Why You Should Eat These Foods- the nutrient you need to know about right now (Hint: Stay young forever!)
Here’s an explanation of why you should eat these foods right now! I would like to introduce you to some of the top foods for nutritional value and save you decades of misguided stumbling around trying to find your way to what you should eat. There are optimal foods containing a super powerful type of ingredients that can save lives and even…make you stay young longer! Read on to learn about what they are and what they do!
Learning curve, the 80s.
When I first jumped into the plant-based world, I was a 15 year old highschool girl who didn’t care for meat anyways, an athlete who adored animals, and like most insecure teenagers, really just wanted to lose weight. That is the full extent of what I knew about the plant based world. In totality. I had no friends or guides to show me the way, and the internet was not a thing. It was the 80’s man. I did read a few popular diet books out there, emblazoned with healthy married couples with matching frosted hair. (For real) So I had an idea of food combining (not a thing anymore) and that fruits and vegetables were pretty primo.
After school and summers, I worked at a yogurt shop (before tcby was born) and one of the big 2 fast food restaurants. So I ate tons of frozen yogurt, and made burgers with all the toppings and no meat. (Including cheeses and mayo.) I drank weightloss shakes (there was only one main brand) and ate ramen noodles and mac and cheese, with canned veggies and soups for my extra nutrition. I sustained myself heavily on grilled cheeses and fries.
Then, I started thinking I should eat more fresh vegetables. I felt better after I did. I would pack a lunch and eat an entire bell pepper, baby carrots with ranch, melba toast, and a school milkshake and pizza. (I ran cross country so my caloric needs were pretty high!)
Pizza remained a mainstay through college, where I began to learn about organic produce and health food stores. It was ‘91 by then, still no accessible internet for the average person, and when you could access a computer in the student lab, (not until senior year) it was nothing like what we have today. Black screen, green type. But I learned. I took Biology and Chemistry and Anatomy and Physiology. Things just weren’t adding up. I couldn’t understand the rationale behind needing milk and meat, I just had a hunch, and I followed it. By 1995, I was vegan and had learned so much more. It was still another 5 years before I had a home computer and trust me, I was ahead of my time.
I worked at restaurants and gyms and by then had seen the effects on my workouts when I removed dairy and meat and started really adding greens. I got into green powder supplements and juicing. Eventually, I went back to school to study nutrition and afterward, got my Plant Based Nutrition Certificate from Cornell.
Why do I share all this with you?
Because we have come a long way, baby. We don’t have such a long and lonely road to travel on this path anymore, the information is EVERYWHERE!
But, also, information is EVERYWHERE to support ANY theory and dietary idea ever thought up. It’s so much to sift and navigate through, but luckily, I will be sharing with you all that I have learned and already sifted through to get to the truth.
I promise you, if you have heard an argument or a diet or a rebuttal or debunk, I have already heard it, read the books, seen the science, read the studies… and I stand firmly convicted in the knowledge that the best way is the Plant Based way. The evidence is irrefutable.
Here is a simple, easy list of the top foods you should be eating, and what they are good for!
Let’s start with the secret powerhouses I mentioned in the first paragraph:
PHYTOCHEMICALS! (also known as phytonutrients.) These are only found in foods and cannot be found in supplements.
What are they?
Phytochemicals are found in plants and protect the plant from bacteria, fungus, and viruses. “Phyto” means plant, from the greek phyton.
They include: allicin, biflavonoids, carotenoids, anthocyanins, indoles, isoflavones, lignins, lutein, lycopene, and phenolics.
What do they do?
From the Stanford Health Care website under Nutrition Services for Cancer Patients:
“Eating large amounts of brightly colored fruits and vegetables (yellow, orange, red, green, white, blue, purple), whole grains/cereals, and beans containing phytochemicals may decrease the risk of developing certain cancers as well as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.”
Phytochemicals are our protectors, just like they are for the plants they protect.
Where are they found?
Greens are the most dense provider of phytonutrients, however, different colored fruits and vegetables hold different phytochemicals, so when you hear: “Eat the Rainbow,” that is exactly what you need to do!
Here is a list provided by Stanford Health Care of top phytochemical containing foods:
- Green tea
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
A few highlights from this list:
Your cruciferous vegetables contain indoles, which destroy cancer causing chemicals
Berries and red and blue things provide anthocyanins which prevent heart disease, tumors, slow the aging process, and fight inflammation and allergies. Yeah, blueberries are more than just a pretty face in an instagram photo.
Phenolics found in citrus and other juicy fruits, fight inflammation, allergies, and protect against heart disease, tumors, and blood clots.
Moment of Vulnerability
In summary, I’m really glad I won’t suffer from allergies and cancer causing agents, or blood clots and tumors, but let’s be honest and address the gorgeous elephant in the room.
All of these phytochemicals fight: aging.
Yes, that’s right. The holy grail. Why do you think those raw foodists look like they just don’t age? Because they don’t, not nearly as fast as the rest of us. The more of these foods you consume, the better looking you will remain. Although Billy Crystal famously coined “It is better to look good than to feel good, dahling.” back in the 80s SNL days, the truth is that you get the best of both worlds here.
For myself personally, without the help of any medical intervention or planning whatsoever, I made a baby at 47. I don’t know how much you know about fertility, but your egg age is what determines viability and there’s a reason you don’t see that many new Moms in their forties. Your chances of a natural conception after the age of 42 is about 4%. Your chance of that pregnancy remaining viable (sticking!) is less than 20%.
So I can first hand tell you, that my cells act a whole heck of a lot younger than their age. I’m an entirely immature person on a cellular level. And blueberries are one of my favorite foods. Along with pineapple, and collards, and broccoli, and beans, and papaya, I mean I could truly live on fruit alone, as long as I’m the one slicing into them, not out of a can. Fresh baby, like my skin.
OK, so I have exposed my vanity and my immaturity to you in one paragraph, but I am not ashamed. I want everyone to feel as young as I do and I plan on living past 100. (I kind of better if I want to make my youngest’s wedding, amiright?)
So stay young, stay fresh, stay sexy and stay adventurous. This is an exciting world, and we should see as much of it as we can, and play in it for as long as we can. So eat the rainbow, people! It’s a real thing! Plant Power!
If you love this post and want to share, please let your friends know about it! Sharing is caring, and the more people in the know, the more awesome your plant based support network grows! Aloha!