Saturday, February 05, 2005

 

Three Foods For Better Health (and Weight)

If time was money, we’d all be broke! I mean, who has any spare time these days? It’s rush, rush, rush, from morning to night. No wonder we skip meals. No wonder we snack on rubbish. No wonder we find it so difficult to eat a balanced diet!

Unfortunately, it’s not long before our bad eating starts to catch up with us. We become deficient in vitamins and minerals, we suffer from indigestion, we put on weight and sometimes we get ill.
But what can we do? It doesn’t matter how we feel, we still have babies to mind, children to chase after, husbands to feed and in-laws to please. We have shopping to do, clothes to wash, errands to run and a house to clean, dust, hoover and polish! And as soon as we think that everything is done, one of the children falls sick and has to be rushed to the doctor, or else the dog throws up all over our best carpet!

Does this sound a bit like your life? If so, let me introduce you to three foods that will help you to cope with some of the pressures I’ve described. They won’t do the dishes for you and they won’t make your children behave any better, but they will help to protect your body against some of the more serious problems of modern life, especially if you smoke.

One of the best ways of looking after yourself is to eat lots of carotene, a type of Vitamin A which we get from plants. Carotene helps to protect us from a variety of bad things including heart disease and cancer. How do you get it? By eating things like carrots, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, dried apricots, broccoli, melons, and peaches. Ideally, eat them as part of a meal or with a little salad dressing.

So far, there is no recommended daily allowance for carotene, but I’m pretty sure there will be one, before too long. Meanwhile, if you want to see it in action, pop over to Pakistan and talk to a tribe called the Hunzas. Apparently, the Hunzas eat lots of dried apricots and live up to 120 years old, which is rather unusual for that part of the world!

Next, eat lots of garlic: the more the better. Yes I know it stinks, but it’s one of the healthiest substances known to man. It protects us against badly-behaved vampires, Chinese doctors use it to cure meningitis, US doctors use it to lower blood cholesterol and prevent clotting, while Russian and Japanese doctors use it as an antibiotic. It is also being studied by US specialists for it’s anti-cancer and anti-AIDS benefits. Closer to home, the ordinary onion, which comes from the same family as garlic, is another excellent food.

Finally, for anyone who leads a really unbalanced lifestyle, I recommend green tea! No, I’m not joking! You may laugh, but I predict big things for green tea. Why? Because it contains a group of substances, called catechins, which are believed to block the growth of cancerous tumours. Green tea also helps to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Buy it from most health food stores, and ideally, drink 3-5 cups a day.

Of course, none of these foods are a substitute for a balanced diet, which is by far the best way to stay healthy and slim. However, if you can’t follow a balanced diet, then eating these three foods will definitely help to protect you against the slings and arrows of modern life and stop your body from totally disintegrating in the process! So why not try them?

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