for fats is for every gram equals nine calories.
So, fats are calorie-dense compared to the other two macronutrients that have demonized fats for decades with No Fat/Low Fat diets that did not really work (we will talk about fats later in another issue -- the best, the good, the bad and the ugly, and then in another issue, we will talk about sugars -- one of the reasons why the no fat/low fat craze was not successful)
The micronutrients-vitamins and minerals. The body uses smaller amounts of these nutrients measured in International Units, milligrams or micrograms. (IU, mg, mcg, respectively) These groups have no energy value. There are about 20 known vitamins and about 17 known minerals.
All these nutrients and water are substances present in foods in varying degrees or combinations.
Vitamins and minerals are contained in carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Water contains minerals. All of these nutrients work together in the body for health. Every nutrient working together with others is essential to health.
Therefore, it is difficult to isolate the function of each nutrient as if it performs certain things on its own. There is synergy in how the body uses all these nutrients.
This human body synergy, the working together of these nutrients for health of the body, could be compared to the Body of Christ as per Paul’s analogy: “Now, the body is not made of one part but of many: The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it (1 Corinthians 12:14,21,26). We know that the body can function without a foot, a hand or an eye but it cannot survive without the head or the heart.
Nutrient deficiencies can lead to severe health problems, degenerative diseases and eventually to death. We will look into these nutrients but to bear in mind, they work synergistically, each nutrient works with other nutrients supplied in adequate amounts.
Carbohydrates can be classified into simple and complex carbohydrates. They can also be classified into refined and unrefined. Simple carbohydrates are quick energy foods such as sugars present in fruits, honey, maple syrup and sugar cane.
Complex are starches and dietary fibers present in whole grains, beans, peas, starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds characteristically with fibers, slow releasing high-energy foods.
Refined are those processed foods while unrefined are those which I call God-made (gawa ng Diyos) fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, tubers and whole grains.
“I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it” (Genesis 1:29)
Dietary fiber from carbohydrates. When missing, dietary fiber contributes to tragic suffering in health.
Millions are burdened by digestive disorders, cancers, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Dietary fibers include water-soluble fibers and insoluble fibers. Water-soluble fibers are gums and pectins. The best food sources of gums are oats, oat bran and all beans and peas (legumes).
The best sources of pectins are apples, citrus fruits, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, squash, green beans, berries and potatoes. The insoluble fibers are cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. Most vegetables, grains, beans, peas, nuts and seeds contain more than one dietary fiber in varying proportions.
The insoluble fibers provide bulk by absorbing water in the digestive tract, which then speeds up the transit time of food through it.
Lack of bulk in the digestive system contributes to constipation, gall stones, diverticulosis, spastic colon, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, colitis, diarrhea, appendicitis, and even colon cancer. Insoluble fibers may help to remove toxins from the body.
Soluble fiber like oat bran, helps regulate blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreases fat absorption and moderate wide swings in blood sugar levels. The satiety value of fiber -- the feeling of being full -- assists in weight control.
Carbohydrates as discussed. You now can choose for health and eat accordingly -- complex, unrefined with fibers (God- made, “gawa ng Diyos”).
|Processed foods you may have to avoid|
Listen to your body whether you have to eat raw or cooked. This decision will depend on your current health. As usual, I say to friends -- NAG -- Natural (unrefined not processed), Alive (fresh) and of Good quality (organic or locally harvested).
Food intolerances have to be addressed; your choice will depend on how your body responds to food because the body usually knows what it needs for balance. Listen to the message of food to your body.
Depending on weight, our bodies need about 40 to 60 grams of protein. Carbohydrates are mainly for energy while protein is the primary building material for the body, helps in the forming of hormones and enzymes, in maintaining water balance and acid/base balance in the body, in forming mother’s milk and in the clotting of blood.
The protein that we need consists of 22 amino acids. They are called the building blocks of protein molecules. Eight of these are called essential amino acids. The body cannot make them and therefore, we have to eat them in order to supply them to the body.
These are tryptophan, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, valine, threonine, methionine and cystine. The ninth -- histidine -- is said to be essential for children and maybe for adults as well.
Practically, every food has some amino acids in varying degree. Fruits have the least, next are vegetables. Beans, nuts and seeds have higher amino acids. All these carbohydrates are called incomplete proteins because none of them adequately supplies all eight essential amino acids.
In contrast, meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products do contain all eight amino acids and are therefore called complete proteins.
So for vegetarians or vegans, they have to combine grains and beans or grains and greens, grains and dairy products and or beans and seeds in order to have complete proteins.
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Vegetarians are those who could eat eggs and dairy products while vegans are pure vegetarians in such a way that they really do not partake of any animal product. The combinations of foods as enumerated for vegetarians and vegans are what we call complimentary proteins.
It has been thought that all eight amino acids must be eaten at the same meal to get the full benefit of them all, but actually including these foods regularly at any time in our meals in any combination is sufficient to supply adequate protein.
Excess protein intake is more of a problem in North America than protein deficiency, what with all the super sizing of meals that obesity, diabetes and other degenerative diseases are becoming challenges of the health industry.
Fats -- the macronutrient that has elicited so many controversies through the years with the No Fat/Low Fat diets, butter vs. margarine, etc. This topic is a big subject that it has to be discussed separately for clarity. It will be discussed in depth in later issues.
In the meantime let us just say the body needs fats for its various functions. The body needs fats to transport fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), to convert carotene from plant foods to Vitamin A, to protect vital organs, to regulate temperature, to provide concentrated source of energy and to satiate hunger, plus to add wonderful flavor to many dishes. It is considered optimum to consume 20% of total calorie needs in the form of fat.
On vitamins and minerals. When we eat plant foods, fishes, meat, poultry, eggs and drink water, we ingest these micronutrients. The only way to guarantee complete micronutrient package is to eat a varied diet of whole foods (not refined foods).
Vitamins interact in so many ways with enzymes that carry all body processes, while minerals are an integrated part of all body tissue and involved in many body processes as well. We cannot list all the many tasks of these micronutrients.
To be assured of optimum intake, you have to eat colorful fruits and vegetables just like having a rainbow of colors of food in one plate. Later in other issues, I will deal with vitamins and minerals in foods.
So the question “what to eat at this stage of our life?” will depend on each individuality as we are all unique bio-chemically speaking. What kind of metabolism you have, what kind of hereditary factors you have, what health challenges you have?
Above discussions are basic information but for general advice, I say eat healthy by choosing to eat wholesome foods – NAG –natural, alive and good quality.
Avoid highly processed foods. If the ingredients of a product have a length of a ruler and cannot be pronounced and understood, drop it.
If the fruit or veggie is not fresh even if it is organic, it has no nutrients anymore that your body can use. If tomatoes are in front of you and there is no organic, choose the local product, it is more alive to you than that one that traveled from far away.
On carrots and beets, always choose the organic ones as explained by Charlotte Gerson (Gerson Therapy on Cancer). Four to five ingredients on package foods should be enough and they should not be chemical names but also food items (Example: raw organic hemp powder, organic sprouted flax and Maca the Incan super-food -- ingredients on a protein powder for those who do exercise). I use this example because there are so many protein powders in health store that has 42 grams of sucralose!!!) Sucralose is like aspartame, a sugar substitute that is a no! no! for those who wanted to lose weight. Sugar substitutes will make you crave for more sugary food products.
Learn to read food labels other than the unrefined foods.
Bear in mind: Whatever we put inside our mouth by digesting and absorbing it becomes a part of our body. In building our house, we choose the best materials so that it will last long with no trouble; it is also the same with our body that houses our soul.
We build our body strong and vital for the purposes and glory of God through the work of our hands and the desires of our hearts.