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Immunity, Cancer, Nutrition and Cooking: Super Foods

Posted Oct 17 2012 4:04pm

I believe there is a national movement to help you get stronger, leaner and healthier with what you eat.  Knowing what’s in your food, and how it can help you get well or make you sick are the most important steps you can take to transform your life.

So it was my recent experience in New York City, with Dr. Oz: there, in 3 TV segments over 25 minutes (it airs 10.18.12) and will be online within a few days . I demonstrated and described the medical magic of

a. chicken, antibiotic free
b. oyster sauce
c. arugula
d. lime
e. pumpkin, both fresh and canned
f.  bulgur
g. black pepper and oregano
h. concord grapes
i. red wine

I also described how and why hospital food has to change to prevent disease instead of cause it, and medical education as well, and gave my simple acronym of BITES™ of foods you should eat every week. The Little Bites part of my ChefMD book is everyone’s favorite part.

Boosting immunity and reducing risk for cancer with what you eat is powerful. Obesity is probably the most important cause of cancer, equivalent now with smoking.

So is the idea that you can do this by choosing the right foods for you that work for you, because of how they work and how they make you feel. I’ll do two up-to-30-minute public tweet-ups about this and the show, 10.18.12 at 4pm EST and 4pm PST with the hashtag #DrJLPapproved: I’m at http://twitter.com/johnlapuma . Please join!

We used culinary medical tools on the Show: a blender (VitaMix !), a microplane zester (essential creating zest and capturing the phytonutrients in the skin) and a wine aerator (to bring up flavor and aroma in red wines, regardless of price point).  Plus my great Santoku knife for opening and roasting that pumpkin.

Finally, we made a simple, marinated-for-a-moment (Chris Kimball is right: short marinades of very lean meats especially are as effective as long ones) anxiety-reducing, easy recipe: Honeyed Chinese Chicken.

You can get the recipe, free, when you sign up for my still-free newsletter , sent once or twice a month, full of information, recommended products and tips, exclusive subscriber benefits, plus more on BITES™.

Lab and human studies show reduction in cortisol levels (the stress hormone) with chicken essence and bonito broth consumption, and this anxiety-reducing recipe has both.

But it might actually reduce anxiety because it is so easy and quick, tastes even better the next day and because you can make it in quantity and save it.

This week and next I teach two nutrition and cooking classes at the Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary–a beautiful residential wellness retreat for those trying to make sense of how their bodies work and can work better–even heal.

Yesterday I taught knife skills: I love doing this, and everyone practiced well. (Btw, the best chef’s knife for most people is a smaller, well-made, easy to use and a Santoku, and a paired, greater hardness steel: my favorite Victorinox here, on Amazon ).

I lead a tour of sustainably grown citr us trees: mandarins, lemons and navel oranges, and looked at leaves, trunk and fruit; the processes of growth in these trees all parallel the human body. How they ripen and protect fruit, fight off invaders, and sustain growth. I love doing th is too.

We tasted a tangerine and a lemon, and interestingly, the people with GERD felt better (interesting, as acidic foods have been shown to be alkalinizing in the body).

We discussed each person’s experience with food and their health conditions, and they varied widely, from thinking it was everything, to loving to cook, to hating it, to not thinking much about it or its relevance.

We touched on supplements, as multivitamins reduce total cancer in men, especially those with a parental history of cancer , and magnesium is a mineral most people are deficient in, is critical to normal muscle, nerve and cardiac function and regulates normal blood sugar, blood pressure and immune function.

Everyone had questions, including a recommended multivitamin .

Cooking and choosing well are fun, but they are also work–fabulous, life-filling work that is rewarded not only by dinner, but by the feeling that you can be in control of your life and health.

And in an era in which the wrong food or medicine can make you sick in hidden ways, that’s life-changing.

 
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