I am glad to see that more mainstream magazines are publishing the facts about soy. The truth is out there, so there is no reason to be duped by the mega food industry. Soy can be harmful to your health. Studies have shown that it inhibits the absorption of minerals and nutrients, and the estrogenic properties can wreak havoc with hormones. The only way to eat soy is fermented as in tempeh, tamari, and miso. Personally, I stopped drinking soy milk long ago because of the gas pains and bloating I experienced. Then I met a woman a couple of years ago, and she was telling me how she nearly died due to eating soy. She was rushed to the emergency room in pain and discovered her pancreas had almost stopped working. The doctor asked if she ate soy products. She made a speedy recovery after eliminating soy from her diet. In addition to the health problems, there are numerous environmental issues with the growing of soy, but that is another story. A great book to read is The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. It is a relevant exploration of the food industry here in the US.
Supplements should be kept in the context of their definition and not be used as substitutes for whole foods. The health food industry, and the science that backs it, is very adept at researching and discovering the specific benefits of the various vitamins and chemicals derived from whole food. However, they seem to ignore the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The important benefits of whole food is in the synergistic activity that occurs between the various components of food that allow it to be assimilated more readily by our bodies than any combination of extracted parts could do. The same holds true for processed and refined foods. Whole foods are a complex make-up of not only vitamins and minerals but a whole array of phytonutrients that work together synergistically to sustain the life force of the plant. As food is ingested it interacts with the complex nature of our digestive system in a wholistic way and is assimilated more completely than an isolated concentrated fraction of a plant source.
* Synergy: the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.; synergism. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/synergy)
**Phytonutrients (also referred to as phytochemicals) are compounds found in plants. They serve various functions in plants, helping to protect the plant's vitality. For example, some phytonutrients protect the plant from UV radiation while others protect it from insect attack. Not only do phytonutrients award benefit to the plants, but they also provide benefits to those who enjoy plant food. That's because they have health-promoting properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and liver-health-promoting activities. (http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=286)
Another reason to eat more raw food is because of the disease and aging effects of free radicals on the system. Free radicals are incomplete atoms that steal from our healthy atoms causing a chain reaction resulting in a breakdown in normal growth and repair of healthy tissue. Let's minimize the creation of free radicals by conscious eating. Our body has the ability to eliminate these disease causing atoms with a little help from our dietary choices. It is no surprise that environmental hazards, along with lifestyle, can contribute to the growth of free radicals. But what about foods that are very common in our typical diet? Oxidation of any oils, whether in nuts grains or various cooking oils, will increase free radicals in the body. The oxidation process is sped up when nuts are roasted and oil is heated. Hence, there are the much acclaimed cold pressed virgin oils as opposed to the heat extracted variety. One of the main reasons to eat raw is simply to avoid the potential for creating those radical demons. There are many wonderful substitutes for these familiar foods we are so addicted to. For now, just remember to avoid fried food and roasted nuts and keep your conscious healthy lifestyle choices.
We see lots of products on the market, especially in the cosmetic and body care industry, that boast about the perfect pH balance of their products and how they will improve the condition of our hair and skin. But I have never seen such statements on any food item or menu that offers the same chemical information. Shouldn’t we be more concerned about the inside workings of our body and all of its complex systems? A simple pH test that you can purchase at the pharmacy will help you to determine what your body’s pH is. The most accurate reading is by using a pH strip dipped into a urine sample first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. Tests can be repeated as desired.
Our body is a balance of acid and alkaline. On a pH test, the ideal number is 6.8-7.2. Unfortunately, our most popular foods are mostly acid forming, resulting in a lower number on a pH test. The most acid causing foods are meat, grains, nuts, legumes, caffeine alcohol, and sugar. The alkaline forming foods, you guessed it, are fruits and vegetables, with a few exceptions in the usually acidic seed and nut groups. It has been well documented that a body is much healthier if it is more alkaline than acid. That is why we hear over and over to eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s just one of those fundamental principles we can not escape. Studies have shown that cancer cells and bacteria thrive in an acidic (anaerobic) environment and not in an alkaline (aerobic) one. My goal is to help you discover how to make that move into balance through simple menu changes. There are many charts available on line that will outline the amount of acid and alkaline in the most popular foods. If you want to learn about specific details, I have included a few links.
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