Guest Author - Gretchen Goel
On a recent Google search to research green foods, I came across George Mateljan’s website- whfoods.com. The site is fairly comprehensive, so I decided to take a look at his book titled “The World’s Healthiest Foods”. From a Whole Foods perspective, Mr. Mateljan has created a useful reference guide for the top 100 healthiest foods and spices. It can be used to look up foods you are unfamiliar with and get tips on how to prepare the food in a way that preserves the most nutrients. This could be eye opening for people who mostly fry their food in oil or bake it in the oven. Most of the recipes require 10 minutes or less to cook. He uses 5 or fewer ingredients in most recipes and seasons the dishes to best enhance the flavor. I recently enjoyed the 3 minute Healthy Sauteed Summer Squash and the Fennel Mashed Potatoes. I learned that squash “promotes respiratory health” and fennel is anti-inflammatory.
The book includes a section of “Health Promoting Nutrients” which gives you the best food sources of those nutrients and the function the nutrient provides to the body. This information would be very helpful to anyone diagnosed with a deficiency that would rather use food sources than isolated vitamins to meet their needs.
I appreciate that Mr. Mateljan suggests the daily consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables; however I don’t agree with his menu plan which suggests a daily consumption of organic meat. Anyone can achieve optimum health, and make a positive impact on global warming by reducing their meat and egg consumption to 3 or less times a week. He states in the book that some of us require meat daily due to our “biochemical individuality”. While I agree that everyone is individual and some people cannot tolerate certain foods due to food allergies, I firmly disagree that anyone requires meat on a daily basis. I believe that many people who try vegetarian diets simply eliminate meat and continue to eat the Standard American Diet minus the meat. Based on the results, they believe that they cannot survive without meat.
Mr. Mateljan suggests drinking a “Healthy Lifestyle Green Tea” before each meal. I think drinking one mug of quality green tea each day is sufficient, since drinking tea three times a day would replace some water intake. Water before each meal would be a much better idea. And though he does mention we should drink more water, he doesn’t say how much nor does he include it in his menu plan.
In conclusion, this is the perfect book for someone who is currently eating the Standard American Diet, is tired of dieting and looking for a guide to healthy eating. They will get an education on cell nutrition and the basic information they need to improve their diet right away. Long term, they will need to reduce animal product consumption for optimal results. This book is also useful for people who have a good understanding of optimal nutrition, who want to delve deeper into the information on specific nutrients.