Natural Foods Versus Pills


            About 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine stated: “Let food be your medicine, and let medicine be your food. Each one of the substances of a person’s diet acts upon his body and changes it in some way, and upon these changes his whole life depends.”


1.         Strawberries contain a compound called ellagic acid that disarms harmful agents in the body before they harm your DNA. Pure ellagic acid cannot be absorbed by the bloodstream very well, so it does no good to take it in tablet form. Raspberries are another good source.


2.         Beta-carotene is another body protector and is found in brightly colored vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and red peppers. Beta–carotene in natural foods is superior to supplements because it contains at least 500 siblings, known as carotenoids, while pills do not.


3.         Our immune systems make more than 100 billion types of medicine called “antibodies”, that attack germs and virus that enter the body. To do this the human system needs the right raw materials to manufacture all the internal medicine required to produce and maintain a healthy body. Natural foods contain these healers that come in combinations, many of which we still do not understand how they work. Pills and supplements cannot provide needed combinations.


4.         Drinking soda from a can may deposit as much as four milligrams of aluminum inside the body. Aluminum is a major suspect in triggering Alzheimer’s disease.


5.         Natural garlic has been shown to lower cholesterol, makes the blood in the arteries 58% less sticky, and helps lower triglycerides. But, it must be used in its natural state to have any benefit at all.


6.         Flaxseed is a rich source of a group of compounds called lignans, and contains about 75 times more than other foods. The health benefits of golden flaxseed to the immune system are numerous.


7.         Honey has been used on wounds in times past because it is high in sugar, so it   absorbs moisture inside wounds, making it hard for bacteria to survive, contains hydrogen peroxide to disinfect, and also contains propolis, a compound in nectar that kills bacteria.


8.         Cantaloupe is one of the few fruits rich in both vitamin C and beta–carotene, and also folate.


9.         Cherries are rich in perillyl alcohol and quercetin which act as body guards in shielding DNA from harmful attacks.


10.       Cooking carrots releases more beta–carotene than eating them raw.


11.       Red grapefruit contain lycopene, which is a powerful health protector.


12.       Fiber is the ultimate weight loss tool because it soaks up many times its weight in water, helps you snack less because of a fuller feeling, lowers cholesterol by soaking up fat, sweeps food particles out of your colon faster and keeps your insides cleaner. No pill can imitate the benefits of natural fiber.


13.       The natural food compound glutathione found in winter squash, avocados, grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes and potatoes will assist in keeping body weight down.


14.       Cranberry juice contains a mystery compound that prevents bacteria from clinging to the lining of the bladder and urethra, that helps control urinary tract infection. Look for labels that state “100% juice.”


15.       Resveratrol, a blood thinning, cholesterol reducing plant compound found in peanuts, red grape skins and red wine, has antioxidant properties that may offer protection from certain cancers.




            There are literally hundreds of ways that natural foods contain compounds that pills and supplements do not. Eating natural is the best way to go. In fact, many books have been written on this subject and can be found in your local library. Many people take vitamin “C”, “E”, calcium and iron tablets. It is suggested that you talk to your doctor or health care provider concerning supplements. Older folks may want to take a daily multivitamin.


            I still believe that natural is the best and safest way to go. The martial artists must do everything possible, and in the safest and most beneficial way to set examples for students to follow to live a healthy, productive lifestyle. There is much more to martial arts than self–defense. It is a complete and entire way of living.


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This page was last updated on 02/20/11    

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