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Thursday, May 5, 2016

“Super Foods” for Health and Weight Control

By Ihor Cap
Most of us are busily engaged with all kinds of diets and forms of exercise these days. After all, most of us already know that eating right and being physically active are two important cornerstones of health and longevity.  Less of us know, however, that our food choices may be killing us.  Statistics show that a whopping 35 percent of all cancers are associated with what we eat.  The good news here is that it may be prevented. The key is choosing the right foods. We can make healthier choices, says Dr Bridget Farham, by selecting foods with certain compounds that help prevent or significantly reduce the risk of colon, rectum, oesophageal, and stomach related cancers.
Super Foods
While many experts will tell you that eating a balanced meal is vital to your whole essence, more research scientists are also coming to know that certain foods have better fighting power against a host of cancers and cardiovascular disease. Often referred to as “superfoods”, Maria Croce lists 15 such special cancer-fighting foods.  Each of these foods purports to counteract or neutralize the negative effects of cancer and other illnesses. However, it’s U.C Santa Barbara environmental toxicologist, Dr. J. Robert Hathrill and his book, Eat to Beat Cancer (Renaissance Books, New York, 1998) that is stimulating greatest interest among professionals and the public alike. Dr. Hathrill also produced a list of so-called super foods, plant-based albeit, but what makes his effort particularly appealing is that he organizes them into eight neatly prearranged categories to help you with your personal “anticancer” solutions. He brings together the most effective foods from around the world and places them in one “straight-forward” diet. He also discusses lifestyles and habits, environmental hazards and supplemental formulas, and provides you with many practical tips to reduce the prospects of specific ailments and illnesses associated with a Western diet.    
“Dr. Hatherill likens eating Super Eight Foods to wearing your full anticancer body armor; each part of the armor provides an exclusive form of defense that is not duplicated by other segments, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” says VegSource who recommends his book and diet. VegSource is a web site source for vegetarian recipes, discussion forums, and articles and information from health experts and nutritionists who share an interest in health, nutrition, and the environment. The table below lists “The Eight Super Food Groups.” Each of the food groups and associated super foods are reproduced here in alphabetical order for your convenience and easy reference. It is not a course of study and the foods are not intended to be consumed in the sequence shown.
The Eight Super Food Groups

The Eight Super Food Groups
from Eat to Beat Cancer
by R. Robert Hatherill, Ph.D.
Cruciferous Group
broccoli, bok-choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, garden cress kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, watercress
Fruit Group
apples, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes (red and Concord), grapefruit, honeydew melon, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, watermelon
Grass Group
corn, oats, rice, wheat
Legume Group
beans (green and waxed), peas, soybeans
Nut and Seed Group
almonds, flaxseed, pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, sesame seeds, walnuts
Onion Group
asparagus, chives, garlic, leeks, onions, scallions, shallots
Solanace Group
beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes
Umbelliferous Group
angelica root, anise, caraway, carrots, celeriac, celery, chervil, coriander, cumin, dill, lovage, parsley, parsnips
Other Important Foods
Cucumber, ginger, lettuce, pepper (green and red), pumpkin, seaweed squash, spices, spinach, turmeric
All persons making use of the super foods contained within the eight categorical groupings are reminded to consult with Dr. Hathrill’s original work and your own Doctor, Nutritionist and/or Health Care Professional for all purposes of interpreting and applying the “anticancer” diet.” This same recommendation will apply to anyone pursuing any diet program especially if you are ill, pregnant, are diabetic or have problems related to your kidney.
Five a Day
The Five a Day article provides additional credible and trustworthy support for the above-mentioned super foods.  The MRC Human Nutrition Research unit last medically reviewed this article in July of 2008. Only five portions of fruits and vegetables of differing colors are recommended and the same health benefits can be derived from this mix be they “fresh, tinned (in natural juice), frozen, cooked, juiced or dried versions”, excluding potatoes, says the Five a Day article. They are also low in calories so long as you avoid the butter, dips and sauces. However, the phytonutrients contained in super foods are not enough in and of themselves. Variety is the secret because “each variety of fruit and vegetables contains its own combination of vitamins, minerals and fiber” the article concludes. Dietary fiber is an important contributor toward weight management. Our bodies digest fiber more slowly with an accompanying slow and steady glucose release that allows us to feel fuller for a longer period. In contrast, foods with a high Glycaemic Index (GI) will frequently leave you feeling hungry very soon after you have eaten.  Examples of high GI foods can be white bread and rolls, waffles, pretzels, cornflakes, rice krispies, instant potato, baguettes, brown rice pasta and parsnips.
South Beach Diet Plan
According to the South Beach Diet Plan, Low GI foods have an index of 55 or less. Medium GI foods have an index between 56 and 70, and High GI foods have indices over 70.  Carbohydrate foods and their effect on blood glucose levels form the basis of all GIs.  Low carbohydrate GI foods produce the least fluctuation in our blood sugar levels. Choosing Low GI foods ensures health and longevity. High GI foods produce the most fluctuation and increase your weight and risk of heart disease. Consult the South Beach Diet Plan Glycemic Index Food Chart  for a complete list of foods and their associated ratings to help you make healthier food choices and control your weight.  The South Beach Diet Plan insists it is not about eating less that is important but about eating well. It is about eating foods that do not renew your cravings as quickly and store a lot of residual fat.  It is about eating the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and changing your lifestyle for the good of your cardiovascular system.
Author Information:
Ihor Cap, Ph.D. is an Education Research Specialist, Web Author and Marketing & Promotions Manager for EZREKLAMA.  
This article first appeared August 6, 2009 in