MUG will be featuring different foods monthly that can be grown right here in Wisconsin! The focus will be on foods listed as SuperFoods in the New York Times Best Seller SuperFoods: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life by Steven G. Pratt, M.D., and Kathy Matthews.
Follow MUG in The Journey to Learn:
- What Foods are considered a SuperFood?
- Which SuperFoods Can Be Grown Right Here in Southeastern Wisconsin
- Tips on How to Grow SuperFoods
- How to Prepare Meals Using SuperFoods (Simple Healthy Recipes)
SuperFoods Rx presents a simple idea that is based on four important principles. Understanding these principles will help you shift the focus of your diet and in turn help to improve both your short and long-term health. (Below is an introduction on the Four Basic Principles from SuperFoods Rx.)
The Four Principles of SuperFoods Rx
PRINCIPLE ONE: SUPERFOODS RX IS THE “BEST DIET IN THE WORLD”
The first question most people have about SuperFoods Rx is what makes one food more super than another? How were the foods chosen?
As you might imagine, choosing one food over another is not a simple matter. The guiding principle is which food, within a given category, is at the top of its class in promoting health. Also, its important to consider which foods have the most know beneficial nutrients and the least negative properties, like saturated fat and sodium. Certain foods pop up over and over again when you look at the diets of the healthiest people in the world. For example, the traditional Greek diet prior to 1960, including the traditional diet of Crete, is known to be one of the healthful diets in the world. This Mediterranean diet is primarily a plant-based diet with a number of protective substances in the most popular foods: those with a balance of essential fatty acids (omega-3′s to omega-6′s) and high amounts of fiber, folate, antioxidants, and vitamins C and E.
Sophisticated computer analysis has enabled researchers to determine which populations are the healthiest and live the longest. Highly respected database studies and sets of recommendations, including those of the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cancer Institute, have looked at the same information. The data shows the particular foods eaten by these healthy populations. SuperFoods show up over and over again when you look at these diets.
PRINCIPLE TWO: SUPERFOODS ARE WHOLE FOODS
This is a very important principle. I am not at all opposed to supplements; I take them myself. But if there’s one thing you should learn from SuperFoods Rx, it’s that nutritious whole foods must be at the center of your nutrition plan; you can’t rely solely on supplements to do the job.
What are whole foods? There will always be some disagreement regarding the term wholefood. But in general, whole foods are those that are unprocessed or are minimally processed in such a way that none of their nutritional characteristics have been intentionally modified. Whole foods are complex. They contain hundreds of unidentified compounds and nutrients.
A growing body of research from laboratory and human studies suggests that these nutrients work best in concert with each other. Moreover, just as the nutrients in a particular food team up to work better, nutrients from a wide range of foods also work together to promote good health.
PRINCIPLE THREE: SUPERFOODS RX EQUALS SYNERGY
Food synergy is critical to health. Put simply, food synergy is the interaction of two or more nutrients and other healthful substances in foods as they work together to achieve an effect that each is individually unable to match.
Nutrients work in a precisely calibrated relationship; the kind of relationship that nature has provided when the nutrients are obtained from food. There are, after all, thousands of chemicals present in food and researchers have only identified a fraction of this number. Surely with this many chemicals present, interactions are taking place that science doesn’t fully understand. You simply can’t shortcut your way to good nutrition; you must rely on a variety of wholefoods.
PRINCIPLE FOUR: SUPERFOODS RX ARE SIMPLE; SUPERFOODS RX ARE POSITIVE
Food is an emotional subject for many people. For some, it’s a great, unmitigated pleasure. For many, it’s a source of worry and confusion. There’s the nutrition issue, the weight issue, the preparation issue… A healthy diet is the essential core of a healthy lifestyle, along with exercise, routine preventive medical care, adequate sleep, and stress reduction.
We all live busy complicated lives. Nutrition recommendations that are complicated or challenging can’t become a regular part of our routine.
The best approach to any health change is one that is positive Diets that forbid foods or make eating satisfying meals a challenge are counterproductive. Once most people understand the SuperFoods Rx principles, they feel liberated. It’s not about what you shouldn’t do, it’s about what you should do.
SuperFood Information Resources
Check out the SuperFood Website!
New York Times Bestseller: SuperFoods: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life by Steven G. Pratt, M.D., and Kathy Matthews (Published by An Imprint of HarberCollins Publishers, Copyright 2004.)
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