Thursday, September 30, 2010

At Risk for Diabetes? Be Your Own Breakthrough

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, affects millions of Americans. As waistlines increase and diets degrade, the Type 2 diabetes diagnosis rate continues to grow in this country. And, it is being diagnosed at unprecedented and alarming rates in children. This chronic disease, marked by high levels of glucose in the blood, puts those who have it at lifelong risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious complications including eye, skin, and kidney disease.

Is managing this disease in our hands? 

Recently, research published in The Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that intensive lifestyle changes, which include significant modifications in diet and exercise, can improve blood sugar levels in those with diabetes risk. Healthy eating, it implied, including eating foods high in nutrients and antioxidants, can assuage symptoms and reduce risk factors. Those reporting on the study have gone so far as to say that diet and exercise trump diabetes drugs.

People who live with diabetes often require insulin (or the increasingly popular pills) to control the disease, and no one should forgo doctor-prescribed medication whether for diabetes, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease. At the same time, a recent editorial in Boston Globe tells it like it is when it comes to the degree to which we are helping ourselves prevent disease. We know about the need for fruits and veggies to maintain health, prolong life, and reduce obesity that puts us at risk for diseases like diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, it says. But we simply aren't listening.

Despite our crumbling health, we are eating fewer fruits and vegetables now than we were ten years ago, and no state is achieving the nation's dietary goals. 

What will it take for us to help ourselves?

It's time to get serious and forgo the enticing taste combinations, colorful packaging, and convenience of processed foods and fast foods. It's time to eat life-giving, disease-preventing fruits and vegetables.

Blueberries & Diabetes

In October's issue of The Journal of Nutrition, exciting new research concerning blueberries and their impact on risk for Type 2 diabetes was published. The study found that daily consumption of whole blueberries helped people with a high risk for Type 2 diabetes reduce that risk. It was the bioactives in blueberries that made the difference—those chemical food compounds that have a health effect on our bodies. They increased the participants’ insulin sensitivity, a key factor in preventing the disease.

This research contributes to a body of growing evidence that supports the idea that adding this powerful fruit to our diet can have significant positive health effects. Even more exciting is what the subjects of this study did.  

They drank a smoothie every day.

No injections, no unreasonable fruit intake – just a smoothie. As Nutrition Advisor Susan Davis, MS, RD points out, it's something that is easily replicated every day by anyone with access to basic smoothie ingredients. There are myriad combinations that quickly and easily make super-palatable snacks, breakfasts or meals. What could be better news for those struggling with strict dietary requirements or just looking to enhance health through food?

Diabetes Superfoods

The American Diabetes Association has valuable news and research about diabetes, including diabetes basics, information on living with the disease, and help in figuring out what you can eat if you are at risk or have the disease. They also list their top Diabetes Superfoods.

While these foods often appear on healthy food lists for anyone looking to invigorate their health through food, they are particularly powerful and work well with a diabetes meal plan. They have a low glycemic index and provide key nutrients often missing in the diets of those who have diabetes (and any American consumer for that matter). Berries are touted here (all types, though we know that blues have more nutrient-rich skin per serving) – along with leafy greens, nuts, and yogurt.

If you, like millions of Americans, are at risk for diabetes, there's only one thing to do: throw on your lab coat and put yourself under the microscope. It's the opportunity of a lifetime to have your own personal health breakthrough. 

Drink to your health! 

Enjoy these super-powerful, super-delicious smoothie ideas:  Try a fresh Apple Smoothie, indulge in good fat with an Avocado Smoothie, or combine blueberries with bananas with this classic Banana Smoothie. This Coconut Smoothie captures a favorite flavor, and Wild Blueberry Soy Shake is good health in a glass. Mix up some good health! Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

One More Reason to Love a Veggie

It's the season for putting fall veggies like zucchini to any way possible.

According to recent media reports, when a Missouri Montana woman was forced to fend off a 200-pound bear that was attacking her dog, she reached for the closest thing she had – a large zucchini that she grew in her garden. Using the cudgel-shaped edible, she succeeded in saving her dog and herself from this too-close-for comfort encounter.

Healthy weapon or weapon of health? A representative versatile zucchini.

While large veggies can double as defenders against hearth and home, you may prefer to put yours to more traditional use. Try this Zucchini Quiche from Taste of Home to defend your health with veggies in a less violent way. (And keep another one handy, just in case. ) 

We know you got 'em. What do you do with 'em? From chocolate cake to tacos, here's some easy ways to spend your garden capital: page through endless zucchini recipe ideas from, or peruse the Top Zucchini Recipes from AllRecipes, for a start.


Fall Fix for Fresh

We know frozen fruits and veggies are a godsend. They are just as nutrition as fresh if not more, they do away with waste, and they are easily accessible all year round.

But it's still hard to say goodbye to the unique thrill of bringing fresh food  into the kitchen that has dirt still stuck to the leaves. Organic Authority always has a unique take on the world of organic food, including healthy recipes, tips for the eating chic table, and kitchen gardening. They urge us to explore the world of lettuce, baby carrots, eggplant -- even bananas -- in our own homes throughout the winter by focusing on 12 veggies that thrive indoors, don't require lots of heat, and do fine in shallow pots. Green thumb optional.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Bumpy Ride for a Fraught Sugar

High fructose corn syrup has been on a roller coaster ride over the last few years, and the fun isn't over. Its ups are marked by big agriculture subsidies, and a starring role in everything from wheat crackers to cranberry juice. Today, the obesity epidemic has changed the way we perceive this mercurial ingredient, resulting in a precipitous down. Foods in restaurants and store shelves are shunning it – wheat crackers and cranberry juice included. Has this ingredient been rightfully snubbed? Why do we love it? And will changing its name and the public's perception help us or hurt us?

What is HFCS?

It's no surprise that high fructose corn syrup is made from corn. Kernels of corn are soaked to extract their starch, and enzymes are used to turn the glucose in the starch into fructose. The result is an ingredient that is part fructose and part glucose, where the fructose portion can range from 42% to 90% depending on the application. It differs from the white crystals that we know as table sugar, which comes from either sugar cane or sugar beets, and is pure glucose.

Food producers fell instantly in love with HFCS, and as a result, it is used as a sweetener in many foods. Part of its appeal is that it's cheaper (the corn crop in the U.S. is heavily subsidized). It's also perfect for processed foods – it extends shelf life, retains moisture, and doesn't mask flavors. Looking for HFCS? Look no further than most any grocery store shelf. It's in fruit drinks, sodas, crackers, breads…the list of processed foods that have HFCS is long, which means it's a major source for calories in the American diet.

The Allure of Sweet

We love sweet food. While the salt-sugar-fat combos can send our taste buds and brains into heavenly overload, it doesn't take a food engineer to create new ways for us to reach sweet nirvana (although it helps). We have simply evolved to love sweet, sugary food, no tampering required. 

Foods that are sweet provide energy, and they release endorphins in the brain. And, natural sugars, like those our ancestors would have eaten, contain necessary nutrients. But those we consume today often have had their nutritional value refined away. Our body still works like the body of a caveman, and we are living in a very modern world, where food is abundant and we no longer must run for our lives from tigers. The fact is, it's not our fault – our love affair with sweet is only human. It’s just that our physiology is in the Stone Age.

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Evil?

Studies have reported that the combination of fructose and glucose has more negative health consequences than glucose sugars. Some studies show high fructose corn syrup contributes to obesity more than other sugars, it disrupts metabolic function, and it could contribute to diabetes and liver disease. This speculation about its evils has had major implications in the industry, and when First Lady Michelle Obama said she won't feed her daughters HFCS, it virtually completed the journey of the falling gauntlet. Now, more and more products on grocery store shelves and food chains have publicized their elimination of the ingredient from their food to appease the public, replacing it instead with cane or beet sugar.

However, the results of the negative effects are not confirmed by researchers. Some studies have reported that HFCS is no more a contributor to obesity and disease than any sugar, be it from a cane, a beet or a maple. Some say that blaming the ingredient for the cause of the country's ills is simplistic. According to Elizabeth Abbot, author of Sugar: A Bittersweet History, the debate about which sugar is worse is a false debate: HFCS and sugar from cane or beets are equally bad, she says. Why blame one and let the other off the hook?

Bad Rap or Re-Wrap?

Regardless of whether high fructose corn syrup is to blame for America's health woes, The Corn Refiners Association wants to give it a makeover. Now, ad campaigns promote it as a natural ingredient (it's made from a benevolent veggie) not a black hat food responsible for the global health crisis. The association is also pushing the FDA for a name change, from HFCS to "corn sugar".  The High Fructose Corn Syrup website,, uses both "HFCS" and "corn sugar". The site promotes research from the American Diabetes Association, the American Medical Association and other sources that support the fact that high fructose corn syrup is the same as table sugar – in its calorie content, its chemical composition, and the way it gets metabolized.  

While The Corn Refiners Association states its intention is to eliminate confusion for consumers by naming the ingredient in a way that better represents what it is, detractors say that adding to the confusion is really the motivation: the name change is just an effort at whitewashing by Big Food in order to lift sagging profits. FDA-sanctioned name changes for well-known foods are fairly uncommon, but prunes were given the OK to become dried plums, and products like canola oil started out as low erucic acid rapeseed oil. While these name changes enhance a brand that may have received a bad rap or simply improves a name that sounds unappealing, the act of renaming also brings to mind companies that rename in order to remove an ugly history from of the public's mind. Phillip Morris' bid to become Altria, for example, was done to distance itself from negative publicity, and in some ways, it follows the trajectory of HFCS. Rightly or wrongly, HFCS's reputation has been similarly stained. 

The Big Picture on Sweet

If you have decided to avoid HFCS or sugar altogether, sugar alternatives present options on our quest for sweet. Organic Authority reminds us of some less familiar foods that invigorate taste buds with superior sweetness. They include brown rice syrup, for instance, which contains complex carbs and is a less-sweet cooking alternative, and good old honey – it contains nutrients, so you are not consuming considered empty calories, and it's super sweet, so you won't need nearly as much. 

In the end, the best way to avoid the health dangers from HFCS and other sugars is to avoid health-sabotaging foods like soda, and trade processed indulgences for naturally sweet fruits – those odd-looking things encased in their own colorful, natural packaging, just like they were for our ancestral caveman. 

Read more about agriculture subsidies from Michael Pollan and why HFCS hides dangers that don't only have to do with human health.

Remember the search engine called BackRub? Ever wonder what happened to Datsun? Explore these and other Famous Name Changes

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spotlight On: Plants for Human Health Institute

Part Two: Betting Big on Blueberries

The nutrient-rich blueberry has been lauded as an antioxidant powerhouse and true "superfruit". It consistently tops the lists of nutritionists and scientists alike as one of the healthiest foods for anti-aging and disease prevention. Owed to the high concentrations of nutrients in its deep blue skin, especially in the smaller wild berry, the blueberry's antioxidant properties contribute to heart, brain and vision health, and serve as a powerful defense against cancer.

At the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University, the blueberry is at the heart of some of the most exciting research involving human health and plant food crops. Director Mary Ann Lila's dedication to revealing even more of its nutritional mysteries has lead efforts that aim to uncover major scientific discoveries in the fields of health and nutrition. In fact, she considers the blueberry a cohesive force at the Institute.

"Blueberry projects have tied together different teams on the campus that otherwise would not be likely to work together," said Lila of the unique role blueberries play at the school's Research Campus. "For example, the blueberry genomics research and the phytochemical characterization research that we are conducting here at the Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, links us very closely with researchers at University of North Carolina – Charlotte (the bioinformatics and transcriptomics researchers), with NC A&T University (the postharvest quality researchers) and with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Research Institute (the epigenetics and human cognitive research)."

The ambitious project Lila refers to involves mapping the blueberry's genome. Collaborations with researchers around the state offer significant support of resources and technology when it comes to such large scale projects. Ultimately, one of the goals of PHHI is the development of mainstream fruit and vegetable produce with enhanced health benefits. As part of this mission, researchers are engaged in identifying the blueberry's genetic code in an effort to ultimately enhance breeding lines. It's one of the most exciting studies the institute is engaged in, said Lila.

In addition, blueberry-themed research has contributed to the strong relationship with The David H. Murdock Research Institute, a non-profit institute designed to support research at the North Carolina Research Campus. And, it has been the catalyst for a new USDA program on blueberry health benefits and individualized nutrition. Lila credits research involving blueberries for stimulating staff expansions and for the decision to embed USDA researchers on the campus to work on integration of blueberry research at the plant, animal, and human clinical levels – a program that looks at responders and non-responders to different classes of phytochemicals. "Getting blueberries in there at the ground floor level has helped to spur momentum for research at the institute," Lila said. "It is exciting. It dovetails and synergizes with what we are already doing and makes us a tour de force for blueberry research worldwide."

A recently publicized area of interest at the institute has been research concerning metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical disorders responsible for increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Working with wild blueberry fruit compounds known as anthocyanins, Lila led a team of researchers that demonstrated that blueberry phytochemicals helped alleviate hyperglycemia in rodent models, a condition associated with and metabolic syndrome, and also diabetes. (You can read more about this research in Phytomedicine, 2009 May; 16(5): 406-15.)

This past summer, Lila and her team presented exciting new research as part of the Wild Blueberry Research Summit in Bar Harbor, Maine. The Summit is an annual meeting of leading researchers and scientists that gather to share their research findings and to explore opportunities for future collaboration. The presentation concerned ongoing in-vitro studies into the connection between blueberry components and Parkinson's. Parkinson's is an incurable disease involving neuron loss, and Lila said the research concerns protection against such neurodegeneration. "The best defense for Parkinson's is prevention, and the research is showing how in particular the anthocyanin pigments are protective against neuronal death."

Poised for growth and alive with the potential to drive wide-ranging changes in how we eat and think about food, the PHHI is the perfect place for a blueberry to be. With major projects underway involving farmer's markets, greenhouses, state-of-the-art labs, genome mapping and dedicated scholars with a passion for plant food crops, the bottom line is that if you are keeping your eye on health, you'd be wise to keep the work of PHHI and Dr. Mary Ann Lila in view.

Read Part I: Tapping Our Global Resources

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fruit & Veggie Slackers – Are You One?

We've said it here before. Most Americans are not eating their daily requirement of disease preventing, health boosting, weight managing fruits and veggies. A new report from the CDC this month says as much – only 33% of adults consumed two or more fruits a day, while just 26% consume three or more veggies.

More bad news? Who needs it. It used to be that avoiding being force-fed Brussels sprouts at dinner time was worth a little bad health. Better to live it up and enjoy life. But those days are over – enjoying nature's bounty does mean living it up. First, it's easier than ever – frozen fruits and veggies are always available and have just as much of the taste and nutrition as fresh. And, eating colorful foods from the rainbow means eating sweet, crunchy delicious foods that offer a bang to your brain and energize your body in the short term. In the long term, they offer powerful anti-aging nutrients, cancer prevention, and heart disease prevention. There's simply no reason not to commit to getting your daily dose.

The wild blueberry lovers at Facebook got hip to the news and started fighting back by putting their own ways they defy the odds on the wall. Veggie smoothies, raw food munching, juices…how do you get your daily dose? Join the conversation (and pick up on some yummy recipes that make nutrition irresistible while you're there). Or, if you're feeling serving-impaired, put a few of these ideas to help you get fruits and vegetables into your diet on your own wall.

Stop undercutting your health. Longevity, wellness, and weight management is right there in your freezer, in your fridge, in your fruit bowl and on your plate. Don't be a fruit and veggie slacker – dig in!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spotlight On: Plants for Human Health Institute

Part One: Tapping Our Global Resources 

There is something exciting going on in North Carolina.

The North Carolina State University Plants for Human Health Institute wants to change the way America views the foods that come from plants.

In a remarkable effort of research and outreach, PHHI is working to shift the American consumer's view of plant food crops from something that fills us with flavorful calories to a powerful source for protecting and enhancing our health.

This difference, which preoccupies the Institute, is in understanding that these foods crops provide phytochemicals, not just nutrients. (If you recall your Phytochemicals 101, you know that they are the nutrient-rich components that provide fruits like blueberries and carrots with their color and act as agents of protection. They are nature's "anti" shield that works against inflammation and free radicals.) This unique effort consists of multi-disciplinary research and groundbreaking work in areas such as genomics and plant biochemistry. It is an effort that aims to bring plants with enhanced nutritional properties into plain view to all consumers and make underappreciated crops available to the public.  

A Brand New Vision

Such a mission may seem herculean, considering the hurdles faced by the modern consumer. Dr. Mary Ann Lila is the Director of the Plants for Human Health Institute, and she was recently named the first David H. Murdock Distinguished Professor at the school. According to Lila, the ability of certain foods to promote health and inhibit disease has caught on in recent years, and while awareness has increased, the work of PHHI helps consumers sort through the nutritional madness.

Lila acknowledges that blueberry-themed research has been a force for linking different areas of the campus together at the college. As a scientist, she gives a nod to the Wild Blueberry Association as an organization she particular appreciates for valuing science and making strong efforts to adhere to the truth. However, she recognizes that it isn't something that can be relied upon in the industry. "The general public is a bit overwhelmed with all of the ‘exotic’ and unusual new introductions in the superfruit category in particular and the sometimes overstated health claims that are used in marketing sometimes without scientific validation," she said.

As an antidote, Lila advocates a new kind of food knowledge for the American consumer. "Research and subsequent publicity substantiating health benefits, and providing succinct, clear advice on how to capitalize on these health benefits leads to increased consumer savvy and awareness," she said.

Bolstering Immunity, Enhancing Metabolism

We have discussed in this blog the use of foods as a pharmaceuticals and as a way to prevent disease. But Lila's view about foods is slightly different. While she agrees that functional foods contribute to health benefits on multiple fronts, including cardiovascular health or strength and endurance, she does not consider foods as targeted to a specific mode of action like a pharmaceutical. Rather, they are best used as general preventative treatments that bolster overall immunity and enhance metabolism. In her work at the Institute, she is unearthing the potential of foods around the world that strike this two-fold nutritional gold.

Many of the students that come to work at the North Carolina State University lab do so because they are interested in this unique opportunity – one that combines outreach, agriculture, and an understanding of the different communities on the globe. "They crave the international outreach and chance to work with cultures on food knowledge that has not been well researched in the western world," said Lila. That's certainly what they find at PHHI.

Around the Globe

Studying locally valued food crops has taken Lila and her colleagues to many far-reaching parts of the world. In an effort to identify plants that hold promise for human health, she has engaged in work with traditional healers in developing nations and with Native Americans who are bridging the gap of modern technology with traditional medicine. She has also studied food crops that are virtually unknown outside of the region can have major implications for health. "Some leafy green vegetables in Uzbekistan and other parts of Central Asia have ten-fold the levels of phytoecdysteroids (metabolism-enhancing adaptogenic compounds) than commercially-available spinach," said Lila.

Her work has also included isolating phytochemicals that counteract malaria and working with scientists and students from around the world to explore natural products for biomedical use. Her focus on secondary compounds – phytochemicals that aren't directly involved in a plant's normal growth and defend the plant against stressors – may help humans defend themselves against diseases, just as they defend the plant. (Read more about Lila's work with phytochemicals at Southeast Farm Press.)

Next – Promising Research for a Favorite Berry

The work at PHHI has only just begun. The Institute's faculty will double this year, clinic trials are on the rise, and in an exciting move, the USDA will embed researchers on the campus to collaborate on work in blueberry research.

"Getting blueberries in there at the ground floor level has helped to spur momentum for research," Lila said. "It dovetails and synergizes with what we are already doing, and makes us a tour de force for blueberry research worldwide."  She refers to blueberries the "cohesive force" of the Plants for Human Health Institute.

Recently, Lila and her colleagues presented research at the Bar Harbor Group involving Parkinson's and other neurodegeneration studies. In Part II of our discussion, we'll examine the fascinating potential of this work and other promising research at the PHHI.

Read Part Two: Betting Big on Blueberries

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Plate of Prevention: Should Your Food Be Treating You?


Scientists and researchers around the world are engaged in finding cures for disease. They are isolating components in food that could help prevent cancers and diseases of aging, they are engaged in clinic trials of pharmaceuticals, and they are studying the mechanisms of the body to discover how and why diseases occur to make strides toward prevention.

While this worthwhile research persists, the irony is that every day we can be part of treatment and prevention of disease. After all, we eat at least three times a day. Why wouldn't we be using that opportunity to do what thousands of researchers are in their labs trying to do?

Since the late eighties we've heard the term "functional food" – food with health-promoting or disease-preventing property. More recently were introduced to the concept of superfoods – foods like blueberries with a particularly high concentration of phytonutrients. But we often think of those foods as isolated and special, categorized as such for their unique nutritional power.

Instead, perhaps we should be viewing all our food as poised to improve or deteriorate our health. Do you see your meals as disease preventing measures, or simply sustenance and enjoyment?

How We View Food

A recent report from the Hartman Group, a research and marketing firm that focuses on health and wellness, sheds a little light on our views about wellness, including how we view food when it comes to treatment and prevention. According to the report, consumers are more apt to see foods as useful in preventing health issues rather than treating problems. The report includes the following data:
  • 56% use foods to prevent high cholesterol; 30% to treat it.
  • 46% use food to prevent cancer; 10% to treat it.
  • 41% use food to prevent high blood pressure; 15% to treat it.
  • 27% use food to treat osteoporosis; 10% to treat it.
Interestingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, when it comes to being overweight or obese, it's the exception to the rule of prevention-not-treatment. Nearly equal numbers of respondents said they're using foods to prevent excessive weight or treat it.

Food as Treatment

There are plenty of authors and nutritionists that advocate the use of food (whole foods that are readily available, not herbs and tinctures) as treatment for disease and ailments by urging us to choose the right foods or food combinations. From white turnip fasts for fibroids to cabbage for depression, advocates say we can prevent addiction, allergies, even ADD, in addition to cancers and heart disease.

There are undisputed ways of treating disease with food as well. Celiac disease is treated by adopting a gluten-free lifestyle, for example. Diabetes has long been known to be a nutritional disease despite non-food treatments. A recent follow-up study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health
indicates that people with metabolic syndrome may be able to reverse symptoms (in as sense, treat them) through diet. The potential of reversing cognitive ability and other diseases of aging are currently being researched as well and hold fascinating potential for treatment of Alzheimer's disease, age-related memory loss, even neurodengenerative diseases like Parkinson's.

We also tend to see aging as a disease to be treated. According to the Hartman group study, older people are most likely to be concerned with "treating" aging, while younger people use foods more for energy or stress reduction without concern about anti-aging. While the two are likely to intersect, it may be one example of having the disease before we treat it rather than relying on prevention. 

But beyond these food treatments, a shift in views about all foods that go into our mouths is brewing. Talk to nutritionist and laypersons alike, and you'll likely find them say that they are seeing their food differently – as something that will be incorporated into their body to promote general health and well-being as opposed to seeing it as something tasty, filling, indulgent or fast. They look at their plate and they see medicine.

Food as Prevention

Termed "defensive eating" by the American Dietetic Association, eating for prevention means harnessing the power of vitamins and minerals in food and extracting an aggressively protective, or "anti" effect. For example, because wild blueberries contain nearly 100 phytochemicals, and phytochemicals they are agents of protection: they are antibacterial, antiinflammtory and anitoxdant among a host of other "antis". Getting "anti" on your diet means you are eating for prevention.

While using food to prevent disease is more common than using food as treatment, sometimes treatment can just be prevention that's happening too late. Consider those who have experienced cardiovascular events and subsequent operations who use diet as compulsory treatment when prevention could have lessened the chances of having the event in the first place.

But evidence suggests food-as-medicine is intensifying, and not at the grass roots – it may be happening from the top down. Recently, doctors have actually begun prescribing healthy foods to patients. As part of an initiative taking place at three Massachusetts health centers, doctors have been giving out free passes to farmer's markets to those who need them. It should come as no surprise: for years some doctors have advocated going to the fruit and vegetable aisle in order to avoid going to the medicine cabinet. Here is The Color Code author Jim Joseph on prevention:

"By changing what you eat, you can reduce your blood pressure, lower your blood sugar, and diminish the risks of cancer, heart disease and macular degeneration. You can do all these things without pricey pharmaceuticals, just be adopting a more healthy, semi-vegetarian diet—one loaded with dark leafy greens, deep organ vegetables and vibrant red and blue fruits. […] As a Greek adage says, 'It is the function of medicine to help people die young as late a possible.'  Food is precisely the medicine that let's you do that. Colorful food that is."

What's Your Treatment Plan?

Do you view your food as treatment, prevention or something else entirely? Today, if you're not viewing what's on your plate as your three-times-daily "dose" rather than just a palliative for hunger, give it a try. Try seeing everything that goes into your mouth as part of your Rx. It might give you a very different view of how you are "treating" your body and your health.

Want more information? The USDA has information about diet and disease.