Let food be your medicine

Your chance to see thriv­ing wildlife in Botham­ley stream

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION - FIONA PAULSEN

Can food re­ally harm you or can it help pre­vent or even cure can­cer and other se­ri­ous dis­eases?

Ev­i­dence is mount­ing that food may in­flu­ence far more than our waist­lines and ar­ter­ies.

Last month I at­tended the Food Mat­ters Aotearoa con­fer­ence and was heart­ened by the huge num­ber of stud­ies be­ing con­ducted into the benefits of her­itage crops and how mod­ern agri­cul­tural meth­ods af­fect food qual­ity and nu­tri­tional sta­tus.

The con­fer­ence fea­tured an im­pres­sive lineup of in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tists. Their re­search showed the se­ri­ous­ness of the threat to hu­man health and the en­vi­ron­ment posed by the in­creas­ing use of agri­cul­tural chem­i­cals and ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied crops.

The mes­sage was clear: choose or­gan­i­cally grown food when pos­si­ble and avoid ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied foods.

One of the high­lights for me was hear­ing from Mark Chris­tensen of the Whanganui-based Her­itage Food Crops Re­search Trust.

His work in­cludes re­search into the can­cer pre­ven­tion prop­er­ties of rare va­ri­eties of her­itage toma­toes and ap­ples.

Sev­eral years ago we learned that ly­copene ( the carotenoid re­spon­si­ble for a tomato’s bright colour) can be as ef­fec­tive, if not more so, than popular phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drugs in the pre­ven­tion of prostate and other hered­i­tary can­cers. Ad­ven­tur­ous types will get the chance to ex­plore Porirua’s stream life dur­ing the Botham­ley Park ‘‘Stream Ex­treme’’ day on March 28.

School­child­ren will guide ex­plo­ration tours of the park’s abun­dant stream life and there will be a stream clean-up.

We were urged to eat more cooked toma­toes be­cause ly­copene is one of the few nu­tri­ents whose ab­sorba­bil­ity in­creases when cooked.

It turns out, how­ever, that some her­itage breeds of or­ange toma­toes (16 va­ri­eties have been stud­ied by the Her­itage Food Crops Re­search Trust so far) con­tain a dif­fer­ent type of ly­copene, highly ab­sorbable in its raw state and sig­nif­i­cantly more ef­fec­tive as a pre­ven­ter of can­cer and other se­ri­ous dis­eases.

Out­stand­ing per­form­ers in the testing so far are the va­ri­eties moon­glow, tan­gella and or­ange fleshed pur­ple smudge.

And here’s more good news: the say­ing ‘‘An ap­ple a day keeps the doc­tor away’’ re­ally does have some truth in it.

A unique New Zealand ap­ple seedling, monty’s sur­prise, con­tains very high lev­els of can­cer and other dis­ease- in­hibit­ing com­pounds, as proven by stud­ies in France and Australia. It is be­lieved this ap­ple is the best in the world for hu­man health, and can be eaten as a preven­ta­tive

Stream Ex­treme will be an open day to cel­e­brate the work be­ing done to re­store the park and its wa­ter­ways that flow into Porirua Har­bour.

‘‘This is a great op­por­tu­nity to see the work be­ing done to re­store a won­der­ful park that con­nects many of our city’s vil­lages and is mea­sure to re­duce the in­ci­dence of dis­ease in the hu­man body.

Palmers in Plim­mer­ton stocks monty’s sur­prise ap­ple trees (avail­able in June), but you would be best to or­der in ad­vance be­cause they sold out quickly last year. Or­ange her­itage tomato seedlings will be avail­able soon or you can go to bris­tol. co. nz for seeds.

Hip­pocrates, the fa­ther of mod­ern medicine, said: ‘‘Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.’’ He was on to some­thing.

Good nu­tri­tion in the form of whole, nu­tri­ent dense food is in­deed the recipe for good health.

Un­for­tu­nately our mod­ern diet falls woe­fully short of this ideal.

I’ve seen big im­prove­ments in hun­dreds of clients who have used nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ments and changed their diet to ad­dress health and weight prob­lems.

Your body can work won­ders if you give it the right raw ma­te­ri­als. crit­i­cal to the har­bour catch­ment,’’ said city coun­cil­lor Bron­wyn Kropp, who chairs the Te Awaruao- Porirua and catch­ment joint com­mit­tee.

‘‘We all need to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for what is go­ing into our parks and streams. For­tu­nately, there is an abun­dance of fish life, in­clud­ing na­tive fish, in the streams in Botham­ley Park. It’s fan­tas­tic to see that our hard work is pay­ing off.’’

Botham­ley Park is one of the big­gest re­serves in the city, run­ning be­tween Ranui and As­cot Park.

Dur­ing the open day there will be a bar­be­cue and dis­cus­sion about the $800,000 re­de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme to re­store the park.

Stream Ex­treme runs from 10am un­til 1pm.

Fiona Paulsen owns Mana Nat­u­ral Health & Beauty and MiracuLoss. For health ad­vice or help with weight prob­lems, email fiona@miraculoss.co.nz or phone 233 8820. Check out MiracuLoss Face­book page for great recipes. Healthy eat­ing: Toma­toes can in some in­stances be a more ef­fec­tive treat­ment than drugs.

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