The Natural Way: Listen to Grandma

Thursday, August 17, 2017

An apple a day ... carrots are good for your eyes and fish is brain food. Modern science, improvements in the understanding of diet and health and the ability to get the word out has given us a way to trust Granny and tell her stories.

A good book is SuperFoodsRx, written by Steven Pratt, MD, and Kathy Matthews. The idea behind this book is hardly provocative but is good enough to fill 336 pages. The authors write with authority that some foods are dramatically better than others for our health and longevity. No big duh here. The foods they choose won’t surprise you but the strength of the book is in the recipe section and in replacement selections just in case you absolutely hate a veggie such as spinach. They give you a list of other dark green leafies, romaine lettuce or orange bell peppers. The book even includes suggestions on the selection of meat.

The foods that are written about in detail and suggested by the authors to be the “14 foods that will change your life” are: beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, wild salmon, soy, spinach, tea-green or black, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts and yogurt-active culture. Anyone who has visited with me knows I have been suggesting this sort of food selection for a long while. As long as there is good kidney function and no gout, this South Beach style of eating is just plain good for you whether you are 6 or 60 years old.

A strength of the book is that Dr. Pratt leads you away from the 20th century world of macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbs) into the 21st century of micronutrients, phytonutrients, carotenoids and antioxidants. In a very detailed way, he supports my assertion of choosing your veggies according to the shortest distance from the garden to your table. I say we should seek organically grown, non-GMO and strongly support our farmers’ market.

My only disagreement is that like many MDs he is far too conservative about the use of nutritional supplements. Even though the doctors have ample and powerful evidence to the contrary, many undervalue supplementation. Maybe Granny knew something he doesn’t.