Let’s see if we can simplify some of today's media hubbub about nutrition.
Six months ago, I was a firm believer that a calorie was a calorie, irrespective of where it came from. Recent research has convinced me otherwise. A calorie is a unit of heat or energy. A calorie from spinach effects the body differently than a calorie from red meat. Some foods, when they leave the very acidic environment of the stomach, have an acidifying effect on the body, others have an alkalizing effect.
It turns out that the immune system is negatively impacted by a more acidic system. The cardio-vascular system, the brain, arthritis, neuralgia are all worse in the more acidic system. DNA replication, cell division, cell life and metabolism, nerve function, thought processes, moods, everything is effected by the acid-base balance in the body.
So, the more alkalizing foods we eat, e.g. vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes, the more healthy we’re going to be and the more resistant to disease we’re going to be. Conversely, the more acidifying foods we eat, e.g. red meat, dairy products, alcohol, sugar, junk food, fast food, prepared foods, simple-carbohydrate stuff like pasta and bread, soft drinks, manufactured fats and oils.
I read somewhere that “flu season” follows the holidays, when our eating habits are at their worst.
On the subject of “free radicals”, these are atoms or molecules with unpaired electrons which allow them, somehow, to negatively impact cell function and even DNA replication, thereby pre-disposing an individual to disease and more specifically cancer. And, guess what, free radicals are more effective in a more acidic body.
Antioxidants, like omega fatty acids found in fish or flax seed or olive oil, are molecules capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules which produces free radicals.
Dr. Roy E. Vartabedian at Nutripoints.com has rated 3600 foods for their nutritional value, both negatively and positively. His chart shows how much of what foods one needs to get all the nutrition a person needs to stay healthy. Its very straight-forward, easy to understand, and very clarifying.
I will be adding to this section as more research becomes available.