April 7, 2014 10:12:29 AM
The Wall Street Journal headlined "A Delicious Prescription: Chefs and doctors are teaming up to create health food you might actually crave."
Inheriting the "clipper" gene from our mother, my brother and I trade clipped newspaper articles, his from national newspapers on food, birds, nature and mine from the local sports pages on the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
His article was timely as I had just had conversations with two friends that were trying alternative food therapies for health issues. For years my sister-in-law continually concocted "potions" that she drank as "energy drinks." I would roll my eyes and whine, "Can't we just eat our food?"
Then, ironically, I'd run to my doctor and ask, "Everyone I know is taking bio-identical hormones except me. Shouldn't I be taking hormones?"
The doctor stared blankly, "But you don't need any hormones. You don't have any problems."
I could hear my mother saying, "If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?"
The article said Tulane University is instituting a program for "Culinary Medicine." It's the nation's first teaching kitchen affiliated with a medical school. (Leave it to New Orleans to incorporate food in their studies.)
Dr. Timothy Harlan said, "Make no mistake, I am an allopathic [prescribing medicine] physician. I do not believe in anything other than evidence-based medicine ... Diet alone is very good. Medication alone is very good. But diet plus medication is synergistic."
Tis the season to consider the health benefits of good, vitamin-rich, locally-grown food stuffs. The Columbus farmers' market had a "soft" opening Saturday and will have a grand opening May 10.
Scott Enlow's weekly email reported that homegrown eggs are plentiful. He also has kale, collards, rutabaga, onions and shallots, as well as other greens popping up daily as a result of timely rains.
You can sign up for Scott's produce email at email@example.com. He and other local farmers are already producing healthy foods. Karen and Vinny Harris' greenhouse tomatoes on Old West Point Road are ripe and ready; updates are available at mstomatoes.com.
The Wall Street Journal article's doctor recommended edibles include: cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts and others providing high fiber, vitamin C, E, K, and folate, thought to contain cancer-reducing properties. Fresh green beans -- helpful in regulating blood sugar. Sardines -- low in mercury, containing omega-3s and B vitamins, calcium and vitamin D, helpful for bones and preventing heart disease.
Also: avocados, berries, carrots, coconut, dried beans and legumes, eggs, garlic (said to reduce cancer risk), grass-fed beef, organic chicken, dark leafy greens, mushrooms, nuts including almonds, walnuts and cashews help to reduce cholesterol, olive oil (an anti-inflammatory), onions, seeds like sunflower and pumpkin, parsley, squash, stone fruits including peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, apricots and whole grains.
A lot of healthy food choices are coming soon to a farmers' market near you. No reason not to dig in.
Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.