Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why should I eat more herbs and spices?

You may have noticed that part of my "mantra" for healthy nutrition includes eating lots of nuts, herbs and spices.

There is a very good reason why you should include as much variety of thse foods into your diet as possible...

Back when I worked in the supplement industry I was always amused when ever I looked through the list of potential new ingredients that had strong supporting research behind their effects.

The list typically looked something like this: Green tea extract, cinnamon extract, raspberry extract, pine nut extract, curcumin, cayenne pepper extract, mint, basil, rosemary...

Notice anything about this list?

These are all ingredients that you could be adding to your diet, especially if you are following the principle of nutrition by addition. Many of these ingredients are currently being studied for their potential to have positive effects on some very important markers of health, such as helping to manage healthy insulin levels, cholesterol levels and some of the more complex areas of body weight regulation.

The funny thing is, I often wonder if these ingredients would still be considered potential "functional foods" if we ate them more often. I believe that nuts, herbs and spices are one of the missing links in North American Health. If we ate them more often, then we would be regularly reaping their health benefits, and wouldn't need some fancy label like "functional foods" to describe them!

Take pinolenic acid for example. This compound is currently being studied for its potential beneficial effects on several ofthe 'hunger hormones' that regulate our feelings of hunger.
This ingredient has some big potential and, most likely will be available in a pill sometime in the very near future.

Of course, instead of buying the pill, you could always get it in its natural form by adding a handful of pine nuts to your salad.

A perfect example of Nutrition by Addition and the importance of eating a variety of nuts, herbs and spices.


PS - Here is what Craig Ballantyne had to say after he read Eat Stop Eat:

"This book will question everything you've ever been told about eating for fat loss. Bodybuilder mags have hyped up their eating & created inhuman workout programs for one reason - to sell supplements. That's right. Most nutrition programs are "designed" just to sell you stuff like protein powder and expensive post-workout sugar drinks. Brad's book turns the industry upside down and shows you how to eat normally, while making one slight, easy change that could bethe missing link in your fat loss nutrition program."

You can learn more about fasting for weight loss by going here

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in nutrition should sign the Health Freedom Protection Act Petition at .