Diet action plan from “How not to die” book

Checklist for Good Health

  • 3 servings of Beans
  • 1 serving   of Berries
  • 3 servings of other fruits
  • 1 serving  of Cruciferous vegetables
  • 2 servings of Greens
  • 2 servings of Other Vegetables
  • 1 serving  of Flaxseed
  • 1 serving  of Nuts
  • 1 serving  of Spices
  • 3 servings of Whole Grains
  • 5 servings of Beverages
  • 1 tablet of Vitamin B12 supplement
  • 1 workout session

Food buying

  1. No amount of trans fat is safe. It is unavoidable in a non-vegan diet.
  2. Ignore the marketing label while buying whole grains. Look at the label if carbohydrates to fiber ratio are less than 5, its whole grain; otherwise it is not.
  3. When buying processed food, buy food whose serving size in grams > amount of salt in milligrams per serving size. For example, if the serving size is 100 gms, buy it only if salt is less than 100 mg per serving size.
  4. Sulfite preservatives cause ulcerative colitis. Avoid them.
  5. Don’t buy food containing pyrophosphate or sodium triphosphate. Coca-cola and chicken contain Phosphate to enhance color. High Phosphorus consumption causes kidney and heart failure.
  6. Organic produce does not have more vitamins or minerals than inorganic. But organic food has more antioxidants and lower levels of toxic heavy metal and pesticides. Prefer organic if you can.
  7. Colorful plant foods are higher in antioxidants. Red onion has 76% more antioxidants than White. Red cabbage may have 8 times more antioxidants than green. Kumquat, therefore, is the best citrus fruit since unlike orange, one can eat its colorful peel. Blue corn is better than yellow corn which has more antioxidants than white corn. Red quinoa is better than white quinoa.
  8. Sodium-free canned beans are as good as boiled beans.

Food cooking

  1. Washing vegetables remove 50% of pesticides. Washing in 5% vinegar (expensive) or 10% saltwater (cheaper) is much more effective. Rinse again after saltwater though.
  2. Cooked vegetables can sometimes be more nutritious than raw ones due to better absorption of nutrients. Boiling and pressure cooking is the worst methods, but even there average loss is about 14% of antioxidants. Bell peppers lose 70% of antioxidants on boiling. Artichokes, beets, and onions lose only about 2.5%. Prefer carrots and celery cooked than raw. Tomato juice has five-fold antioxidants compared to Tomato. Cocoa powder is better than Cocoa beans since Cocoa butter is saturated fat.
  3. Don’t Fry: Frying animal or plant oils leads to the release of toxic chemicals.
  4. Just two spoons of Vinegar helps with blood sugar control. It helps with losing abdominal fat as well.
  5. Mushrooms should not be eaten raw. They contain a toxin Agaritine. Even 30 seconds of microwave destroys it. Cooking does not destroy antioxidant Ergothioneine. Avoid Morel Mushrooms; they are high on Agaritine.
  6. While cooking cruciferous vegetables, wait about 40 minutes between chopping and cooking. Otherwise, Sulforaphane producing enzyme myrosinase would not get a chance to act. Don’t buy these vegetables frozen either since they are flash-cooked before freezing. Or put mustard, which contains myrosinase on frozen broccoli after cooking.

Bad food – what to avoid

  1. Hypersalty and hyper sweet processed food dampen taste buds, and after eating that, regular food tastes like cardboard and is not enjoyable anymore.
  2. High fructose corn syrup is pro-oxidant. Avoid it.
  3. Excessive salt intake not only causes high blood pressure but also increases the risk of stomach cancer.
  4. Pickled vegetables, due to salt, increase the risk of Stomach cancer. South Korea has the highest rate of stomach cancer because of Kimchi.
  5. Aspartame, the artificial sweetener causes depression.
  6. Stevia can be transformed into steviol by gut bacteria which can cause DNA damage.
  7. Olives are devoid of nutrition. Avoid them.

Good food – what to eat

  1. Garlic, Turmeric, Goji berries, and Mint leaves have shown to prevent and fix chromosomal damage.
  2. Tempeh being unprocessed is a better food item than Soy and Soy milk.
  3. Berries, grapes, red onions, and plums are good sources of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins, which gives plants their purple, red, and blue color, seems to work against fatty cell deposition in the liver.
  4. Apple peel, purple grapes, and soybeans prevent breast cancer.

Nuts

  1. Nuts, seeds, and dry fruits are good sources of iron. Consuming Vitamin-C increases iron absorption. Nuts, in general, are good at reducing the risk of both cancer and stroke.
  2. Walnuts are the healthiest nuts due to the highest antioxidant and Omega-3 levels.
  3. Peanuts are good against breast cancer.
  4. Pistachios are good at reducing erectile dysfunction in man.
  5. A daily spoon of Flaxseeds shortens the menstrual cycle by a day reducing estrogen exposure and the breast cancer risk. Don’t eat ungrounded flaxseed or they may pass through the body without digestion. Flaxseeds also lower blood pressure.

Fruits

  1. Blending fruits is preferable to juicing.
  2. Antioxidant power – Banana(40), Apple(60), Mango(110), Strawberry (310), Blackberry(650). In the US, Blackberries provide more antioxidants for the buck than Strawberry. Frozen berries are as good as fresh ones.
  3. Tart cherries can be used to treat gout, a form of arthritis. They reduce inflammation in healthy people too.
  4. Goji berries are high on Melatonin, antioxidants, and Zeaxanthin. Buy them in Asian supermarkets as “Lycium berries” where they are cheaper than raisins.
  5. Black Currants alleviate eye strains caused by the computer.
  6. Crab apples are the most nutritious apples.
  7. Watermelon contains Citrulline which cures Erectile Dysfunction. Two cups of watermelon before a workout reduces muscle soreness.
  8. Kiwifruit is good for Insomnia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and improved immunity.
  9. Citrus fruits (and not juices) boost DNA repair. Citrus fruits like Orange contain Hesperidin which reduces the blood pressure and increases the blood flow. Hesperidin not only helps reduce the stroke risk but can also help you feel warmer in cold weather.
  10. NO (Nitric Oxide) signals arteries to open up. Antioxidant-rich food like berries and dark chocolate boost Nitrate production. Beets and greens especially, Cilantro and Arugula are the best sources of nitrate.
  11. Cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, and Concord grape juice contains polyphenols which reduce cognitive decline.

Vegetables

  1. Cruciferous vegetables have Sulforaphane which is anti-cancerous, good for the brain and the eyes control nasal inflammation and manage type 2 diabetes. Broccoli is one of the great sources of it. Kale reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and enhances good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
  2. Green vegetables contain Chlorophyll, which, when exposed to light penetrating through the human body, produces antioxidant CoQ10.
  3. Fiber and beans are prebiotics, that is, what probiotics (good bacteria) eat. Eating prebiotics improves gut flora which in turn improves immunity.
  4. Greens, beans, and sweet potatoes are good sources of Potassium which cuts down the stroke risk.
  5. Tomatoes, Bell Peppers and other nightshade vegetables contain trace amounts of Nicotine which fights Parkinson’s disease.
  6. Green Vegetable intake has been associated with reduced facial wrinkles.
  7. Mushrooms boost immunity. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on allergies.
  8. Eat sweet potatoes without peeling. The peel’s antioxidant capability is ten times the inner flesh and is similar to blueberries. If you are going to prefer plain potatoes over the sweet ones, then choose purple colored ones. They are effective against hypertension.

Herbs and spices

  1. Turmeric, the Indian spice Haldi, is anti-cancerous, reduction in DNA mutations in smokers, and is as effective as treating pancreatic cancer as Chemotherapy.
  2. Black pepper can boost the absorption of another spice like Turmeric.
  3. Cilantro is useful for people who have arthritis.
  4. Fenugreek leads to muscle performance-boosting, for example, for men doing weight training.
  5. Red hot peppers and chilies are great for people suffering from chronic pains.
  6. Ginger cure headaches, reduce menstrual cramps, and minimizing the bleeding during menstruation.
  7. Peppermint is the most commonly available herb with most antioxidants.
  8. Clove is the most commonly available spice with most antioxidants.
  9. Amla is packed with even more antioxidants but is available only in Indian stores. It is the most crucial ingredient of Ayurveda. A single teaspoon of it contains 753 antioxidant units, for comparison, an egg has 8 and half-a-cup of blueberries have 323. Buy the powdered ones in an Indian spice store
  10. Oregano prevents DNA damage due to radiation exposure. It has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
  11. Cumin, the India spice jeera is blood thinner and reduces the risk of a heart attack.
  12. Cardamom is antibody booster.
  13. Saffron is the best cure against Alzheimer’s.
  14. Marjoram improves hormonal balance in women.
  15. Salt-free spice mixes like Indian Garam Masala, Chinese five-spice powder, Middle Eastern Za’atar, Ethiopian Berbere, and Italian seasonings are a good combination of spices.
  16. Cassia (Chinese) Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels but contains toxic coumarin. More expensive Ceylon Cinnamon is not poisonous but does not seem to have the blood sugar-lowering the effect of Cassia. Any unlabeled Cinnamon in the US is the cheaper Cassia, avoid it.

Beverages

  1. Soda is the worst beverage. Beer and milk are one notch above. Milk-free unsweetened tea is the second best beverage after water.
  2. Green tea leaves are incredibly potent.
  3. Coffee, without sweeteners, is antidepressant.
  4. Hibiscus tea is the drink with the highest antioxidants. Hibiscus tea is good for lowering blood pressure.
  5. Drink almond milk and not cow’s milk. Almond butter is a healthy source of fat.

Good supplements

  1. Vitamin B12 – Vegetarians must take 2.5 mg cyanocobalamin a day. Methylcobalamin is unproven.
  2. Vitamin D – people living in colder climates should take this supplement.
  3. Iodine – eat rich food like Nori seaweed (2 sheets a day) or take a supplement.
  4. Long-chain Omega-3 acids – Take 250 mg from algae every day. Do not rely on seafood as a source of Omega-3 since seafood is contaminated with heavy metals.

Exercise

  1. Regular exercise improves the immune system and drastically reduces ailments like the common cold. Sustained exercise like marathon though hurts the immune system. For the athletes, Chlorella, green color algae, and nutritional yeast are recommended to boost the immune system.
  2. Half a cup of beet juice (or 3 3-inch beets) 2-3 hours before workout maximizes athletic endurance.
  3. Eating blueberries is good for reducing exercise-induced inflammation.

One Reply to “Diet action plan from “How not to die” book”

  1. […] This book and its summary is pretty long, I extracted the useful advice in a shorter article. […]

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