Ultra Nutrients

I’ve been interested in getting healthy, strong, muscular, and lean for a long time. That has meant getting exercise of various types, eating healthy amounts of nutrient rich foods, and avoiding the crap. Oh, and it always will, sorry to say, that’s just the way it is.

I’m always on the lookout for new information on health, fitness, and nutrition, but I’m usually looking at the most practical stuff first, so I can cut to the chase. Most of the effort has been spent on finding exercise and proteins that build the most muscle, carbohydrates that give the most energy but aren’t converted to fat, and anything else in general that will keep me healthy and injury free so I can keep doing it all.

Well, it seems the latest big thing in nutrition is anti-oxidants. And so I was in a store looking for the “perfect blend”, and I came across a book on fats. Not something that I’d usually be interested in, but since the store owner came over and gave me a quick synopsis that sounded interesting, I figured I’d better read it. The book is titled “Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill”, and its author is Udo Erasmus.

I’ve never been worried too much about fat, thinking “hey, just avoid tons of crap and you’ll be alright”. I’ve called it the 97% rule. If I can do the stuff that gives me 97% of the benefits, then I can forget about the other crap that is a pain in the ass that contributes the other 3%. I thought fats were in the 3% category. I found out that they’re not. In fact, I immediately put them at the top of my list. The book is THAT compelling.

So what’s the scoop? Well, it’s the same old story about getting good stuff and avoiding the crap, with a few distinctions. Everything that grows is good, and everything else is crap! Too restrictive? Ok, here goes. Vegetables need to go up on most of our lists, green leafy stuff along with the rest, unfortunate as we may feel about it. You know, yellow, orange, red, and whatever color you can find. Protein stays where it is for me. I usually eat eggs, chicken, salmon, and steak once in a while. Carbohydrates should be limited to energy needs, as I’ve stated to you before, and hopefully come from the least processed stuff available. That would mean oatmeal, a bit of fruit, vegetables, brown rice, and the like. And then there are the fats.

The interesting thing is that nature really does take care of us. Certain essential fatty acids are required by our bodies to maintain a healthy metabolism, immune cells, and all body tissues. The fats that provide the healing are those that we as a society are most deficient in, and those that, in general, maintain the “healthiest” balance of hormone levels in our bodies. With the proper balance, our body will heal on its own.

At the top of the list are hemp oil (from the marijuana plant), flax oil, soybeans, fish, and walnuts. These give an abundance of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids. In nature we find these fats hidden inside of seeds or nuts, with tough shells that protect the fat inside from heat, light, and oxygen, which damage the essential fatty acids. That means that using oil for frying is damaging to fats, and actually turns them into fats that cause havoc in our body’s cells.

I want to include one other important point about fish oils. Some fats need other nutrients present in order to convert them into the most useful form for the body. Fish oils don’t. Find a good fish oil and it’s good all by itself. Eskimos have the least heart disease of anybody on the planet, tons of fat in their diets, but all great fish fat.

The other nutrients that have been given a lot of press lately are anti-oxidants. Among the best known are vitamins C, E, A, and the mineral selenium. There are many more. It’s been noted that the Asian cultures that consume green tea, along with the French who consume red wine from a young age, are spared of widespread heart disease. Both have the same anti-oxidants from the grapes that make the wine, and the green tea leaves.

One other nutrient that I think everyone should include in their daily intake is the amino acid L-Glutamine. It’s been linked to a healthy immune response, and research is being done pretty heavily on it to quantify things.

There’s much more to the story, but these were the most important practical points to be made.

I don’t usually do book reviews, but this is something that would have been difficult to share with you in any other way. I think it’s the best book on health and nutrition that I’ve ever read. And considering the great disparity between total crap and nutrient rich foods in the grocery stores, along with the pollution, stress, and impure air and water that we’ve grown accustomed to, as well as many other health risks out and about in today’s world, this book applies to everyone.

Until next time, just keep getting better.

 


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