You Are What You Eat
It’s #AnAppleADay month at Pink and it only makes sense to apply the theme to our monthly prescriptions column. We asked our expert local medical and health field resources a few theme-related questions we thought you might like answered, and we received a healthy dose of good advice return!
Does body shape, metabolism, or blood type
determine what kind of diet works best?
With so many different dieting options out there today, it is hard to determine which diet plan or program is right for you. However, there are some basic principles. Most important is finding a diet that you can continue on a long-term basis; weight loss and maintenance require a change in lifestyle for most. Some things to think about:
• Which diet has food that you actually like and will actually eat?
• Can you afford the diet? Does it require purchased food, attending meetings, taking supplements?
• Do you need someone looking over your shoulder to keep you motivated or are you self-driven?
• Do you have accompanying medical issues that will affect your choice of diet plan or program?
Your family physician can certainly help you navigate the maze of different diet plans
and programs available and determine the one that is right for you.
Dr. Knobel is a board certified Family Physician seeing patients of all ages in Plantation Park in Bluffton. She has a direct primary care practice where you can get your primary care for $50 a month or less. Office phone: 843-836-2200. Website: knobelmd.com
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Hippocrates, 460 B.C.
Want to eat healthy?
Try more fruits and veggies!
The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of fruits and veggies every day because they contain important vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants and are usually low in calories. In general, fruits and vegetables with the most color—dark green, red, yellow, purple, or orange have the most nutrients and antioxidants.
Antioxidants are substances that protect cells from oxidative damage caused by molecules called free radicals. These chemicals can damage important parts of cells, including proteins, membranes and DNA. Cellular damage caused by free radicals has been implicated in the development of cancer.
Here are some tips for adding superfoods,
such as blueberries, kale or avocado, to your daily diet:
• When eating on the go take along fresh or dried fruit.
• Try crunchy vegetables, raw or lightly steamed.
• Add fruits and veggies to your favorite recipes.
• Keep a bowl of fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
• Add fruit to your breakfast cereal.
September is Fruits and Veggies—More Matters® Month.
Celebrate by getting more superfoods and antioxidants at the farmer’s market or grocery store. More really does matter.
Hilton Head Regional Hospital, 25 Hospital Boulevard Hilton Head, SC 29926 843-681-6122
Is there such a thing as brain food?
Your brain requires fuel 24/7 in order to control thoughts, movements, breathing, heartbeats, as well as your senses. Wouldn’t it make sense to provide it with the most high quality fuel as possible?
Growing scientific evidence shows that a diet rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and certain vitamins can reduce the risk of cognitive decline and depression and can help boost memory and alertness. The best menu for your brain includes an abundance of fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, beans, and omega-3 fatty acids. These recommendations are in line with the Mediterranean, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), and Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) eating styles.
Need a super-powered brain plan?
Add these foods regularly into rotation:
• Green Leafy Vegetables. All vegetables are important, but green leafy ones have been shown in particular to provide exceptional protection due to their high vitamin, fiber, and folate content. I recommend at least one serving of these every day. Try a kale or shaved Brussels sprout salad; sauté collard greens, cabbage or spinach for a tasty side dish; or try your next sandwich wrapped in dark green romaine.
• Berries. These nutrient-dense morsels are super-packed with anthocyanins and flavonoids, which may boost memory function. Use fresh or frozen blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or even cherries to top off a leafy green salad; mix them into oatmeal at breakfast, or turn them into a brain healthy dessert mixed with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon.
• Omega-3 fatty acids. Only found in seafood and fish, omega-3 fatty acids, or more specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is essential for brain health and development. Challenge yourself to include these foods in your diet 2-3 times per week. Best sources include salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines. Are you vegan, vegetarian, or just not a seafood lover? Don’t fret. You can include plant-based sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which are converted to DHA in our bodies. The best sources are walnuts, flaxseed, chia seed, and seaweed. I suggest including one ounce of walnuts daily for the most brain punch; however, be sure to account for those extra calories (approximately 180 calories per one ounce serving).
• Wine. If you are like me and enjoy a good glass of wine every now and then, you’re in luck! Both red and white wines may benefit the brain. Aim for no more than one glass daily. Of course, if you do not currently drink alcohol, it is not recommended you start for brain health.
In addition to consuming these healthy brain foods, remember to limit your consumption of those foods that have been proven to inhibit brain health, including unhealthy fats from butter, fast foods, fried foods and sweets. While I can’t guarantee following these recommendations will help reduce the number of times you lose your keys, I am confident it will get you on the right path to an overall healthier YOU.
Jenny Craft RD, LE, CDE is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator who provides outpatient nutrition counseling with Beaufort Memorial in both Bluffton and Beaufort. Jenny graduated from East Carolina University and has over 10 years experience in clinical dietetics, nutrition counseling, diabetes education, and wellness.