Who knew that some of the most commonly consumed foods during Valentines Day has underlying health benefits? Continue reading as, Lori Balue (A-CFHC), shares the holistic side of four "Day Of Love" favorites. They'll also be available for sampling at The Whole Wheatery during our Chocolate, Tea & Wine event (2/12/20)!
I have been enjoying reading “Eat to Beat Disease” by William W. Li, MD. What a fantastic
book on the way our body works within us that is our immune system. We all have the choice to eat the foods that give us health. But perhaps you didn’t know why and which foods. How does it all work?
Our body has 5 defense systems: Angiogenesis, Regeneration, Microbiome, DNA Protection
and Immunity. Our bodies defense heals from within. But health has to be programmed in by
the food we eat. We are all afraid of aging and disease. “Eat to Beat Disease” gives us the information to apply food daily as information to help turn off disease and boost our immune system.
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” That is and always will be relevant to our longevity and health. “Our health is not simply an absence of disease,”
William W. Li, Md. “Health is an active state.” Our bodies' defense systems work continuously
to help heal us. By knowing how this defense system works we can tap into their healing
powers to live a longer, healthier life.
So which foods influence balanced angiogenesis (healthy blood vessels) and our health? The
power players are: fermented soy (geinstein), tomatoes (lycopene), black raspberries (anthocyanin and ellagic acid), pomegranates (ellagitannins), broccoli and other cruciferous
vegetables, stone fruit, and apples which all have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity--as well as licorice, beer and cheese. We can use the nutrients and bioactives in these foods and others as angio prevention to keep our health in a state of homeostasis. The ones we are going to go more into detail today is green tea for its (EGCG), catechins, gallic acid and theaflavins, red wine (resveratrol), dark chocolate (theobromine) and coffee (Chlorogenic acid).
Green tea is one of the best studied for its bioactives called EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate). It is antiangiogenic, activates the regenerative system, is DNA protective and autoimmune supportive. EGCG reduces harmful angiogenesis and cancer growth, lowers blood pressure, improves blood lipids, restores homeostasis of immune cells and has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. Studies show drinking two to three cups a day reduces the risk of disease. Chamomile tea contains bioactives like apigenin, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid that have antiangiogenic activity. Studies show that black tea can mobilize stem cells increasing the health of the vascular system with two cups of black tea a day. The polyphenols in tea help make a more favorable microbiome in our gut. The tea bioactives influence the microbiome increasing short chain fatty acids. Overall, drinking black, oolong and green teas can increase good bacteria, decrease bad bacteria and contributes to the health of our microbiome. This increases the feeling of calm and contributes to higher levels of serotonin. It is a “Grand Slammer” as an all-star food as it influences more than one of the body's defense systems.
Red wine is associated with cardiovascular benefits and anticancer activity. It has several
hundred bioactive compounds. The best known is Resveratrol. It also contains other beneficial polyphenols which are known to be antiangiogenic. Epidemiological research supports the antiangiogenic effect of wine on cancer with just one glass of wine a day. The most potent antiangiogenic wines were identified as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Red wine also improves the gut microbiome and reduces inflammation in the body. Wine polyphenols feed the gut bacteria in the colon which are then converted into bioactive metabolites which have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. A drink we can enjoy and to relax to now that we know the wonderful benefits.
Benefits of dark chocolate (72% and above) are antiangiogenic and stem cell stimulating. Eating dark chocolate has been found to lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes, protect your DNA, improve gut bacteria and improve blood flow. It is rich in phytonutrients and flavonoids which are antioxidants. Its main bioactive is theobromine. It’s a high magnesium food. The fiber found in chocolate feeds the healthy gut bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which generate short chain fatty acids. This increases the anti-inflammatory properties improving blood glucose and lipid metabolism. Dark Chocolate’s best overall noticeable benefit we all love is the lower levels of stress and anxiety we feel. Studies show that just two weeks of eating Dark Chocolate can influence gut bacteria and reduce stress markers cortisol and adrenaline. This food is considered a “Jaw Dropper” and “Grand Slammer” for its multiple healing benefits in the body.
Coffee as a whole food is also angiogenic. Coffee contains polyphenols beneficial to DNA
functions. Coffee polyphenols epigenetically turn on the tumor suppressor gene RARB2.
These polyphenols are chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. Studies show it lowers your risk of
dying. The many coffee bioactives act on the heart leading to a reduced risk of dying. The
greatest benefit being digestive-related diseases of the colon. It increases longevity. Drinking
one cup of coffee a day effectively slows aging with 3 to 4 cups showing the best benefit to life extension. Coffee is definitely one of the “Grand Slammers” for health.
There are many more health promoting foods: berries, stone fruit, apples, vegetables, purple
potatoes, nuts and seeds, olive oil, seafood, dairy, cheese and foods containing ursolic acid like ginseng, rosemary and peppermint. The more we add to our daily meals the more our immune system and angiogenic preventive system is turned on and working for us. “Eat to Beat Disease” is a cornucopia of familiar foods we can use for “food as medicine” in our daily lives. The book comes with invaluable lists to help you increase your knowledge and your body's defense systems. Adding just 5 disease-fighting foods 5 times a day helps to fight disease and achieve optimal health.
Many studies and the science concerning the above are stated in the book “Eat to Beat
Disease” by William W. Li, Md.