Helping Baby Boomers get fit … get well … and live longer!

Dish Out an Exotic Experience

  • 28th March 2011 |
  • Author: Iris

Healthy Monday Tip:  It’s no coincidence that cultures with whole, plant-based diets tend to promote less disease and longer life spans! This week have a “Meatless Monday” and try a new ethnic cuisine like Thai, Greek or Indian.

The challenge is for you to have a “Meatless Monday”.  Today, focus on eliminating all foods from your diet that are not harvested from the soil. A plant-based diet consists of foods that come out of the ground which includes vine-picked vegetables and fruit.  These plant-based foods are more nutritious if they are not cooked or have not been processed in any way.

Foods to Eat

Vegetables are the healthiest foods you can eat.  Eating raw vegetables free of pesticides and chemicals will give you an abundance of vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals.  However, steamed vegetables or vegetable soups can render very tasty meals.

Fruits are the tastiest natural food you can eat.  They contain many natural sugars that will satisfy your taste buds and sweet tooth.   Once you have allowed yourself the opportunity to enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit, you will not enjoy the taste of processed sugar.

Herbs are excellent sources of nutrients and have great medicinal value because they are loaded with anti-oxidants.  Incorporating herbs into your plant-based diet will add a lot of zest, flavoring and nutritional value.     In addition to vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, herbs contain a wealth of other healthful substances. Essential oils found in herbs produce anti-inflammatory effects, which are especially helpful for people with arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions. Phytosterols found in herbs and all plants help your body fight germs and increase your immunity to disease. And the volatile oils in herbs may help protect against some types of cancers.

Nuts are among the healthiest foods to incorporate in your diet.  They are an excellent source of protein and are an excellent substitute for meat.   Nuts are full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.  They are also a great source of healthy fats that build a healthy immune and nervous system, reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and protect the heart.

Heart Disease — Eating a diet that consists of meat, animal proteins and other saturated fats will raise the cholesterol levels in your blood.  Heart disease is often caused by a diet high in saturated fats.  These unhealthy saturated fats clog the arteries causing the heart to work extra hard, often resulting in a heart attack of heart disease.  Plants do not contain unhealthy fats.  If you eliminate meat or saturated fats from your diet, you will drastically decrease your chances of getting heart disease.

Cancer — Consuming red meat has been widely associated with the increase in cancer.  However, if you consume the right amount of raw plant-based foods, you will get all the necessary enzymes and amino acids your body needs to boost the immune system and fight off cancer.  Most fruits, vegetables and herbs are high in anti-oxidants.  Anti-oxidants help the body rid itself of toxins that may cause cancer.

Diabetes — A diet that consists of raw vegetables will not spike your blood sugar levels like processed foods do.  As a matter of fact, you can reverse diabetes by incorporating the right foods into your diet and getting the right amount of exercise.

A meal prepared using a combination of vegetables, herbs, nuts, and fruits will provide most of the basic nutrients your body needs.  Nuts and green leafy vegetables are a good source of calcium.    A handful of whole raw almonds or walnuts contains as much as 85mg of calcium and 95mg of magnesium.     A cup of lightly steamed broccoli has about 132mg of calcium. Another rich source of calcium is fresh papaya — a medium size fruit has about 72gm of calcium and 31gm of magnesium.  Adding grains like brown rice or quinoa to the mix will really add some additional fiber and nutrients.

If you want an exotic experience and enjoy some ethnic cuisine, visit some Thai, Greek or Indian restaurants for a tasty dish that consists of only plant-based foods.  Or you may want to find some  recipes for ethnic cuisine to try at home.  Just remember to drop the meat from your meal.

You can reap a tremendous amount of health benefits from going meatless.  Choose organic over conventional fruits and vegetables, where possible, for maximum benefit.  A plant-based diet can help you to enjoy a long and healthy life.



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