Local Eating in a Global World

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Diane Lassen of Women’s Nutrition Matters and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.

Eating locally is all the rage these days. In fact, “locavore” was the word of the year last year, and there are lots of wonderful books out which really romanticize the idea of eating locally and growing your own food. I have to tell you, I am all for it. I grew up in suburban New Jersey with a Dad who dug up half the backyard for our garden and we ate from it all year long.

Eating locally means eating seasonally, even though nearly every conceivable food option is available 365 days a year in our global supermarket, we should know where our food comes from and we should strive to minimize the traffic that our food must endure by eating foods grown close to home. I love the concept of seasonal eating because it is an intuitive way of eating. It dates back to the basis of Ayurvedic medicine, where with each season came plants that gave us exactly what we needed for that season.

Let me explain. In the summer when it is hot, we have succulent, juicy fruits and vegetables like melons, stone fruits and tomatoes and lettuces which naturally cool the body and quench our thirst. As fall moves into winter, the fall harvest provides us with hearty and sustaining foods, foods that warm us and give us energy such as winter squash, root vegetables, beans and many seeds and grains. These foods are heavier and warming in nature and give us a feeling of contentment and nourishment—much needed in the cold, dark days of winter! Then with the spring comes cleansing sprouts, young greens and berries which help to rid the body of excess weight that may have accumulated over the winter and which cleanse the body of toxins and wastes, thus preparing us for another season of heat.

During the winter, we should continue to focus on our stores of local winter squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes that are high in carotenoids, the antioxidants that have given us extra protection during the cold and flu season. Look to the veggies such as kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts which, after a cold snap, have higher levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants which help protect us from environmental stress. A good frost also sweetens their flavors considerably! This Brassica family as well as members of the lily family, such as garlic, onions and leeks, are also high in sulfur compounds which protect against cancer and other damage to our DNA. All of these vegetables were the winter staples of our grandparent’s “root cellars” and should find a place in our basements as well.

Then once the winter winds will die down and the sun warms the earth enough to cause our spring bulbs to appear. What a joyous time of year! And just when you can’t eat another acorn squash, it will be time for the spring greens to appear in the marketplace and for wild mustard and chickweed to pop up in the woodlands, begging to be harvested. Our bodies will beg for the bitter greens of arugula and cress, so that the cleansing and detoxifying process can begin again. We will awaken from our long hibernation indoors ready to tackle the garden beds and other outdoor activities that beckon with the coming warm days!

Image credit: aussiegall

Glass of Wine a Day Ups Cancer Risk in Woman

Drinking around slick men with greased hair and pinky rings is risky enough. But sorry ladies, it just got worse. A new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found women who drink 1 glass of wine each day raise their risk of certain cancers, like throat, breast and liver cancer, by as much as 22%. Experts examined survey answers from 1 million women in the U.K. and 68,775 cancer diagnoses over 7years. Findings also revealed drinking 2 glasses of wine day doubled risk; The Daily Telegraph reports.

Red wine has a reputation of being healthy. It’s not. According to Dr. Fuhrman wine can lead to extra belly fat, breast cancer and stroke. Wine usually gets the thumbs up for resveratrol a plant compound found in the skin of red grapes linked to cancer prevention, but you don’t need booze to get antioxidants, like resveratrol, all fruits and veggies are packed with disease-fighting phytonutrients.

But some people are insane. They have no problem giving their toddler wine. Eek!

Image credit: rolands.lakis

Blueberries Protect Young Kids Against Cancer

I eat a lot of blueberries. I pile them into everything. Even my breakfast pudding! Dr. Fuhrman loves blueberries too. He considers blueberries an excellent food for superior health and longevity. They’re packed with healthful nutrients and phytochemicals, like tannins, anthocyanidins, flavonoids, and polyphenols and proanthcyanidins, which are linked to prolonged mental health and cancer prevention.

Now, more good news for blueberries! New findings in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling suggest consuming blueberries may reduce the size of cancer tumors found in infants and young children, as well as improve cancer survival. After feeding mice a blueberry extract, researchers observed doubled lifespan and tumors 60% smaller than control mice; NutraIngredients investigates.

In 2007, a study reported blueberries, specifically a compound called pterostilbene, also found in other fruits, like grapes and strawberries, may help prevent pre-cancerous colon lesions. Oh, and try pomegranates too. Pomegranates actually have more antioxidants than blueberries. Sweet!

Image credit: bunchofpants

Bowel Cancer: Brits Eating Less Processed Meat...

In lieu of reports linking processed meat with cancer, specifically bowel cancer, British consumers are now eating less meat. Of the 2,124 people surveyed 11% said they were trying to reduce foods like bacon and 26% reported eating more fruits and vegetables; via FoodNavigator.

Meat takes longer to digest. As it sits in the gut, it promotes prolonged exposure to carcinogenic compounds found naturally in meat. Now, on the flipside, fruits and vegetables reduce the incidence of cancer, like colon cancer, because phytonutrients protect the body against disease!