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Non-Essential Micronutrients - Essential Natural Protectors

{written by : Dr Keith Scott}

Article word count : 563 -- Article Id : 815
Article active date : 2008-10-12 -- Article views : 9676

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Article is about :
Diseases in developed countries are caused primarily by malnutrition that is a result of the overconsumption of macronutrients like fat and carbohydrates and the underconsumption of plant-derived phytonutrients like antioxidants and other compounds that protect against cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.

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In Reincarnation The Neverending Journey an attempt is made to explore the conundrum of our existence. An existence that spans yesterday, today and even tomorrow. Questions surrounding the existence of the soul and our connections to the physical world, the fundamental mechanisms and the processes by which reincarnation operates through time, are carefully examined. Plausible revelations on memories and karma and their intrinsic connections to our lives today and tomorrow are explored. It is a Neverending Journey.. Your Neverending Journey....

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In wealthy countries, under-nutrition, resulting from inadequate protein and calorific intake, is almost unknown. Malnutrition, however, is still a huge problem in the developed world. In this context, malnutrition is caused by two related factors.

1. Excessive calorific intake, or over-nutrition, has resulted in the obesity pandemic and a concomitant rise in obesity-associated health problems.

2. A paucity of disease-preventing, phytochemical compounds in our diets. This vitally important, but generally unrecognized deficiency, has led to an increase in the incidence of degenerative diseases that, each generation, are occurring in younger age groups.

During their production, refined foods, that comprise an ever increasing proportion of our diets, are stripped of many valuable nutrients. Increasingly such foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals to replace those lost during processing. This provides only the minimum quantities of nutrients needed to prevent the development of deficiency diseases. However, other valuable phytonutrients (beneficial plant compounds) that are removed from food during processing are lost from our diets as they are not similarly replaced. The food refining process not only discards the important fiber that occurs naturally in many foods but, more importantly, deprives us of the protective compounds that occur in the cell walls of fiber-rich plants.

If we are to benefit from the vital protective and therapeutic effects that these plant compounds provide, most of us need to consume considerably more of these than we do at present. We can achieve this by eating more bread, cereals and other products made from unrefined grains and legumes and by increasing our consumption of phytonutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and spices.

We also need to beware of inadvertently attributing the health giving properties of one dietary substance to another. A good example of this can be seen in the case of dietary fiber. Originally the term dietary fiber referred to the indigestible component of plant products, particularly those of the unrefined grains and legumes. Nowadays indigestible sugars (oligosaccharides) and starches (resistant starch) have been included in this category and the properties attributed to the "original" high fiber foods like whole grains and bran are now being passed on to these "new" types of fiber that do not contain the all important cell-wall components of the parent plant .

Although the fiber itself does have several beneficial properties, there are other substances found in the cell walls of fiber rich foods like whole grains that have additional protective functions. Many of these are phenolic compounds and acids (flavonols, flavonoids, flavanals and others) that have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer effects. The "newer" fiber products like indigestible sugars and resistant starches do not contain these nutrients and it is probably unwise to think that taking them will provide the same degree of protection against cancer as those types of fiber that do provide disease preventing plant compounds.

Very recent evidence has shown that fiber alone does not protect against cancer of the colon even though it may protect against other diseases like heart disease and diabetes. This indicates that, rather than the fiber itself, it is other compounds like flavonols, anthocyanadins in the fiber-rich foods that really provide protection against cancer.

Degenerative diseases associated with the malnutrition that we see in developed countries is caused, to a large extent, by both the over-consumption of macronutrients like carbohydrates and the under-consumption of protective so-called "non-essential" micronutrients that are found in fruit, spices, vegetables and other unprocessed plant foods.

Author Bio :
Dr Keith Scott is a medical doctor who has written several books including "Medicinal Seasonings, The Healing Power of Spices" and "Natural Home Pharmacy"

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