Author's Perspective: I decided to define a super food as a food that contains an array of vitamins and minerals, multiple micronutrients, phytonutrients and other key nutrient factors that work together to provide multiple health benefits.
I defined a "super meal" as a combination of super foods that work synergistically to help prevent disease or heal the body from disease, e.g. the Super Meal Model Plate.
To make it easier to understand and remember, I grouped these nutrient-dense super foods into five major categories of “live” super foods.
When consumed on a regular basis as part of a balanced synergistic meal, these foods create a biochemical/hormonal balance that reduces insulin production, controls appetite, nourishes the cells, strengthens the immune system, prevents inflammation, and helps to heal the body physically, biochemically, hormonally, emotionally and spiritually, breaking the vicious "cycle of diabetes".
The list of five “live” super foods includes vegetables/(some) fruits, filtered water, lean protein, mono-unsaturated fats/Omega-3 fats, and some organic whole grains -- but, does not include many of your favorite "dead" foods or any of the so-called “healthy” foods.
However, if you're diabetic or struggling with some similar disease, then, you must consume these foods (and, avoid the 5 "dead" processed foods) as part of my Super Meal Model Plate (Diet for Diabetics) -- to ensure that your body is obtaining a balance of key macronutrients, micronutrients, and phytochemicals.
Note: I strongly recommend that most diabetics avoid all grains and fruit during the first 3 stages of the program.
Author's Sidebar: The terms "live" and "dead" may sound a little melodramatic, but I believe that they get the point across without having to explain the rationale of each term in detail. In addition, I found these terms to be very effective in making specific points during my lectures and workshops. Also, these terms tie nicely into the book’s title and the photograph on the front cover of the book.
“Live” food (pronounced l ī v e as in "I'm alive") helps the body to heal, fight disease and stay alive. “Live” foods are primarily raw, unprocessed, lightly-cooked or partially processed foods that contain most of the seven nutrient factors. The term “live” does not necessarily mean that the food is alive, but it does contain the nutrients that keep the body alive. Coincidentally, these foods are connected with the prevention and reversal of many of the major systemic diseases and ailments.
“Dead” food inhibits the body from healing and leads to disease and early death. “Dead” food is man-made, processed food that lacks most of the seven nutrient factors. Coincidentally, these foods, along with a sedentary lifestyle, are connected with the development of many of the major systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
The 5 "Live" Foods
For those familiar with proper nutrition, there should be no surprises with my list of 5 "live" foods that help to reverse Type 2 diabetes:
- Vegetables, Some Fruits, Other Plants
- Filtered Water/Liquids
- Lean Protein
- Unsaturated/Polyunsaturated Fats
- Organic Whole Grains
1. Vegetables, Some Fruits, Other Plants: include green and bright-colored, tasty foods that are full of critical macro and micro-nutrients. Vegetables should cover at least one-half of your plate.
Vegetables include green/leafy and bright-colored, such as spinach, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, greens (collards, mustard, kale), Romaine lettuce; asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, kelp, string beans; beans, carrots, onions, garlic, lentils, okra, peppers (orange, red, yellow, green), squash; mushrooms; sea vegetables; wheatgrass, barley grass; and, legumes.
Note: Eating mostly raw vegetables can accelerate your body's repair process and your body's ability to reverse your diabetes.
Note: If you are taking a blood thinner (such as Coumadin), you can still eat green vegetables as long as you eat a consistent amount on a daily basis. But, always consult with your physician before making any dietary changes.
Fruits include dark, bright colored fruits such as açai berries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, elderberries, strawberries, apples, grapes, pears, goji berries; plus, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangosteens, and pomegranates.
Note: You may need to avoid fruit during the first 3 stages of the program.
Wheatgrass is a young grass that contains concentrated levels of chlorophyll, which helps to cleanse and detoxify the boy.
2. Filtered water/Liquids: comes from whole raw vegetables and fruits, raw juices, grasses, and tap water that has been properly filtered or distilled. Most tap water contains contaminants including bacteria, viruses, parasites, dissolved metals, pesticides, herbicides, waste, lead, asbestos fibers, fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals.
3. Lean protein: includes fish (wild salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, tilapia), nuts, seeds (esp. flax, hemp), beans, lentils, whey protein, whole soy foods (tofu, tempeh, miso); lean, organic beef, free-range chicken breast without the skin, turkey breast without the skin; goat’s milk, raw milk, low fat plain yogurt; organic eggs, egg whites; low fat cheese, soy/tofu cheeses, blue-green algae (spirulina, chlorella); grains (amaranth, quinoa); wild game (venison, bison, bear); organic seafood (shrimp, crab, lobster); and most vegetables.
4. Unsaturated fats: include monounsaturated fat, Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat, some Omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, and certain saturated fats.
Monounsaturated fat is contained in extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nuts, cashews, avocados, peanuts, walnuts, and almonds. Omega-3 fats are found in cold-water fish such as wild salmon and sardines; unprocessed cod liver oil; and, nuts such as walnuts and almonds.
5. Organic whole grains: include amaranth, quinoa, kamut, barley, oat, rice germ/bran, and alfalfa.
Note: However, if you're diabetic, you must avoid all grains during the first 3 stages of the program; then, use only organic steel-cut oats or organic grains with a higher protein component such as amaranth and quinoa.
Eating these "live" super foods while avoiding the 5 "dead" foods is necessary especially during the first 3-4 months of the DTD program to help with the detox and cellular repair/ healing processes and the reduction of the internal cellular inflammation (one of the primary root causes of many systemic diseases).
Note: For a complete list of "live" foods (and "dead" foods), refer to Chapters 5, 6 and 7 of Death to Diabetes book or the Super Meal Model ebook.
Author's Note: If you struggle with adding raw foods such as vegetables and fruits to your nutritional program, there are many (scrumptious) and creative ways to accomplish this to dramatically improve your diabetes and lose weight, i.e. smoothies, salads, stir-fry, omelets, soups, sandwiches, casseroles, appetizers, etc. For more ideas, get the Death to Diabetes cookbook, which provides hundreds of healthy, simple, and quick recipes, for meals, snacks, and appetizers. If you like raw juicing and/or smoothies, then, get the Power of Raw Juicing book.
Health Benefits of the 5 "Live"Super Foods to Reverse Diabetes
Super Foods = Good Health!
Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, string beans, and celery are an excellent source of key vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which help to address inflammation and insulin resistance within the cells.
Bright-colored vegetables such as carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash, red onions, and eggplant provide similar vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help fight various diseases.
These vegetables, which should cover at least half of your plate, also contain fiber which slows down their absorption helping to delay the emptying of the stomach and thereby smoothing out the absorption of sugars into the blood.
Vegetables provide anti-diabetic and anti-cancer health benefits along with other health benefits for the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and other organs in the body.
Avocado is excellent for diabetics because it contains monounsaturated fat, magnesium, potassium, folate, antioxidants such as Vitamin E, and fiber, which helps to remove cholesterol from the blood and improve bowel regularity and the health of the colon.
Fruits such as apples, berries, cherries, grapefruit, and pears also contain fiber to help slow down the absorption of the sugar. In addition, fruits provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients that help to nourish and protect the cells from excessive oxidative damage. However, most fruits should be avoided during the first 4-6 weeks of the program.
Dietary fiber (insoluble and soluble) in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and some organic grains help to lower cholesterol, normalize blood glucose levels, and maintain bowel regularity. Insoluble fiber passes through the digestive tract relatively unchanged to keep us regular.
Soluble fiber dissolves to form a soft gel that helps to lower our cholesterol and control blood sugar. Some familiar foods that contain soluble fiber (pectins, gums, and mucilages) include apples, apricots, citrus, oats, lentils, dried beans and peas.
Fiber-rich vegetable sources include broccoli, string beans, turnips, lima beans, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, kale, collards, winter squash. Fiber-rich legume sources include black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, split peas, navy beans, and yams. Fiber-rich nuts and seeds include almonds, cashews, chestnuts, filberts, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts.
Fiber-rich fruits include avocados, dried figs, blackberries, prunes, raisins, apricots, apples (with skin), and pears (with skin). Other dietary fibers include inulin, oligofructose, and psyllium seed husk.
Sea vegetables (such as kelp/kombu, nori, wakame, and arame) are an excellent source of iodine and vitamin K, a very good source of the B-vitamin folate, and magnesium, and a good source of iron and calcium, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
Marine alagae (chlorella, spirulina) is a true superfood that provides many vitamins, minerals, EFAs, antioxidants, etc. that help to strengthen the immune system and detoxify the body.
Filtered/distilled water comes from whole raw vegetables and fruits, raw juices, grasses, and tap water that has been filtered or distilled.
Health Benefit of Water: include hydration of the cells to transport nutrients throughout the body. Also, water is the medium that keeps tissues soft and permeable, helps to regulate body temperature and helps to ensure proper bowel movement.
And, because water is so important to the proper functioning of all systems of the body, you want to provide your body with filtered water only. Given that many diabetics are dehydrated and have thick, sticky blood due to the high blood glucose levels, drinking filtered water is a necessity.
Lean protein foods include wild salmon, sardines, tuna, organic, free-range poultry (chicken, turkey without the skin), bison, venison, organic eggs (from free-range chickens), fermented soy, nuts and seeds (esp. flax and hemp).
Lean protein foods, when properly digested, provide the necessary amino acids without the high level of saturated fat, antibiotics and growth hormone that come from conventional animal meat. This increases the body’s utilization of glucagon and insulin causing a decrease in the production of insulin, which leads to less fat storage and cholesterol production.
Health Benefits of Protein: include increasing the production of growth hormones, stimulating the production of testosterone and muscle while burning fat. Some of these foods (beans, lentils, mushrooms) also provide fiber, which helps to slow down the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream preventing a high rise in the blood glucose and insulin levels.
In addition, the fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, homemade yogurt, kombucha (fermented black tea), miso and tempeh (fermented soybeans) help to improve the intestinal flora balance, build the immune system, absorb more nutrients, and generate new nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids, digestive aids and the trace mineral GTF chromium. Wild salmon contains Omega-3 EFAs, high quality protein and the antioxidant astaxanthin.
Note: Fermented foods are some of the best chelators and are very potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals.
Sardines (from the Mediterranean) contain Omega-3 EFAs, CoQ10, potassium, calcium, and, being small fish, they contain very little mercury. Lean organic beef and wild game (such as bison) provide the essential amino acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may help to metabolize fat.
Raw organic eggs from free-range chickens provide folic acid, choline and Omega-3 EFAs to help the cardiovascular system.
Monounsaturated fat, which is considered to be the healthiest fat, contains large amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are predominantly found in olive oil (73%) and macadamia nut oil (80%). Monounsaturated fat, which is not “saturated” with hydrogen, is heart-healthy, and has none of the adverse effects associated with saturated fats, trans fats or Omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils. It is more resistant to oxidation, a process that leads to cell and tissue damage in the body.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat is another healthy fat that is contained in flaxseed oil, hemp oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and oily fish, such as wild salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring. Plant-based foods such as flaxseed, nuts, and wheat germ contain one of the Omega-3 EFAs, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Marine crustaceans and oily fish such as wild salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel contains the other two common Omega-3 EFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Other sources of Omega-3 EFAs include dark green vegetables such as seaweed, broccoli, spinach, kale; and, other green vegetables like spring greens, dark salad leaves, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and parsley. Walnuts are the only nut that contains both monounsaturated fat and Omega-3 EFA.
Omega-6 polyunsaturated fat is contained in walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, black currant seed oil, evening primrose oil and borage oil, which contain the Omega-6 EFAs, linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) Use GLA to activate Omega-3 fatty-acids (via delta-6 saturase), ensuring absorption by the plasma cell membrane while inhibiting delta-5 desaturase (conversion to arachidonic acid).
Although extra virgin coconut oil is a saturated fat, it provides MCFAs and lauric acid, which allow the liver to produce energy without the need for insulin. As a result, this type of saturated fat has benefits for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Health Benefits of MUFAs and EFAS: Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and essential fatty acids (EFAs), especially the Omega-3 EFAs, are critical to cardiovascular and mental health but cannot be made in the body. For this reason, it is essential that we acquire these fats from vegetable and plant oils.
MUFAs and EFAs are needed for heart and brain function, immune system support, healing, growth and development, bone health, joint health, muscle growth, stimulation of skin and hair growth, regulation of metabolism, control of inflammation, fat burning, and maintenance of reproductive processes.
EFAs contain anti-inflammatory properties that prevent clogging of the arteries. These EFA oils lubricate the joints and arteries and keep the blood thin, preventing ailments such as arthritis and high blood pressure. They are also typically high in Vitamin E, providing antioxidant protection.
Since fats make up sixty percent of the brain and the nerves that run every system in the body, the higher the quality of the fat in the food, the better the brain and nerves will function. T
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are better obtained from marine life (crustaceans known as krill) and from cold water fish such as wild salmon, sardines and tuna.
EPA specifically protects the cardiovascular system by promoting normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increasing blood flow and enhancing immune function.
DHA specifically supports the cell membranes of the eyes, nerves and brain, which is 60% fat and predominantly DHA fat.
Flaxseed delivers the full benefits of Omega-3 EFA (alpha linolenic acid), the Omega-6 and Omega-9 EFAs, plus all of the fiber, protein, lignans, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which are important nutrients for overall good health.
Many nuts and seeds also provide the Omega-3 fats and quality fiber, which helps to slow down the body’s absorption of their carbohydrate content.
(Some) Organic whole grains, such as amaranth, quinoa, kamut, barley, steel-cut oat, rice germ/bran, and alfalfa, provide vitamins such as the B-complex and Vitamin E; minerals such as chromium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron; and, insoluble fiber such as cellulose.
However, grain products that are labeled “multigrain”, “stone ground” or “whole wheat” are not necessarily whole grain products – they are processed grains that cause glucose and insulin spikes. Check the ingredients carefully and look for “whole grain” as the first ingredient and at least 3 grams of fiber per serving/100 calories.
Please Note: We recommend that most diabetics avoid all grains for at least 6 months, or during the first 4 stages of the DTD program.
Health Benefits of some organic grains: include insoluble fiber (roughage), which helps to increase stool bulk and speed the passage of stools through the bowel. Insoluble fiber is also important because it helps to provide a feeling of fullness.
To summarize, these 5 “live” super foods provide vital nutrients and exert less strain on the gastrointestinal system and other organs because they contain organically-active nutrients, good bacteria, antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, essential oils, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
As a result, the body requires less energy to “break down” live foods and has the necessary energy and raw materials to strengthen the immune system and protect the body from oxidation, toxicity, acidity, inflammation, infection and the various systemic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
And, if you already have one of these diseases, these nutrients help to perform other biochemical functions that facilitate healing and reversing the disease in your body.
Note: For a list of the top super foods, refer to the Top 10 Super Foods for Diabetics web page.
Combo-Super Foods for Your Super Meal Plate!
On the surface, it may be seem bland and boring to eat a lot of these foods, especially the vegetables. But, when you combine some of these foods, your taste buds will be jumpin' and you will actually enjoy eating healthy foods!
For example, when you eat a green vegetable (which can taste a little bland), add some sliced orange or yellow peppers to naturally sweeten the taste of the vegetables and increase the antioxidant and fiber content of your meal. Or, add cayenne pepper or sliced red peppers to spice up the taste and provide key nutrients for the cardiovascular system.
Another example is to add onions or garlic to spice up the taste of the vegetables and provide sulfur and anti-cancer benefits to your meal.
Even better examples of combining these super foods on your Super Meal Plate include the creation of super meals and super snacks to create super omelets, super casseroles, super salads, super sandwiches, super smoothies, super soups, super stews, and super stir-frys.
So, use your creativity! -- by combining these super foods, you can create even more powerful super foods on your Super Meal Plate! If you need some ideas for combining various foods, or if you want to learn how to use various spices properly, then, get the popular 3-in-1 Death to Diabetes Cookbook, or the Food Tips ebook.
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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