Creating Peaceful Food

Facts, nutrition info and top ten super foods to help you make the most of your food choices.

Top Ten Super Foods

1. Water. Drinking 2 glasses in the morning and 1 before each meal may increase your metabolism by 10-15%. It doesn’t interfere with food absorption and gives you a feeling of fullness that may prevent you from overeating. Water is great for digestion, flushing, energy and skin. Dehydration can lead to inflammation, chronic pain and ulcers. According to famed holistic physician Deepak Chopra, dehydration is the link to every disease.

2. Green Leafy Vegetables. Kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, bok choy, mustard greens, arugula, etc., have it all: fiber, antioxidants, loaded with vitamins and nutrient, zero fat and calories, accessible calcium. They are great for improving circulation, lifting your mood, purifying the blood and strengthening the immune system. Cows produce calcium with their milk. What do they graze on all day…?

3. All Other Vegetables. Root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips and beets are great for grounding and calming you. They are also very beneficial when you’re trying to eat less sugar, as cooked, they are very sweet. Exchange white potato for sweet potato or yam (more fiber).

4. Fish Oil/Fish. Great choices are wild caught salmon, mackerel and sardines, fish supplements or flax seed oil for omega 3 fatty acids which are one of the keys for longevity, good brain and cardio function.

5. Berries. The deeper the color, the more antioxidant rich, such as gogi berries, blueberries, blackberries. Gogi berries are loaded with antioxidants and beta-carotene.

6. Whole Grains. Brown rice, millet, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, etc., contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fiber, vitamin E and the B complex vitamins. Due to the fact that the body absorbs whole grains slowly, it provides sustained and high quality energy. Brown rice has over 100 antioxidants and overcomes cravings when you chew well. Quinoa contains all 8 amino acids to make it a complete protein. Always look for the words “whole grain” on the label as “wheat flour” or “organic unbleached wheat flour” are still regular white refined flour.

7. Legumes. Beans are a great vegetarian source of protein, fiber and iron. Always soak the night before cooking to enable easier digestion.

8. Nuts and Seeds. A little goes a long way. Almonds and walnuts are great choices of vitamin E. Brazil nuts contain hefty doses of selenium, which may be helpful in reducing the sluggishness and fatigue of thyroid symptoms. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are great sources of protein, minerals and good fats. Watermelon seeds are a great source of magnesium and omega 6, which can be beneficial for breast health.

9. Good Fats. Extra virgin olive, sesame, flax, safflower, and coconut oils are great for brain and cardio function and good skin.

10. Garlic. Powerful food for your immune system, studies demonstrate that if you eat 1-2 cloves of garlic as soon as you feel a cold coming on, the symptoms and duration will decrease.

Kids and Food Marketing Facts

  1. Marketing food to children is a billion dollar per year business.
  2. French fries are the most commonly eaten vegetable in America, with ketchup coming in at a close second.
  3. Before most children can speak, they can recognize McDonald’s; brand loyalty starts as early as 2 years of age.
  4. Marketing to kids makes kids think that they have their own food; it’s put at eye level for kids to see it better.
  5. America invented “kid’s menus” and we are the number one country in child obesity and diabetes.
  6. One out of every 3 American children born in 2000 will develop diabetes from poor dietary habits.
  7. Kids (8-12 years of age) watching 2 hours of television per day will see a commercial about food (not fruits and vegetables!) approximately 24 times.
  8. Kellogg spent 32 million dollars just on marketing Cheese-its in 2005.
  9. The more people/kids see a product, the more they buy it.
  10. Large food companies are in the process of forming an alliance whose purpose it is to defend the industry’s 1st amendment right to advertise to children.
  11. It is against the law in Switzerland to advertise to children.
  12. There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12-ounce soda.
  13. Fast food chains make most of their money on soda; it’s just sugar, chemicals and water.

Sugar Facts

“Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread.” – William Duffy, author of Sugar Blues

Table sugar requires extra effort to digest because it lacks vitamins, minerals and fiber. The processing strips necessary nutrients from the sugar, so our body depletes its own store of minerals and enzymes to absorb it properly. Sugar is described as empty calories. Instead of providing the body with nutrition, sugar causes a deficiency. Raw or brown sugars at 96% sucrose are hardly any better than white sugar, which is 99.9% sucrose; they are still highly refined. Organic evaporated cane juice, Florida crystals, and fructose have been created to lure health conscious consumers into believing they are healthier options than sugar.

Blood sugar levels go up sharply, then down quickly after a sugar high, resulting in mood swings, anger and tiredness. Refined sweets and the American diet have contributed to an increase in obesity, diabetes, depression, ADHD and learning issues in children.

Karin Weinberg is a Certified Health Counselor.