Be Fit For Life

with Ellen Cohen-Kaplan

Open wide…….Food as a way to prevent and manage illness

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Amazing isn’t it? Just kidding !                        It’s really like this, with addition of umami

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The new “medicine cabinet” above

The role of nutrition is finally getting its due in regard to staying healthy and being pain-free. We’ve heard we’re supposed to eat our fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish (especially wild-caught) and eat limited amounts of organic dairy, chicken and grass fed beef. The Mediterranean diet has been proven to reduce rates of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and even dementia. Now chefs and doctors, and chefs turned doctors are making it official- the foods we eat can either make us sick, or keep us healthy. Joint programs between Harvard School of Public Health, the Samueli Institute and the CIA (not that CIA, the Culinary Institute of America) are combining the knowledge of doctors, nutritionists, educators, sustainability experts and chefs to teach medical practitioners to learn more about the benefits of eating healthy food. The result is an abundance of healthy dishes that are delicious, affordable, and easy to prepare. Another program at Tulane University will debut the first teaching kitchen  affiliated with a medical school. Its focus will be how to prevent and manage disease through nutrition. A national initiative,  Wholesome Wave, is a non-profit organization whose mission is making locally grown produce available to people of all income levels. Its pilot program, called the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, launched in 2010 and  was linked to a 37.8% decrease in the Body Mass Index in its participants over one year.

Check out this article to look at how closely your regular intake includes these foods.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304704504579431133752897634

In this article, you can get some recipes that are really delicious and don’t deprive you of eating savory food. Our palates crave certain flavors, and science tells us that we can detect 5 basic tastes including salty, sweet, sour and bitter. The fifth and newest addition, umami, loosely translates to savory and is related to glutamate content. You probably know which ones you crave the most. Many of the healthy fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and fish listed in the article can satisfy  a variety of tastes, depending on their preparation. For example, I like sweet tastes, and I get my fix through pineapple, sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, carrots, and just about any fruit. Sometimes, when I’m in the mood for tart foods, grapefruit or apricots fill the bill, and I use a lot of balsamic vinegar for that sour but sweet taste. Liberally using reduced balsamic vinegar on brussel sprouts, cauliflower, or just about any vegetable makes it much tastier.

Begin to think about what flavors you desire,  and see what kinds of healthy foods may satisfy your craving. There are plenty of dishes that are enticing and help us forget we’re eating kale, broccolini, or sardines. (not that there’s anything wrong with them!) Bon appetit !

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