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“Natural Foods: Let’s See How They Benefit Our Bodies”

“Natural Foods: Let’s See How They Benefit Our Bodies”

Posted March. 07, 2004 23:07,   


Natural food helps to prevent diseases. Overweight people should eat brown rice and whole wheat as well as vegetables and fruits that all contain a high percentage of fiber. They are low in calories and help lower cholesterol levels in blood.

“In order to prevent obesity, one has to avoid highly processed food such as white rice, white flour, and white sugar,” pointed out Song Sook-ja, a professor emeritus at Sahmyook University’s Department of Food and Nutrition.

“If one includes a meal composed of brown rice and other wholesome grains or whole wheat per day along with two spoonful of beans, sesames, or nuts and a handful of vegetables, it would definitely help prevent obesity and geriatric diseases,” said Song, recommending a vegetarian diet.

Cabbage is also good for people suffering from gastritis with blood and stomach ulcers. Vitamin U contained in raw cabbage treats stomach ulcers, and Vitamin K prevents bleeding.

Potatoes also protect the stomach wall. If one drinks a half-cup of ground raw potato per day, it would help prevent stomach diseases.

Beans help prevent climacteric problems and Osteoporosis. Beans contain Isoflavone, one of the natural female hormones. A cup of soymilk, a half slice of tofu, a half-cup of soybean paste, or a half-cup of bean powder per day is recommended. Beans could be cooked or taken as row such as in raw soybean paste.

However, taking only one kind of natural food, thinking that it would help heal a certain disease, cannot be beneficial.

“It is desirable to keep a balanced diet composed of a variety of foods, not of a single food item,” said Cho Young-yeon, nutrition advisor at Samsung Seoul Hospital

Natural foods can be poisonous if overeaten. Potato is well known for being rich in calcium, iron, vitamin C and others.

However, Doctor Lee Seung-nam at Gangnam Best Clinic says, “If diabetic patients take more than three or four potatoes per day, it can aggravate their symptoms,” adding, “As soon as the starch meets saliva, it immediately turns into sugar and thus increases the sugar level in blood.”

Therefore, diabetic patients should not eat more than two potatoes per day or should eat sweet potato instead.

Also, if one eats excessive amounts of fiber, it can harden feces and thus cause constipation. Fibers also obstruct digestion of inorganic matter such as calcium, zinc, and iron; so, two plates of cooked vegetables per meal are enough for the elderly and children.

Blue-backed fish are poisonous to arthritis patients. Purin, a component of protein, is abundant in blue-backed fish, which increases the rate of uric acid in blood and aggravates the swelling.

Therefore, people with arthritic symptoms should avoid eating that type of fish.

Nuts including peanuts, walnuts, and pine nuts are rich in vitamin E and prevent thrombus and hyperlipidemia. However, ingesting excessive amounts could cause diarrhea since they cannot be properly adsorbed. People prone to diarrhea should avoid excessive intake.

Mushrooms are well known for their merits of being low in calories and rich in inorganic matter. However, the benefits of Sangwhang mushrooms, well known for their anti-cancer properties, can work differently for each individual.

Since the mushroom can harm the liver, one has to dilute them in water through boiling and drink it in a weakened form.

Jin-Han Lee likeday@donga.com