Dr. Oz came to my attention because of his very own television show. I have many clients who were referring to Dr. Oz and his insights and knowledge base he presents on his show. He has a no-holds-bar attitude towards health, he answers the hard questions, he breaks down complicated subjects and makes them easy to understand. Dr. Oz first appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007. His daily program focuses on medical issues and personal health. It was actually launched by Winfrey’s Harpo Productions. His professional career was such that he was a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University since 2001. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complimentary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Aside from that, he is founder and chairman of Health Corps which is a non-profit organization which pays a small stipend to recent college graduates to spend two years in high schools, mentoring students about health, nutrition, and fitness. In many ways, similar to Dr. Weil’s Food Pyramid and Dr. Fuhrman’s Food Pyramid, Dr. Oz puts vegetables at the very base of the pyramid. When we think of pyramids as a shape, they get the strength of their shape from their bases, right? Essentially, that is what these doctors are trying to teach us. The base of the pyramid is the most important, so when we make decisions about what to put in our bodies, we should look to the bottom of the pyramid to find the most nutrient-dense foods. We should be consuming the greatest amount of food from the vegetable category in our diets. Above the vegetables in the pyramid he has added grains, then fruits, then proteins, then dairy. Dr. Oz is in agreement with Dr. Weil. He makes many of the same recommendations. He has a simplified pyramid that he presented on his show. He definitely wants us filling up our grocery carts and stocking our shelves with nutrient-rich foods that can add years to our lives.
Vegetables are at least four serving a day, emphasizing foods such as jicama, kale, and sweet potatoes. Know that vegetables are the most powerful tool in fighting almost every major health-killer in America, including heart disease, hypertension, and cancer. He suggest jicama because it is slightly sweet and crisp root vegetable, high in potassium which helps to reduce high blood pressure. Kale, which is the rave of the modern health society is high in flavenoids which kills off cancer cells. Sweet potatoes are high in Beta Carotene which helps to build heart-healthy Vitamin A within the body. Dr. Oz even goes so far as to recommend how to prepare these foods. These foods can be steamed so as to retain the maximum amount of nutrients.
He has whole grains in a second level at about six serving a day. However, his whole grains are not your traditional “white bread” grains. These grains, such as Teff, Amaranth, Millet, are ancient grains. These grains are high in fiber and necessary for colon health. These ancient grains were popular in other parts of the world but are gaining recognition in the US for their many health benefits. They are higher in protein than most grains, and are not genetically modified. These grains are also high in calcium which strengthens bones and they have Omega3 fats that are critical to brain health. Millet is also a great source of B-complex vitamins. One of the keys to longevity is getting your protein from plant sources instead of animal sources which is why he has put animal protein to minimal amounts on the pyramid.
The third level of the pyramid is fruits at three cups a day. Highlighting the benefits of mangoes, dates and apples. Fruits are packed with anti-aging elements. The actual flesh of many fruits contains vitamins and minerals while the skin is loaded with powerful anti-agers due to a higher concentration of nutrients. One of the reasons why mangoes are so highly recommended is that they help fight cancer and heart disease. They are full of beta-carotene which gives them that beautiful color. As a result of the drying process, dried fruits like dates are high in antioxidants. They are also a great source of magnesium, which helps the body maintain normal muscle and nerve function, steady heart rhythm and strong bones. Date also promote normal blood pressure and blood sugar regulation. Who can resist the crisp yet juicy enticement of the apple? The old saying still stands true; an apple a day may be the ultimate longevity food. It is loaded with fiber, antioxidants, folate and vitamin E which fights Alzheimer’s; and a flavenoid called quercetin that protects the brain against the oxidative stress of daily life.
At the fourth level of the pyramid is protein. He suggests three serving a day. Protein is an all-encompassing category that includes meats, beans and nuts. Make sure that you choose proteins that are high in Omega-3 fats will ensure normal brain function and lower the risk of dementia. Trout is high in omega-3 fats. Omega-3s are essential to brain health as they provide the building blocks for brain cell renewal. Omega-3 is a healthy fat. Unfortunately through the diet craze of eating low calorie low fat foods, many people cut out the healthy fats. This is detrimental to your ultimate health and well-being. Your brain is made up of fat. It needs healthy fats such as Omega-3 to subsist. We are looking to correct this by raising awareness as to the benefits of healthy fats and where to find them. Brazil nuts are considered healthy protein. They contain selenium, an antioxidant that fights the free radical damage that can cause cancer.
On the next level, Dr. Oz puts dairy. He suggests two serving a day. He is talking about healthy dairy, like Greek yogurt or Feta cheese made with goat milk. Even buttermilk is on his good list. This is the least amount of serving, the least amount of intake for the day. It is especially important for women because dairy contains calcium and is fortified with vitamin D– Dr. Oz’s number-one recommended supplement. Strengthening bones and fighting against the onset of osteoporosis is why it’s so important to fortify our body with vitamin D.
If you are interested in learning more about health and nutrition in a straight-to-the-point way, Dr. Oz has a great website with lots of video clips from his shows. Or you can tune into his show that airs during the week. If you are looking for help in implementing healthy eating habits into your life, please check out my Health and Weight Loss products here. These products will help you to make your health a priority and also help you implement these healthy eating habits that will ultimately promote life longevity and lean body mass.
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