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In financially tough times like this recession, people need to have the most nutrition for their money. How best to do that? My recommendation is a wide variety of seasonal vegetables (and there are plenty available in every season). This week’s list is a reflection of what I currently have in stock in my own home in the Spring; as I have said before, all my family’s discretionary income is focused on the best foods to maintain our health. I’ve just lost my health insurance, again, (my husband’s C.O.B.R.A. policy ran thru its 18 months, so now it’s off the deep-end for me). Hopefully we will find a private health plan for me; my husband is old enough now for other government plans along with his Veteran’s Benefits. So, my eye is on the Prize — stay as healthy as possible! This is the main way that I do it.
FRESH VEGETABLES and FRUITS:
The Japanese eat at least 16 different fruits and vegetables a day, and that action, along with portion control and low sugar diet, is the reason why their traditional diet is the best in the world.
Health professionals are hard-pressed to get Americans to buy into eating even a combo goal of 5 Fresh Fruits and Vegetables a Day! That’s one reason for our problems.
Vegetables, with a very few fruits are the foundation of the human diet and no fruit juices, except 2 oz. pomegranate a day. Please do your research and try to reach for organic vegetables and fruits as much as your budget allows.
You will see these beliefs reflected in what is in my refrigerator at the moment. I’ll publish what’s there, and explain some of the reasons why I chose those foods. Next time, we’ll see another part of my pantry.
pea sprouts – all sprouts are enzymatic powerhouses; pea sprouts keep better than most sprouts; eat raw, after washing well. Find them in Japanese groceries.
soy bean sprouts – these need at least 20 minutes cooking in soups; OK for flavor, but can’t be eaten raw, so enzymatic benefits are lost. The beans are still crunchier than mung bean sprouts (the “usual” bean sprouts). An excellent pH alkaline food.
beet sprouts – great enzyme source and good flavor; easy to top salads and place in sandwiches. Eat raw, after washing. Find in good health stores or grown your own.
coleslaw mix – red cabbage, green cabbage and carrots. Eat only a couple of times a week, as cabbage is a goiterogen, even though it has lots of nutrition. Many people have unidentified under-active thyroid disease so cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower use should be moderate.
red cabbage – I got extra, as there’s not enough in the mix and red cabbage is more nutritious than the pale-green cabbage types. A medium alkaline pH food.
bok choy – the present spring “dark leafy”, but I try to keep kale in the fridge for as much of the year as it’s in season. Dark green leafy vegetables are full of healthy compounds, moreso than any other plants. They are a rich source of anti-stress B vitamins.
mesclun salad mix – this is the backbone of any salad and has a wide variety of tasty dark green “leafies”. Many of these are baby veggies, so you can play that up with your kids. Medium pH alkaline food benefit. High B vitamin benefit.
dill – this herb has lots of punch! It is great to use raw or cooked, and it lasts well.
mint – this herb has great flavor, lasts well and is good to settle stomachs during or after a meal.
basil – fresh basil does not last long! Buy only what you need or make extra into pesto to freeze immediately. Used therapeutically, too.
endive – especially frisèe endive. These are slightly bitter greens that are excellent to detox your liver and gall-bladder. Their flavor can be easily masked, but I find most people “like” the flavor, as they sense the slight bitterness is needed by their body. An excellent alkaline pH food.
red bell pepper – these must be organic, because conventional ones are usually heavily sprayed (as are all peppers). High source of Vitamin C and A.
yellow bell pepper – 4 times the vitamin C of an orange! So, even though they seem expensive, think “they are equivalent to 4 oranges” in nutrition, so a little goes a long way! Get organic.
cucumber – get English hothouse type cucumbers. If you get conventional ones, you must peel off their food waxed skins which hold pesticide residue. Cucumbers are a very alkaline food which is helpful to achieve the needed cellular alkaline pH status you need every day.
carrot – an acidic pH food, so use in moderation. Excellent Vitamin A source. Fairly high glycemic food, but natural fiber slows its glycemic impact down when you eat them raw. Needs to be organic.
parsley – a deep green “leafy” vegetable with lots of chlorophyll to cleanse your digestive tract, as well as B Vitamins.
cilantro – this herb is a potent detoxifier, and it has a great flavor for Mexican and Asian recipes. It is pH alkaline, too. Use raw after washing well.
celery – a nervine, meaning it calms. However, celery must be crisp! Do NOT use wilted celery; it has bad chemicals then! Excellent fiber and pH alkaline source.
burdock root – a fantastic detoxifier. Find this woody-flavor root in Japanese stores. Use in soups and stir-fries; slice thinly as it takes a while to cook, even then. Good flavor and excellent pH alkalinity (as is salsify, black “oyster radish”).
daikon radish – regarded highly in Japan; it also helps the gall-bladder. They vary in their radish-pepperiness. Many are grown as more mild variants these days. Also called icicle radish.
red radish – very healthy for liver and gall-bladder; use the fresh tops, too. Medium pH alkaline food.
parsnip – a sweet root, with a higher glycemic index. Eat sparingly, especially if well-cooked. If you surround it with lots of other lower glycemic veggies, you will lighten its blood sugar impact.
turnip – has beneficial compounds (sulfur ones, if I am remembering correctly). Sweeter than you might think, and it has good crunch!
leeks – very flavorable and versatile onion family plant. Good sulfur compounds for immune system activity and detoxification. They also last well in your refrigerator.
green onions – wonderful in Spring! same as leeks, but these are soft enough to use raw in salads or sandwiches where they will have better effect.
chives – another onion member – same as leeks and green onion comments
yellow onions – lesser nutrition than some onions, but still good especially if raw.
red onion – a little more nutrition but hard to find any more mild ones. Actually mild onions have less of the good compounds!
red potatoes – most versatile and less starchy option. Always scrub well and use with skins on; only then are they a good pH alkaline food. Use in moderation.
sweet potatoes – these are an excellent pH alkaline food, as well as being a great beta-carotene (pre-Vitamin A) and fiber source.
horseradish root – this is a tangy, blood purifier that will also clear your sinuses! It’s very hard to cut; washing, peeling and grating work better. It is a medium pH alkaline food.
fresh garlic – excellent food if eaten raw – aim for 1 clove a day. It’s for immunity, blood purification, natural antibiotic — most of this goes away when it is cooked. Use in salad dressings, patès, dips or veggie smoothies.
Now, we begin with the fruits! Yes, tomatoes and avocados are fruits!
avocados – wonderful Omega 3 essential fatty acid source! Great monosaturated fat, too. Healthy and filling. Very alkaline pH food.
tomatoes – not good for many who suffer from arthritis (along with the other nightshade-family plants – potatoes, eggplant, peppers, tomatillos). Very good vitamin C source, lycopene source and other beneficial phytochemicals.
apples – only organic (otherwise peel!). Most of the chromium, which is beneficial for diabetics, is right under the skin, so you lose this valuable compound if you peel the apple. Malic acid is also a beneficial compound in apples. A good alkaline pH food.
oranges – get organic so you can scrape the white pith between your teeth and get the zest on the other side of the peel to release its compounds as you suck the orange. An acidic pH food; needs balancing with alkaline pH foods.
kiwi – an excellent Vitamin C food which is also an acidic pH food which needs balancing with alkaline foods.
lemon – an excellent alkaline pH food in vivo. Leaves alkaline ash, so even though it seems acidic, in your body it behaves alkaline. Excellent Vitamin C, too, and detoxifier.
lime – excellent PH food, same as lemon above.
pomegranate juice – use 2 oz. a day, to help reverse arterial clogging. Research has shown this to be very effective.
There’s a list of 40 fresh foods here — so it’s very easy to use at least 16 a day! This is the best use of your food dollar. Protein is usually the target, but really veggies should take the lion’s share. You actually don’t need lots of protein and it can be from very simple, less expensive sources, so use your food dollar here for the nutritional powerhouses!
Best to all — Em
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(c) 2009 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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