The Power in Food
On its simplest levels, there are some foods that make us feel good, those that make us feel bad, and those that don’t seem as if they have any effect at all.
Simply put, food is a form of energy that the miraculous science of the human body can convert to another form of energy – or lack of, depending on what you eat.
Within many different foods however, there exist powerful nutrient and compounds in the form of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and frequently a combination of all three that can make us feel terrific and fight the effects of aging and stress.
While scientific discoveries regarding the powerful agents at work in food are happening all the time, our Native American and European forefathers can take ownership of passing on foods that “worked” for our health, even if they didn’t know exactly what specifically it was that made it effective.
Without a chance to test foods with fancy machines that could perform content analysis, the way I figure it, someone had to be brave enough to try it.
In their proper proportions, macro nutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates) and fiber all play key roles in our metabolic functions and body composition.
The true power behind foods and the synergy that occurs when combining individual nutrients in one product can be quite impressive. Listed below are just a handful of the ingredients that work within certain foods for a healthy effect on the human body.
Amino Acids – These are often referred to as the building blocks that comprise protein. While there are 20 standard amino acids there are over 500 available to the human body in their various combinations. A “complete” protein is one that contains all 20 of the standard amino acids. Glycine, an amino acid found in vegetables and nuts keeps muscles strong, allows the body to store energy and promotes a good nights sleep. Arginine, another amino acid found in complete proteins can keep energy levels up by regulating blood pressure and diminish demands on the heart.
Grapefruit – Okay, let’s just say that for many, this fruit is an acquired taste. That however doesn’t take away from the power that it packs for carbohydrate digestion. In fact, this power food not only helps to effectively metabolize carbohydrates, but also has a chock full of free radical “scavengers” that are mission critical for keeping our bodies in sync by working undercover as anti-oxidants to decrease inflammation.
Garlic – The jokes of “garlic breath” are famous, but this little guy does more than make pizza taste good. Garlic contains a very powerful compound called allicin that has been recognized not only for it’s anti microbial abilities but also for its lipid-lowering, anti-blood coagulation, anti-hypertension, anti-cancer, and anti-oxidant effects.
Avocados – Summer time spells avocado season and this polyunsaturated fat is super-charged. The secret weapon is a “good fat” called monounsaturated oleic acid which also plays a role in blocking “bad fats.” They’re high in lutein, which aids eyesight, and in potassium and folate, which research is starting to show may play a role in reducing the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
I chose this list more for the diversity it represents than anything else. For those trying to adopt healthier eating in their lifestyle however, it is best to know that the days of good food tasting like “sawdust” are long gone. Some of the best foods for us, are in their simplest forms.
Bill Victor is the owner of Victor Fitness and Flashpoint Sports Performance Training. He and his team of trainers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and online at http://VictorFitnessSystems.com .