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No More June Gloom...When You Eat Your Fruits & Vegtable
Summertime and the eatin' is easy...when you can graze your way through the stacks of fresh produce now available in grocery stores, at farmers' markets and, if you are fortunate, at nearby roadside stands.
June is designated as National Fruit and Vegetable Month. And, the federal government has issued new dietary guidelines for Americans to follow in selecting foods that promote good health. Not surprisingly, the fifth edition of the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" emphasizes a balanced, moderate diet that includes a variety of food choices, particularly grains, fruits and vegetables. For more information on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, visit www.usda.gov/cnpp/.
In the 1950s and 1960s a well-known health-related slogan was "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". This advice represented ancient folk wisdom. Today, decades of research has shown that apples - and all fruits and vegetables - have remarkable health-promoting and disease-fighting properties.
Most fruits and vegetables are packed with magical biochemicals called phytochemicals - "phyto" means plant. Phytochemicals give fruits and vegetables their color, so the more colorful a food, the more phytochemicals it contains. Ongoing research studies show that phytochemicals - of which there are thousands of varieties - provide protection against the development of many chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. Many phytochemicals are antioxidants and neutralize free radicals in human cells. Others have anti-inflammatory properties - these help slow the aging process.
Twenty-four hours is not enough time in the day for most of us, and many consistently choose fast foods as a means of satisfying our need for food and a method for limiting the amount of precious time we spend on meal preparation. But fast foods are not really food in the sense that the nutrition they provide is minimal. Fast foods are essentially empty calories.
Fruits and vegetables are so important for our health and well-being that many national organizations have promoted the "five to stay alive rule" - the recommendation is to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day. Portions could include any of these - an apple, an orange, a banana, a cup of grapes, a cup of blueberries, a yam, a couple of carrots, a couple of tomatoes, and a couple of tablespoons of broccoli.
For many of us, "five to stay alive" would be a radical departure from our old habits. It might take a little effort to develop new shopping and eating habits, but once you're in the groove it's likely you'll be feeling so much better you'll wonder why you didn't start this healthy-eating plan sooner.
Your chiropractor is an expert on nutritional health and will be glad to help you create a food plan that works for you and your family.
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