Many people in the tropical world, in their eagerness to be considered “civilized” or “developed”, have adopted the eating habits and food items of the western world without much discretion. As a result, pernicious diseases that were rare in most developing nations in the tropics are now on the increase. This week’s article is to illustrate how both the rich and the poor in the tropics can prepare a typical day’s diet that will supply all the body needs to be healthy. One major key in any healthy diet is to avoid all refined foods.
List of Whole Foods for a Diet : I n selecting the whole food items for a diet, I have taken into account all the nutrients that the body will need for healthy living. Apart from herring and any good vegetable oil, all the other foods and the ingredients/spices can come directly from typical, small organic farms. They are, therefore, fresh, natural and uncontaminated. The menu for the day forms a holistic diet. I have arranged the list according to the needs in each meal of the daily menu. Drinking at least about 12 cups of potable water per day is a very important part of the diet. This is to keep the body hydrated and facilitate all the functions inside it.
Breakfast: Fruit Salad ( Grapefruits, Oranges, Pineapples and Papayas ).
Lunch: Boiled Sweet potatoes cum Taro Sauce ( Sweet potatoes, Tender Taro Leaves,
Onions, Tomatoes, Peppers and vegetable oil ).
Dinner: Herring Soup ( Herring, Basil, Onions, Tomatoes, Peppers, Okra and Ginger)
Reasons for Including Specific Food Items
Grapefruits and oranges have low glycemic indices, while pineapples and papayas have relatively higher ones. To avoid the risk of overweight, obesity and their attendant health problems, more of grapefruits and oranges and less of the latter two can be used in the salad. All the fruits are low-fat, low-protein, low-sodium and high-fiber foods. They also have vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C and K plus calcium, potassium, manganese and selenium, the last two found mainly in pineapples. It is worth mentioning that all the fruits are good digestives, especially pineapples that provide bromelain and papaya with its papain. Oranges are reputed of having all the vitamins and minerals. Selenium aids in the prevention and healing of cancer and other degenerative diseases.
For lunch, I have chosen sweet potatoes as the main meal, because they satisfy quickly and do not overtrigger insulin. They provide vitamins A, B and C and some iron. Taro or cocoyam leaf used for sauce to go with sweet potatoes is a low-fat and low-energy vegetable, very rich in vitamins and minerals. Its high chlorophyll content is an added asset. All the ingredients added to taro leaf to make a tasty sauce are carefully chosen to enrich the body. Onions supply vitamins A, C and E, much needed selenium and zinc, and physiologically-active sulfur bonds.Tomatoes contain vitamins A and C and much potassium, while peppers also boost the levels of vitamins A, C and K and provide bioflavones. These ingredients are cooked together with a little quantity of vegetable oil.
The major protein source for the day is the sea food herring common in the last quarter of the year along the West African coast. It is among the few fishes that have high EPA and DHA levels, with all the attendant benefits. The protein is complete, because all the essential amino-acids are present; moreover, its fats promote health, rather than disease. The liver is particularly rich in oil-soluble vitamins A, D and E, while most of the B complex vitamins are available, notably scarce B12. Herring is rich in such trace minerals as selenium, zinc and iodine. Other possible fishes include salmon, sardine, and cod.
Apart from making the fish palatable, the spices and vegetables are added for nutritive reasons. Comments have been made on tomatoes, onions and peppers already. Basil has been recommended for many ailments, including constipation, cough, cramps, depression, intestinal parasites, congestive heart failure and respiratory difficulties. It can also enhance the immune system. Not only is ginger a powerful digestive, cleanser, antibiotic and immune booster; it also destroys harmful worms in fish. Okra is the only green vegetable added. In addition to being rich in chlorophyll, it supplies mucilages, which detoxify particularly the liver, boost the immune system, balance blood sugar and lower cholesterol.
I advise that you look at the lists of different foods in last week’s article and formulate informed diets for yourself. Why don’t you start a small garden, where you can grow some nutritionally rich crops for your health? Please, feel free to ask questions on your diet. To have a comprehensive knowledge on diets and other aspects of natural health, you can enroll for a two-week course in NATUROPATHY (November 14-25, 2011). Find details by clicking here.
Tip For The Week:
Do some exercise every day; make sure you don’t sit for more than two hours at a time. Organize your work to make you move around.