Eat a good, balanced diet. This is vital to good health. Our food does not just provide the energy we need for daily living, it also provides the raw materials for healthy cell turnover and fuels our natural repair system.
Fruit and vegetables are nature's anti-aging remedy, protecting us from many of the diseases we associate with later life. I cannot stress how vital this is; being overweight will seriously reduce the chances of a healthy older age as there is a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, arthritis and diabetes.
There are a handful of vitamins and minerals that will help you in various ways, and many of these can be found in fruits and vegetables. In the last 30 years, studies have uncovered that nutrient deficiencies (even when the deficiencies are mild) do, in fact, impair the immune response and lead to frequent, severe infections.
Which nutrients am I talking about? These are the nutrients that have important influences on your immune system and your body as a whole: Vitamin B-6 - poultry, lean meats, fish, nuts and seeds, and fruits (bananas, avocados, mangos, prune juice, and grapes)
Folic acid -- beans, nuts, all types of dark-green vegetables, and many fruits (orange juice, papaya, banana, mango, kiwi, cantaloupe, and berries). Folic acid-fortified rice, pasta and breads, baked goods, and breakfast cereals are also now excellent sources.
Vitamin C -- Citrus fruits, papaya, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, mango, red peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, dark-green vegetables of all kinds, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Vitamin A -- All dark-green vegetables and yellow-orange vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of carotenoid forms of vitamin A.
Zinc -- beef, poultry, seafood, nuts and seeds, whole grain breads and cereals, tofu, beans, and milk.
Iron -- shellfish (clams and oysters), pistachios, lean beef, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts and seeds, dark chicken/turkey meat, dark molasses, prune juice, breads and pasta, and green vegetables.
Selenium -- Brazil nuts, oysters, clams, lean pork and ham, whole grain and regular pasta, chicken and turkey, sunflower seeds, lean beef, breads, oatmeal, soy nuts, eggs, nuts and seeds, and low-fat dairy products.
Processed foods, formulated or manipulated for ease in processing, storage, and to assure an extended shelf life are one of the greatest problems facing the ability to lose weight. Did you know that the majority of processed foods have had their nutritive value reduced or eliminated.
Even worse, to make them easy to process, easy to preserve, easy to retain freshness and easy to deliver, processed foods have many additives, which attack rather than support your general health.
The problem with food is that the majority of processed food is contaminated with poisonous ingredients or is actually a form of poison in one way or another. Many of the additives in processed foods are known or suspected carcinogens and known poisons.
Under the best circumstances these and similar products are very bad for the human body: (In other words stay away from these chemicals).
MSG, (MSG is actually rat poison). Sulfites, Petroleum-petrochemical flavors and colors, Certain irons, nitrates, most sweetening agents (including white and brown sugar) which at a minimum interfere with the normal operations of the immune system. And, of course, the notorious and omniscient and very dangerous hydrogenated oils.
Hydrogenated oils are highly advertised to help reduce cholesterol but recent studies clearly indicate their general action is to suppress good cholesterol and boost bad cholesterol which in turn slowly destroys your immune system.
Margarine and many other foods have a very high content of dangerous hydrogenated oils that are considered to be and that help suppress or exhaust the immune system. These ingredients and additives put an excessive burden on the liver, kidneys, and the stomach. (Margarine, in my opinion, should be labeled as poison).
Think about this: hydrogenated oils are considered by many health care professionals to be a direct cause of cancer. The human body has no idea of how to process a hydrogenated oil, whether in margarine or crackers, and must process it like an invader, it taxes the already limited resources of a sick body.
Watch out for phrases, such as, fat free, sugar free, low calorie, heart healthy, low cholesterol, no cholesterol and similar buzz words. When you see these buzzwords, don't buy the product, these phrases only mean that the food is loaded with harmful chemicals to replace the fat, cholesterol etc.
Believe me fat is better for you than chemicals. Go ahead and read the ingredients on the back of these products it will look like a 7th grade chemistry experiment. That will give you an idea of how immoral the food industry has become.
Hey Michael, Great post you have here. I agree with you about staying away from "diet", " Low Calorie",and "low fat". I always think, how did they change this food to make it become this label. That is scary. The problem is that processed food is actually becoming cheaper to purchase than whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. That is backwards in my opinion.
I wanted to add one more thing to your list of vitamins and minerals- its actually a spice called tumeric, and it has cancer fighting properties. Recently I have been reading "anti cancer" by Schreiber, and in he shows that studies have been shown that when you combine black pepper with tumeric (such as in typical indian cooking), the cancer fighting properties become even higher.