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Dr. James Chandler, N.D., Ph.D

Traditional Naturopathy

Chandler Naturopathic Health Center

Go Natural - Your Natural Health Alternative

List of top 10 foods

    It is my belief that these top ten foods provide the needed vitamins, fats, minerals, and proteins necessary for a healthy vegetarian type diet that is low cost and, with a few exceptions, can be easy to grow yourself. I recommend growing or buying organic whenever possible to reduce the risks of pesticide, toxins and environmental contamination.

1. Kale. I chose kale because of its cancer fighting properties and the vitamin and mineral content. It has no known toxicity so; you can eat all you want. Two cups of kale provide 4g of protein and 3 g of fiber. Kale is loaded with antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Included are: vitamins A, C, and K and minerals calcium and iron. In my opinion, this makes kale an exceptional vegetable for getting the necessary iron without having to get it through red meats. Kale has the powerful phytochemicals indoles that have a protective effect against cancers of the colon, breasts, and cervix. Kale is high in sulfur which helps the detoxification enzymes of the body and may help fight cancer. The carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin help to protect the eyes from macular degeneration. It can be used with any or all of the vegetables and nuts in my list to create a salad or used as a side dish with salmon. (pp 46)

2. Spinach. Spinach is versatile and low in calories. It can be eaten raw or cooked and has an astonishing array of antioxidant vitamins and minerals. It is abundant with vitamins A, B, C, D and K and minerals include: calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Spinach also contains quercetin and at least thirteen flavonoids which act as antioxidants and anti cancer agents. Because, of the high potential for pesticide contamination, organic spinach should be obtained whenever possible. Spinach can help prevent stomach and prostate cancer, help protect brain cells, and provide assistance in the prevention of eye disease and vision loss from cataracts and macular degeneration. The folic acid and magnesium in spinach help to clean arteries and prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. It can be combined with any of the other vegetables in my list or served as a side dish. One cup of boiled spinach has 294 percent of the DV for vitamin A. (Pp 59-61)

3. Carrots. Carrots are non toxic and high in the vitamin A and carotenoids. High carotenoid intake has been associated with decreases of up to 50 percent in cervix, bladder, colon, prostate, esophageal and larynx cancer and as much as a 20 percent decrease in postmenopausal breast cancer. Eating foods high in carotenoids have been associated with reduced cardiovascular disease, lung, stomach and pancreatic cancers. Carrot’s glycemic load is low making it great for not spiking blood sugar levels. Three medium carrots contain 60 mg of calcium, 586 mg of potassium, some vitamin C, magnesium and phosphorus, and 30,000 IUs of vitamin A (15,000 units of beta carotene and 6,000 units of alpha carotene) plus 5 grams of fiber. Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooking slightly enhances the bioavailability of more nutrients. Carrots can be

combined with other vegetables and grains on my list to create a salad or a nutritious soup or serve as a side dish with the salmon for a balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. (pp 30 – 31)

4. Tomatoes. Tomatoes are generally non toxic with the following exceptions: green tomatoes contain solanine which may aggravate arthritic conditions and people who suffer from GERD should avoid tomatoes as well as other members of the nightshade family. Tomatoes are an abundant source of the nutrient lycopene that is associated with the reduction of prostate cancer and provides protection against lung, stomach, pancreatic, colorectal, esophageal, oral, breast, and cervical cancers. In addition to lycopene, tomatoes have other powerful phytochemicals such as the antioxidants; zera carotene, phytonene, and phytofluene. They also contain lutein which helps protect the eyes and the arteries and contain vitamins A, B complex, and C and minerals potassium and phosphorus. Tomatoes eaten raw or cook provide much needed antioxidants and cancer protection. They compliment any food and should be eaten with a fat such as avocadoes, olive oil or nuts. (Pp 66 -67)

5. Avocados. Non toxic and high in monounsaturated fat (oleic acid) and beta-sitosteol, avocados lower cholesterol and protect the prostate while reducing the risk of cancer and diabetes. Avocados are an excellent source of the antioxidant carotenoid, lutein that protects the eyes, heart, and skin. Avocados contain vitamins A, and B (foliate), the carotenoids beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, the minerals calcium and potassium and between 11 and 17 g of fiber per avocado. A great source of good fat needed in a

vegetarian diet that can also be used with the other foods on my list. Use to make Guacamole or slice onto a salad. (Pp 97 – 98)

6. Blueberries. Blueberries contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds like anthocyanin that help prevent inflammation and oxidative stress associated with major killer diseases. The polyphenols in blueberries help electrical signal transmission between neurons and assists the brain in growing new neutrons which, help in slowing down impairment of motor coordination and memory. Having one of the highest ORAC values, blueberries are rich in antioxidants. Blueberries also have an anti-aging compound, Pterostilbene, which lowers lipids and is more effective than resveratrol, found in grapes, or the prescription medicine Ciprofibrate. As a cancer fighter, blueberries contain a flavonoid that inhabits a cancer promoting enzyme. Eaten fresh or frozen blueberries taste great with any food and they provide protection for your eyes, heart, and brain. No toxins have been associated with blueberries. (Pp 101 – 102)

7. Pecans. Pecans are a Southern favorite. They are full of nutrients and contain monounsaturated fat (the good fat). Pecans contain vitamin E, potassium, phytosterols, and beta-sitosterol (lowers cholesterol) and fiber. Pecans may help prevent type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. Mix pecans with spinach, kale, and blueberries for a refreshing salad eat them by themselves as a snack. They are high in calories so watch the amount if you are looking to loose weight. No toxins have been established with pecans. (Pp 155 - 156)

8. Red beans. Beans provide fiber. Fiber in the diet reduces the risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Beans reduce cholesterol and help regulate the blood sugar

level. Phytochemicals diosgenin, saponins, protease inhibitors, and phytic acid appear to inhibit cancer cells from multiplying or protect cell from the genetic damage that can cause cancer. Red beans have the highest antioxidant capacity of any food, as listed by the USDA ranking. Beans have folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, an enzyme enhancing mineral (molybdenum), and protein. Beans contain no hormones, steroids, or antibiotics unlike animal protein sources. Eat beans with a green salad and avocado for a nutritious meal. (pp 83-84)

9. Quinoa. Quinoa is high in protein that is similar to the protein found in milk products (casein, the milk protein, has been shown in some studies to promote cancer growth) and is superior to the proteins found in other grains. It contains lysine, and more calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese and zinc than barley, corn or wheat. The iron content is more than any other cereal grain, and it contains 5g of fiber. Quinoa can be a substitute for rice in any recipe or served as a side dish, especially with salmon. There are no known toxicity issues with quinoa. (Pp 78)

10. Wild Alaskan Salmon. Wild Salmon (as opposed to farmed) is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acid and high quality protein. It contains potassium, selenium, B12 and niacin. The omega 3 fats are heart healthy and protect against all diseases. Selenium is a cancer fighting trace mineral and may neutralize the effects of mercury. Salmon may contain some mercury and framed salmon maybe contaminated with PCBs. Always choose wild salmon. Salmon is complimented by all of the other foods listed. It can be served with a green salad, quinoa, beans, sprinkled with pecans, or cooked carrots. (Pp 215- 219)


Bowden, Jonny, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007) The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,

Gloucester,M.A.: Fair Winds Press. PP 30-31, 46, 59-61, 66-67, 78,

83-84, 97-98, 101-102, 155-156, and 215-219.

Copyright 2008 Chandler Naturopathic Health Center

Gastonia, NC 28054