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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Healthy Foods, and Pontifications Thereof

As a public service, I refer you to an informative website called The World's Healthiest Foods. The title of the site should be self-explanatory.

In particular, I like to read about all the healthiest foods themselves. Each food item has its own page with nutrient breakdowns and a collection of scientific studies done on the health benefits of that particular food. I also like to read the page about essential nutrients, which is sort of like the food list in reverse. If you've ever wondered why the recommended daily intake of manganese is 2 mg, you'll find out here. Each nutrient's page will tell you why it does what it does, what the deficiency might look like, what foods have the highest concentration of that nutrient, and what conditions will be helped by manganese intake (among other things).

It's pleasing to see that many of the foods that Harmony and I eat are on there. In fact, there aren't many wildly exotic foods on there. Many are very common, like onions, tomatoes, apples, beans, brown rice, etc. Unfortunately, ice cream is not one of the food items on there :(

I used to take a multivitamin fairly often. I think I stopped doing it about a year ago. I don't think taking a multivitamin is morally wrong or anything; I just wanted to try to be a natural as possible. Personally, I would rather get my nutrients from actual food items when possible.

And yes, I am aware that natural ≠ safe-or-good. After all, we see instances of polygamy and infanticide in nature. Ultratoxicdeathpoisons like hemlock, oleander, and deadly nightshade are all natural as well. So while "all natural" does not always mean "all good," my tendency is to take preventative measures with healthy food* until I need an "unnatural" measure. For example, if I were to get cancer, I would probably go in for the conventional cancer treatments. I (as well as Harmony) would take an extremely concerted effort to ramp up the antioxidants in my daily diet. I know that's bad scientific method because variables (two different treatments) are not isolated, but when life is at stake, I might prefer to take the shotgun approach. Meaning I would throw lots of solutions at the problem and hope at least one works.

* - For more on this, read the book Healing Children Naturally, by Michael Weiner, a.k.a. Michael Savage the conservative talk radio host, who has a Ph.D in nutritional ethnomedicine. Although the book is directed towards healing *children* naturally, I see little reason why the advice can't apply to adults as well.

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