Continuing on with preventative health care: exercise, nutritional supplements, and a good diet. Food has been used as medicine for over 4000 years. Hippocrates stated “Let food by your medicine and let medicine be your food.” Just as exercise is powerful medicine, so is food. Case in point: broccoli is touted as a wonderful food because of it’s high fiber and antioxidant capability. But it’s much more than that. Broccoli contains phytochemicals, one of which is sulfuroflane (SF). SF is actually a mild toxin, created by the plant to ward off insects. By eating broccoli and ingesting this mild toxin, we are actually bolstering our immune system, much in the way a vaccine does. The old saying “if it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger” certainly applies. “An apple a day……” may actually be true. Apple skins contain quercetin, a phytochemical shown ti inhibit cancer growth, as well as a number of flavenoids which inhibit the formation of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are the prime culprit behind aging. I could go on forever about this, but I can tell you this-there is no medicinal use for doughnuts. Speaking of doughnuts, I took my son to his seventh grade initiation today, and on one of the tables at the front were boxes and boxes of doughnuts, and not one banana or grape in sight. I’m reminded of an old Crosby, Stills, & Nash song “Teach your children well…………..”.

By the way, for those of you who want increased energy during the day, and especially during exercise, drink beetroot juice. Several studies show the endurance power of this juice. Beetroot juice contains nitrate, and the hypothesis is that nitrate converts to nitric oxide in the body, which is the most potent vasodilator we have. By relaxing the arterial walls, it reduces oxygen use-people also had a lower resting blood pressure.

Please think about what you put in your mouth-you are what you eat.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.