"driven" asked me a question about the top pills and substitutes for health, in response to my prior post. The only place I can squeeze in an answer is in a blog post. It's not my intention to change the subject from trading to nutrition, but a couple posts are worth it. I'm not big on pills and substitutes because they are expensive and often times short-lived regimens (mostly because of the expense and becoming a pill-popper). There are so many fancy multi-vitamins and singular vitamins and minerals out there that the cost can get out of control easily. Trying to balance one against another is an exercise in futility. As far as vitamins, just a basic "One-A-Day" type is good enough for me. Trying to eat healthy is more my interest, and for that I'll post my own "Top 15 Foods" list here.
TOP 15 RATED FOODS
1) Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts…………. These are the cruciferous veggies; potent cancer fighters. Broccoli is packed with the best of the best anti-oxidants: quercitin, indoles, glutathione, vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein, sulphoraphane. Has very high anti-cancer activity; helps ward off breast, colon, and lung cancer. Eaten raw is best. Lightly cooked is next best. Stir frying, microwave, or steam is OK. DO NOT BOIL. They must retain some crunch! Broccoli sprouts are much better than spears.
2) Raw, Red Onions…… The #1 strongest antibiotic food. Great for immune system and blood sugar levels. Helps ward off stomach cancer, raises good HDL cholesterol. Contains 3 anti-inflammatory compounds that strike at the cause of asthma. (Red are better than “white” or “yellow”, but yellow is acceptable). White contain no quercitin “one of the most powerful anti-cancer agents ever discovered”.). Because they are so strong, they may cause heartburn.
3) Garlic …....The #2 strongest antibiotic food. Contains at least a dozen anti-oxidants. Always near the top of the list of the National Cancer Institute’s list of potential cancer preventative foods. Affects release of serotonin in the brain producing calmness and promoting sleep. Garlic’s sulphur enhances the function of the NK killer cells, the body’s first line of defense which seeks out and kills cancer cells before they can develop into tumors.
Raw and chopped is best. Crushed or chopped should sit for 10 minutes before cooking, to preserve its benefits. Do NOT microwave or roast, that makes it useless. Lightly cooked is OK. Garlic powder is useless. 3 cloves per day is a bit excessive and borderline “too much”. NOTE: Onions and garlic may be too strong for people with low blood sugar, or are hypoglycemic (also cayenne pepper). These tend to plunge blood sugar levels dramatically. Aged garlic however will not do this.
4) Carrots ……..Contains beta-carotene, one of the top 3 anti-oxidants. Raw is best. Juiced or cooked is OK. But it’s a high glycemic food, so limit to 1 a day if diabetic prone.
5) Tomatoes and/or Watermelon ……. The only reliable sources of lycopene, which is almost as powerful as beta-carotene. Lycopene helps preserve mental functioning and reduces risk of cervical, stomach, pancreatic, and colon cancer. Cooking does not destroy lycopene, so tomato sauce as in spaghetti sauce is a great source. Concentrated tomato sauce is even better than raw tomatoes. Lycopene needs a little fat to be absorbed, so dab some olive oil on the food. In addition, watermelon (along with avocado) is the richest source of glutathione, called “the most valuable detoxifying agent in the body”, and “no other antioxidant is as important to overall health as glutathione” (The Immune System Cure, Vanderhaeghe). Watermelon is a high glycemic food.
6) Oranges and Pink Grapefruit………Oranges are a complete package of every class of natural anti-cancer inhibitors – carotenoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Helps ward off asthma, bronchitis, breast and stomach cancer, and artery disease. Grapefruit has glutathione, a super anti-oxidant. It is the grapefruit PULP that matters; there is little benefit to just the juice. The pulp cantains pectin. Pink grapefruit is better than white.
7) Green and Black Tea / Red Wine (just one glass per day) / Raisins & Plums (Prunes) / Red or Purple Grapes ……. Tea has been called the most potent health drink ever. It can help prevent clogging of arteries, lower the risk of various cancers, wipe out viruses, and help ward off arthritis. It blocks absorption of iron (that’s good). Keeps gums healthy, fights cavities. Drink with meals and it will neutralize cancer-causing compounds in food. (NOT herbal tea, bottled, or instant tea). Green tea has an edge, it has EGCG (an antioxidant that stimulates the body to burn calories) Tea is a high oxalate, meaning it can lead to kidney stones in people prone to that. Grapes have over a dozen anti-oxidants. Red and purple are much better than white or green.
8) Spinach and/or Kale / Asparagus…….Spinach has beta-carotene, lutein (good for eyes), and folic acid (a brain and artery protector.) Spinach also has lipoic acid, one of the highest regarded anti-oxidants and vital for increasing glutathione levels. Steamed is best, lightly cooked is OK. Asparagus is one of the best sources of glutathione and folic acid. NOTE: Spinach oxalates attach to calcium and make it useless. 1-2 times per week is most you should have it. The oxalates can also lead to kidney stones in people prone to that. So spinach may be bad for your bones but good in other areas. Make sure you do other things that are good for your bones.
9) Blueberries / Cantaloupe / Strawberries / Fresh or frozen. Blueberries are anti-oxidants that help fight the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. They are also a great anti-aging food. Strawberries are antiviral, anti-cancer. Cantaloupe is rich in potassium, and also good for beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Only fresh and frozen fruits have high levels of nutrients.
10) Cabbage…is another cruciferous veggie, as is cauliflower. Cabbage seems to help deter stomach, breast, and colon cancer. A specific anti-oxidant in cabbage, indole-3-carbinol, accelerates disposal of a harmful form of estrogen that promotes breast cancer. Is anti-ulcer and antiviral. How to fix: raw, or in cole slaw. NOT sauerkraut (cooking destroys most or all benefit).
11) Salmon…. is a high omega-3 fatty acid fish, that’s good (omega-6 is bad). Omega-3 fights virtually every chronic disease known. Good for your brain, heart, arteries, and joints. Best sources for omega-3 are fresh and canned salmon, fresh tuna (canned is only a moderate source), mackerel, fresh and canned herring. Omega-3 is also anti-inflammatory (good for breathing). Omega-3 will slightly raise bad LDL cholesterol level, but not much. Wheat germ oil, canola oil, and walnuts are a lesser source of non-seafood omega-3. Also purslane, a veggie, is good.
Baked or poached is best. Canned or fresh, it doesn’t matter. Frying will decrease benefits a little. 2-3 times per week MAX due to LDL drawback and fish oils may cause some insulin resistance.
12) Oat Bran and Wheat Bran…. Dean Ornish’s Reversal Diet (his most effective plan to reverse heart disease) is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Wheat bran is a major insoluble fiber (increases bulk and gets food through you quickly). Soluble fiber forms a gel that delays absorption of certain foods, including cholesterol. Oat bran, rice bran, rolled oats, carrots, pectin in fruit, psyllium fiber, and guar gum found in beans, are soluble fibers.
13) Sweet Potatoes / Yams A major source of beta-carotene, a highly rated anti-oxidant. One of the highest rated veggies by Center For Science in Public Interest. (The only other potato to consider is “round, red”. “Instant potatoes” have little or no value and are high glycemic.)
14) Non-Fat Yogurt with live cultures. Boosts immune system by stimulating production of gamma interferon. Is anti-bacterial/anti-viral because it spurs activity of natural killer cells that attack viruses. Helps prevent yeast infection. No aspartame (aka “Nutrasweet” allowed). Yogurt has a high sugar content though, so look for ones with less than others.
15) Kidney Beans / Navy Beans / Black Beans / Lentils / Lima Beans…..Beans are loaded with fiber and protein. A good source of folate (the natural version of folic acid). Fiber helps keep insulin in check, which means it helps prevent diabetes. Beans are “protein without the saturated fat”. Some have iron, too, that’s not good for most men. Having iron is OK for some women. (Iron is an oxidant, meaning it causes oxidation in the cells.…the very thing anti-oxidants are designed to prevent)
Mind you, this is my personal opinion based on reading lots of books. I'm not a doctor or clinical researcher offering medical advice and I'm not saying anything cures or prevents anything, so don't go there with that. I'm rehashing what many researchers and nutritionists have already published in commonly available books.