I want to see you raise those aching hands, go ahead, do it! Today we're going to learn how to become STRONGER by becoming healthier. Knowledge is POWER luvies, and we're going to educate ourselves to beat this battle called Lupus!
I attended a Nutrition Seminar at the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation with a lovely lady named Brooke on May 11th and learned so much about how eating healthier can help Lupus patients immensely.
Here I learned that we should all be eating FIVE servings of fruits and vegetables. This is the total amount, so you may pick and choose how many fruits/vegetables until you reach a total of FIVE for the day. While this is important, you'd be surprised to learn that the COLOR of the fruit/vegetable you choose is also important!
Each different color of fruit/vegetable contains a unique vitamin that is essential to our health! The processed foods that many of us eat could NEVER compare to natural whole foods, and are often the culprit behind why so many of us become sick.
Here are some examples of Fruits, their colors, and essentials:
Red Fruits and Vegetables
Contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, to name a few. These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases.
Orange and Yellow fruits and vegetables
Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.
Green vegetables and Fruit
Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables
Contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. Similar to the previous nutrients, these nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.
White fruits and vegetables
Contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.
*Remember: According to the Food Pyramid POTATOS are NOT considered as a vegetable, because they are mostly consisted of starch, and should be eaten sparingly.
>Below I'll share a Food Color Chart, that will help you identify the proper fruits/vegetables with their colors, you'll be surprised what goes where!<
The nutrients found in the above fruits and vegetables have a significant impact on our health.
Quercetin, which is found in apples, onions and other citrus fruits, not only prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation, but also helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Ellagic acid, which is mainly found in raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts, has been proven in many clinical studies to act as an antioxidant and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract. This nutrient also has been proven to have an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, because it decreases their ATP production.
The best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene, is converted into vitamin A upon entering the liver. Although being known for its positive effects on eyesight, it has also been proven to decrease cholesterol levels in the liver.
Clinical studies have proven that lycopene, mainly found in tomatoes, may decrease the risk of prostate cancer, as well as protect against heart disease. Lutein, which is found in blueberries and members of the squash family, is important for healthy eyes. However, it does support your heart too, helping to prevent against coronary artery disease.
Along with the above stated nutrients, there are even more nutrients found in fruits and vegetables that provide a great deal of support to our body. Almost everyone has heard of vitamin C, which keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. This nutrient is scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits, but commonly associated with oranges and other citrus fruits. Potassium, which is the nutrient most Americans are deficient in, does great things for our hearts, and lowers blood pressure.
Another good food component many people don't get enough of if fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Flavonoids, which include anthocyanins, flavones, isoflavones, proantocyanidins, quercetin and more, are found almost everywhere. They are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and vegetables and help to stop the growth of tumor cells and potent antioxidants. They also can reduce inflammation.
Beta-glucan, found in mushrooms, stabilizes and balances the body's immune system by supporting white blood cells. EGCG is found in tea and has been shown to reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer. It boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation, which defends our body against sickness and disease.
Bioflavonoids, which are found in citrus fruits, are considered a companion to vitamin C because they extend the value of it in the body. These nutrients have the capabilities to lower cholesterol levels and support joint collagen in arthritis cases.
The number one excuse for not eating the required five servings of fruits and vegetables each day is they are too expensive. However, as compared to the amount of money spent on prepackaged, processed, and fast foods, most fruits and vegetables (with the exception of those that are not in season) are not all that expensive.
Because frozen fruits and vegetables retain the majority of their nutritional value, they can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season.
Someone who is not able to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day can also drink fruit and vegetable drinks in their place. Although this shouldn't become a habit, fruit and vegetable drink mixes can be an excellent substitute when you're rushed or traveling.
The need for fruits and vegetables in our diet is growing rapidly with the type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol, hypertension that result from the "Typical American Diet" of fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
You can find lots of other great nutritional information at Disability & Health News !
In the end, it is up to only us whether we choose to make the right choices for our body. Sometimes we have to sacrifice the unhealthy things to prolong our lives. When living with Lupus it is extremely crucial what we put into our bodies. So many foods today are pumped with pesticides, hormones, artificial ingredients, MSG, etc... and the list goes on.
We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to such matters, there are so many things about Lupus that we cannot control, however we CAN regulate what we put into our body, take care to make the right choices because it IS makes every difference from making the wrongs ones.
As always be STRONG luvies! Together we can stand tall & Fight the never-ending battle. Never give In!