GUEST COLUMNIST: Candace Corson M.D. Dr. Corson
is a graduate of Yale Medical School. She practices integrated
medicine at the Healing Arts Center in Mishawaka, Indiana. Candace
spends much of her time addressing human rights issues, nuclear
disarmament, and environmental concerns. This column is excerpted
from her latest video: Diet for Natural
Today I would like to share with you a few simple tips to make your life more vibrant and healthy.
Starting with the most abundant of all the molecules in our body, we can think of water as the fundamental molecule for life. Sixty five percent or more of our body weight is water. So we need to appreciate water as the gift we cannot live without for more than a few days. We need to drink clean pure water filtered or distilled about 8 to 10 glasses per day. This lets our bodies remove toxins and keep our cells and organs hydrated and clean. Water cleans our kidneys and bladder of toxins and salt crystals. Remember it is common for people to overeat when they are simply thirsty. Most people are too busy or forget to drink enough water. And when we are sick we need to drink even more water. When sick drink 12 ounces of water every hour while awake. Our bodies do not need any other drink other than water.
Most westernized people eat far too much fat, but we do have to remember that as we cut our fat intake down there is one category of fat that is good and we must have this fat for longevity and vibrant health. These are called essential fatty acids...or EFAs. Sources of essential fatty acids are flax seed oil, fish oil, borage oil, pumpkin seeds, lemons and limes, beans, evening primrose oil, black currant oil.
My favorite is flaxseed oil, obtained by grinding fresh flaxseeds that I keep in my freezer for freshness. The ground flaxseeds may be added to juice, over cereal, bread and muffin recipes.
Refined sugar is not truly a natural substance. It is a super concentrated carbohydrate, unnatural and potentially dangerous. If we chewed on a sugar beet or a stick of sugar cane we would be getting nature's package: including pure water, minerals and just a hint of sweetness. But just think about it we take a ton of vegetable and process it dramatically into white crystalline substance in a form that nature never intended for us to have unlimited access to.
Refined, concentrated sugar causes an increase in our insulin, burdening our system in multiple ways. According to research high insulin levels contribute to obesity cancer and heart disease. Sugar also stiffens the proteins of our body accelerating the aging process. Sugar promotes anxiety in many people by stressing the body's sugar balance mechanism elevating stress hormones.
How do we take sugar out of our diet?
Pop is too acidic. Both are loaded with sugar. Just think, 12 teaspoons of sugar in a can of pop. Also aluminum may leach out into this acidic stew. Too much aluminum can contribute to osteoporosis, weakening bones.
Sugar sweet and fat rich ice cream is still a weakness. I have shifted happily to fruit and plain yogurt...And notice that I feel good after this. Instead of slower, duller and heavier after ice cream.
It's good to notice how we feel after eating specific foods, and follow what our body tells us....We become more active, more useful. When you cut back on sugar you begin to experience for the first time the true sweetness of natural foods. I feel years younger and far more energetic after taking this unnatural daily burden from my diet. My children have gotten used to this beautifully . Now they'll say that a dessert "tastes too sweet....I don't like it!"
Natural sugars, which are complex carbohydrates in whole grains, cereals, bread and pasta provide ample carbohydrates for our body's energy needs. Add to this fresh vegetables and fruit for their unrefined carbohydrate content, and health promoting load of fiber, minerals, vitamins, protein, essential fats and phytochemicals that protect us from cancer and heart disease.
Fiber is one carbohydrate we do not get enough of. I have increased fiber in my diet by eating more bran muffins, bran bread, whole grain for both cereals and bread, including high fiber crackers. I add 2 big handfuls of wheat bran to every pot of oatmeal and my children like it. This is a reliable cure for constipation.
Some nutritious foods that are high in fiber and bulking include: whole oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur wheat or wheat berries. These foods provide lots of energy and when taken with water make you feel full and satisfied.
Sprouting seeds is an excellent way to add fiber, health protecting phytochemicals and plant enzymes to your diet. Try alfalfa, clover, radish, fenugreek and mung bean sprouts.
I am decreasing my refined flour intake. I use whole wheat and other whole grains for pancakes, waffles, muffins and the like. In the beginning you may use about 1/2 the amount of white flour mixed with the whole grain flower. This will ease the family into the new taste and texture.
Eat Whole Foods and Lose Weight
If you gain weight and cannot lose to a weight that is healthy for you. Even when on a good unprocessed carbohydrate diet. Then I recommend a low carbohydrate diet and more protein with less fat restriction. But only healthy plant fats, essential fatty acids and lots of non-starchy, high fiber vegetables.
I advise you to find an experienced nutritionist to help you do this successfully.
This is what I do:
Because we are a step higher on the food chain, we accumulate a greater amount of toxins in our fat when we eat these toxic animals. This bio concentration of toxins is happening all the time.
Another reason to cut your fat consumption is that total kcalory intake is closely tied to cancer risk. Obesity may actually promote cancer growth.
I like to eat a lot of food. The only way I can do this is to eat less high calory fat and to eat bulking foods, that are filling but low in calories. Fresh produce, vegetables and fruit are ideal. High in fiber, low in fat with lots of minerals, vitamins and enzymes.*
To learn more about what we feel is
the best diet for human beings see: Natural
Health with Medicinal Herbs and Healing Foods