Why does an Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away?
By Priscilla Kona
The gigantic army major was wasted and bedridden, his prognosis very poor; stage four throat cancer. He wonders, could this be because of all the years of grilled meat and whisky?
Most people adore animal foods because of their superior flavor and taste. But plant food is arguably superior. The zest of an orange, the lemon tang; when was the last time you ate one? Indeed all edible plant parts; nature’s bounty, bears promise of nutritional greatness and here’s why:
- Lowers cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
Such diets are rich in complex carbohydrates and protect against heart disease and stroke. Fiber lowers blood cholesterol by binding the cholesterol containing bile in the intestines for its removal with feces. This simply means most of the cholesterol is eliminated in poop. Bacteria, present in the gut also ferments fiber forming a substance which reduces cholesterol formation in the liver.
2. Controls blood glucose.
Soluble fiber in legumes fruits, vegetables and whole grains trap nutrients in the gut and delay their transit through the gut. This lowers glucose absorption preventing the glucose/ insulin surges that trigger the onset of diabetes type II. Fiber also moderates blood glucose and insulin levels in diabetics.
3. Maintains digestive tract health
Insoluble fiber present in cereals, fruits, and vegetables enlarge and soften stools easing passage out of the body. This prevents constipation (hard stool) and therefore prevents hemorrhoids. Fiber also prevents appendicitis and diverticulitis. It also prevents colon cancer by diluting and speeding removal of potential carcinogens( cancer causing substances) from the colon.
4. Controls weight
Plant foods rich in complex carbohydrates have little to no saturated fats and added sugars and promote weight loss by delivering less energy per bite’. By creating a feeling of fullness, fiber foods delay hunger, fighting back the urge to eat more thus lowering the risk of obesity.
How much fiber is enough per day?
Three to five servings of fruit (a small fruit is equal to one serving).
Two servings of assorted vegetable cooked or raw, (a half cup cooked or one cup uncooked vegetable is equal to one serving).
Six servings of whole grain cereal (one cup uncooked cereal is equal to one serving).
Two servings legumes one cup cooked legume is equal to one serving).
This carries sufficient fiber for the day, in tandem with the good plant fats, phytochemicals, plant protein, complex carbohydrates.
This is the answer to so many issues plaguing your life on your platter?
How healthy is your relationship with plant food?