“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates
Hippocrates certainly knew what he was talking about, and I keep this quote close at hand to remind myself that everything I eat will influence my internal body chemistry, and either promote or inhibit good health.
We are told over and over that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I was guilty of skipping breakfast many mornings when I was teaching. I would grab a muffin and coffee on my way out the door. I thought I was eating healthy; I did pack a bran muffin, but knowing what I learned from my research, it had very little bran and a lot of sugar. We’ll talk more about that later.
I learned how important it is to start your day out with a healthy breakfast.
Now for the B’s…
The first B: Berries
There’s no better way to start the day than with fresh fruit. Some of the best are from the berry family: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. These delicious Powerfood cousins are packed with lots of antioxidants and vitamins. These natural treats that almost everyone loves, provide potent anticancer compounds.
Clinical trials on berry consumption and cancer prevention at Ohio State University’s College of Medicine promote the concept of ‘fruitraceuticals’ as opposed to pharmaceuticals for cancer, and emphasize prevention vs. treatment. The magic elements of berries include calcium, folic and ellagic acids, fiber, and various phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants (phyto means “plant” in Greek).
My breakfast now consists of fresh fruit (organic only – look for future posts on this), whole grain toast with almond butter, and a cage-free omega 3 egg. If your mornings are hectic, make a smoothie with fresh fruit and add greens like spinach.
The Second B: Broccoli
Again your mother was right – you should eat your broccoli. The cabbage family, including cabbage, cauliflower, kale and broccoli, contain phytochemicals that are considered some of the most powerful prevention tools we have. The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates. Glucosinolates act “indirectly” to activate the body’s detoxification systems.
Cruciferous vegetables provide numerous health benefits including:
To bring out the flavor and nutrients, I don’t steam my vegetables. I stir fry them with a bit of olive or coconut oil and garlic for two additional cancer preventing punches. They are delicious, crisp and flavorful when prepared this way. Your kids may even like them.
Today’s tips are a bit of a chemistry lesson but an important one.
Berries and Broccoli, a definite winning prescription. Eating them will score you an A+ in health.