Home' Nova West : February 2010 Contents FEATURE HEALTH
© NOVA FEBRUARY 2010
toxins, cancer, colds, flu and infections. By
eating the whole fruit, the fibre content
slows down the release of natural sugars
found in the fruit, and keeps the sugar
intake balanced throughout the day. We
get all the sugar we need from our fruit and
vegetables. If you want to sweeten meals,
fruit can be used as a natural sweetener.
Beans are a great food for growing
“human beans.” They have loads of protein,
essential fatty acids, vitamins, calcium, iron,
antioxidants and fibre and they are really
They are good for weight control and
for maintaining a healthy gut.
Beans are almost the perfect food and
there are lots of different types of beans.
They also provide the prebiotics to help
develop healthy gut bacteria for a healthy
Excellent sources of protein, essential
fats, vitamins and minerals are nuts and
whole seeds. Each type of nut has its very
own powerhouse of nutrients. Brazil nuts
are rich in selenium, an essential anti-
cancer mineral; pistachio nuts are rich in
potassium; and walnuts are high in Omega
3 oils (ALA). Nuts have been associated
with improved health, lower body fat and
reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and
Despite their high fat content, a small
handful of nuts a day helps you to lose
weight and maintain a healthy weight.
As seeds and nuts come with their own
enzyme inhibitors, it is always best to soak
them for at least a few hours or if you’re
in a rush grind up the nuts and soak for
30 minutes to get the same effect. This is
what I do for my fruit (and nut) smoothies,
but with no milk added. Add a bit of raw
chocolate (cacao – a bean) for the kids if
While I have already hinted at this a
few times it is definitely worth reiterating
the importance of water. In fact, if I was
to get people to just increase the water
consumption we would see a decrease
in chronic illness overnight. Water is
essential to our wellbeing and makes an
extraordinary difference to our clarity of
mind and levels of energy. It is the means
by which all our nutrients get to our cells
to work in our lymphatic system, skin, liver
and kidneys to dilute and eliminate toxins
A good indicator of how much water
you require is this: multiply 35mls by your
weight in kgs. For example, if you weigh
60kgs, then 60 x 35mls= 2,100mls a day!
When you minimise your water intake,
your body restricts the loss of unnecessary
water by cutting down on sweating and
reabsorbing toxins with some of the water
when you empty your bowels. This process
places added strain on your already hard
working organs of elimination, a little bit
like washing dishes in 2cm of dirty water
You can improve your health starting
today just by drinking your daily quota of
water. Start with two glasses of water or
weak green tea upon rising. This dilutes
your system, as you have the highest
concentration of toxins throughout your
body first thing in the morning.
Thirst can sometimes disguise itself as
hunger, tiredness, a dry mouth or lack of
focus or concentration. By sipping water
throughout the day, you reduce the risk
of constipation, headaches, tiredness
and urinary tract infections and chronic
illness such as heart attack and stroke.
It is interesting to note that a number of
studies including the latest, a meta analysis
(where they combine many studies
together) of 500,000 people have identified
that the more you drink, and it doesn’t
matter if it is tea, coffee, decaf coffee or
water, it reduces your risk of diabetes.
Of course, water is best for a number of
Despite the overwhelming importance
diet and nutrition have in our lives, most
people show very little interest in food
other than satisfying their hunger or taste
buds. Perhaps this is because people are
too busy doing other things; it could be
that deciding what to eat is too complicated
because of all the conflicting information
“o ut there”. For many people, it’s simply
too confusing. This confusion is brought
about in part by the vested interests of
companies marketing food.
If you search the scientific literature
for foods that improve your health – that
is, foods that reduce the risk of diseases
and give long-term benefits – you’ll
discover that fruits, vegetables, nuts and
seeds (and many vitamins, mineral and
other supplements) are the healthiest and
most nutritious of all foods. In terms of
grains, only whole grains are considered
beneficial. Over-processed carbohydrates,
which have so little nutritional value
that the food companies are forced by
government decree to add vitamins and
minerals, are poor substitutes. These
over-processed foods also have a high
glycemic index, which means they raise
blood sugar levels very quickly. If our
bodies don’t burn up this sugar, it’s
converted to fat or, even worse, acts a bit
like a free radical in the blood and sticks
to all the molecules like haemoglobin,
making them ineffective.
Everything you eat will either
accelerate your ageing and the processes
that wear your body out, or will work
to slow the ageing process and maintain
your strength and vitality. An excess
of processed, grain-based food is
debilitating to your body, as are all
over-processed foods. This and other
dietary issues have been clouded
by the focus on calories. Despite the
obsession with calculating the energy units
in food, the general population continues
to put on weight and die of diet-related
diseases. Our focus should be on the
nutritional content of food, not on calories.
The occasional takeaway food or junk
food will not kill you, but making a regular,
lifetime habit of eating it probably will.
Most people unwittingly eat and drink
themselves into a slow and painful process
of decay with a lifespan much shorter than
it should be. There’s also an alarming
amount of unnecessary pain and suffering
along the way in the form of preventable
By choosing to eat nutritional foods,
you’ll dramatically reduce the risk of many
illnesses including cancer, Alzheimer’s,
heart attack, diabetes, stroke and many
more. You’ll also maintain a healthy weight.
So what is stopping you?
The 6 Week Healthy Eating Planner by Martine and
Peter Dingle is available at Dymocks books stores or
Dr Dingle is running two public seminars on healthy
eating and cancer prevention through the UWA
extension in early February.
Peter Dingle is Associate Professor
in Health and the Environment at
Murdoch Universit y.
‘Beans are almost the per fect
food and there are lots of
different types of beans. ’
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