Thought For Food

Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard that phrase “food for thought” and possibly even taken note of what came before it. Case in point: Corn is being used to produce ethanol and worldwide hunger is increasing; now that’s food for thought. Still, how much do we (the not-so-hungry) take thought for our food?

First things first, just how should I define food anyway? There’s an old saying: If Nature made it – it’s good for you, if Mother made it – it’s not. That’s a quaint way of saying that raw, whole foods are best for our health. Does this mean that if Frito-Lay or Pepsi made it, I can almost be guaranteed some harm? Probably, if all I eat is Cheetos and Mountain Dew.

Moderation is most likely the key here. There are good reasons for making sure that much of my food is… well, real food. Food like berries, yogurt, broccoli, beans, almonds, spinach, oatmeal, lean proteins, onions, garlic, carrots, walnuts, tomatoes, tea, herbs, and more – all of which have beneficial properties!

Recently, scientific researchers discovered that there is a flavonoid called Luteolin found in abundance in celery and green peppers that impedes inflammatory response. This discovery could lead to better treatments for Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and even plain old aging.

Another recent discovery points to a compound called emulin, found in the skin of citrus fruits. It could be the next big thing in the prevention and management of diabetes as it speeds the removal of excess sugar from the bloodstream, reduces the amount of carbohydrates absorbed after meals and also reduces the amount of glucose that is manufactured by the liver.

Dark chocolate has long been touted to have health benefits. Now Mars, Inc. has funded scientists to study their own concoction, a cocoa flavanol-rich drink that is shown to “positively impact the blood vessel dysfunction associated with diabetes.” It may even help improve skin condition, age-related blood vessel dysfunction and cognitive performance as it improves vascular health.

Dang, I can just go out right now and buy celery, green peppers, citrus, and dark cocoa, incorporate them into my family’s diet and we can get these health benefits directly. All those advantages could be ours, without waiting for science to put the isolated compounds in a pill at an exorbitant cost.

So, how do you like them apples?