Because I’m a huge dork, I like to google the nutritional benefits of the foods I eat. I just think it’s so fun to read about all the cancer-fighting and general ass-kicking my food is doing! So, along with my daily eats today I will be interjecting some benefits of foods found in each of my meals. Maybe you will learn something new, maybe you will be bored to tears. I guess we’ll see!
Of course, I had a green monster this morning. So exactly what is so great about spinach? I’m sure many of you already know, but spinach’s secret weapon, lutein, makes it one of the best foods in the world to prevent cataracts, as well as age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of preventable blindness in the elderly. Foods rich in lutein are also thought to help prevent cancer. Find out more about spinach at this site. I honestly had no idea that spinach could prevent blindness!
For lunch I had some leftover Tandoori Chickpea goodness.
This recipe called for cauliflower, and honestly I was going to leave it out because I have never really liked it and considered it a pretty low-nutrition vegetable. But I was wrong! According to this site, cauliflower contains many cancer fighers. These are indole-3-carbinol, or 13C, and the photonutrient sulforaphane. In research done at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, sulforaphane lowered the occurance of breast tumors in lab animals by almost 40%. Toxins that would normally damage the cells and turn cancerous, are swept out of the system by sulforaphane, preventing tumors before they begin. These benefits can be found in all cruciferous veggies, so if you don’t like cauliflower, you can still get the same benefits from brocolli, kale or brussels sprouts.
I think the most beneficial food I ate all day, was my afternoon snack.
I’ve always loved fresh cherries, and I’ve seen them on so many blogs lately that I couldn’t live without them anymore! I knew they were full of antioxidants, but this site showed me some things about cherries I didn’t know.
The health benefits of cherries and other plant foods containing anthocyanins are many. Anthocyanins are used by the body to produce essential amino acids. As antioxidants, they protect the cells of the body from the damaging, aging and disease producing affects of oxygen, nitrogen and UV radiation.
Anthocyanins are also natural pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. They inhibit the production of COX-2 enzymes, as do over the counter and prescription pain relievers. Natural anti-inflammatories are believed to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. But, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.
Cherries contain melatonin, another natural pain reliever and COX-2 inhibitor. Melatonin also helps to regulate sleep cycles and has been sold as a natural sleep aid. Reduced levels of melatonin have been associated with heart disease and increased cancer rates in night workers. The human body naturally produces melatonin, but primarily in darkness.
Constant artificial lighting present in most homes and work places reduces the amount of melatonin that the body produces. So, one of the health benefits of cherries to modern day man has to do with replacing some of the melatonin that has been lost to artificial light, unhealthy work schedules and unnatural sleep patterns.
I take melatonin to help with my insomnia, but I was not aware that cherries contained it naturally. They are a much more pleasurable way to take a supplement, don’t you think? But, unfortunately even though cherries are one of the first fruits to ripen, they have one of the shortest growing seasons. So get ‘em while you still can!
I also had some cottage cheese with my cherries, just so you know.
After work I returned to the same yoga class that I had to leave last week because of my headache. I felt a little awkward going in, but my big girl panties were on, and I powered through! It was one of the best yoga classes I’ve ever taken! It felt so good and I was so zen when I left. Which is good, because I got a call from my Dad on the way home telling me that we’re having dinner for my Grandpa’s birthday tomorrow. I’m excited for the b-day celebration, but it’s going to seriously cramp my cooking time for Friday breakfast! I’ve got some early mornings in my future!
Dinner was another recipe out of the same cookbook.
Thai noodles! Into these noodles went some of these lovely shallots.
Do you know of the nutritional benefits of shallots? No? I’ll tell you then.
According to this site, shallots are especially good at helping the liver to eliminate toxins from the body, which is essential in the chemically processed foods that the masses enjoy, as well as helping to process alcohol. Shallots also contain saponins which have been shown to inhibit and kill cancerous cells in the body.
Now you know! You probably didn’t want to know all that stuff, but I was feeling Google-y today, haha.
Now I have some push-ups to do and a bed to crawl into, so have a good evening!
What are your favorite cancer-fighting/karate kid foods?
My giveaway ends Sunday, so if you haven’t entered – what are you waiting for? It’s free stuff…