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Eat right, live long

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POSTED January 24, 2009 11:22 p.m.
“Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine be thy Food.” Hippocrates

Living longer may require a few sacrifices.  You may have to give up “Fast Food” Burgers and your three daily large lattes……sorry.  You might have to get up at dawn in order t o fit in your workout……sorry again.  But I know it’s a fact that making those types of sacrifices can add years if not decades to your life.  There are indeed certain longevity foods that have been researched and proven to have miraculous long term benefits.  Here are just a few:

Cranberries:  not just for urinary tract infections anymore!  These berries contain several types of antioxidants, which if you didn’t know, are a protective force against cancer.  Research has shown that these berries stop both the growth and spread of cancers.

Fish: It’s not a secret that Omega 3 fatty acids are good for your heart.  But did you know that they are also important for the function and health of the nervous system?  Research has proven that they h elp to elevate your mood and aid the fight of overcoming depression.

Legumes: vegetable proteins are much healthier for you than animal ( fried fast food burger) proteins, and legumes are also excellent sources of fiber and contain no harmful cholesterol.

Walnuts: are of special interest because they are primarily polyunsaturated (72%) and monounsaturated(18%) fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats can help reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease.  They also provide essential fats that your body needs but can’t produce itself – such as omega-6 and omega-3.  Your body needs these fats for healthy cell development.

Olive Oil: contains a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants.  It has proven preventative effects against heart disease by helping to control cholesterol levels.  This miracle oil also fights against colon cancer and lowers the occurrence of gallstones by activating the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs.

Whole grains: Yeah! Carbs!  Whole grain though, sorry, not cookies.  Whole grain foods can lower your risk for developing heart disease.  A diet rich in whole grain foods can also help you lose weight.  Now some of you may be wondering, what exactly is a whole grain?  It simply means that the food contains all three parts of the grain: the bran, the endosperm, and the germ.  When foods are refined, it means that they only contain the endosperm and therefore the nutrient content is reduced by 25-90%.  Some examples of whole grain foods are: brown rice, popcorn, whole wheat, wild rice, oatmeal.  This is an important topic which could take up a whole column………

The truth of the matter is that you really are what you eat, so picking the best foods for your body not only makes you feel younger and healthier, but these foods may add years, or decades to your life.
 
Dr. Van Wyngarden is a chiropractor who practices in Ripon. Her favorite patients are children and pregnant women.   She welcomes questions regarding health and wellness, exercise, nutrition and the care of children. For further information, please call the office @599-2699.

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