Let food be your medicine
Your chance to see thriving wildlife in Bothamley stream
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 email@example.com 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.