Friday, July 11, 2008

Feel good in summer heat


It finally feels like summer is here. The days are long and hot, and it's necessary to replenish our bodies with mineral rich and nutrient-dense foods. Whether we live here year round or come for a month in the summer, this is the time for long hikes, even longer bike rides, soccer, softball games and cool lake swims. After a full day in bright sun and altitude, replenishing our bodies with the proper nutrients can make all the difference between joyfully jumping out of bed the next morning or creeping out of bed clutching sore, cramped muscles.

Athletic activity generates free radicals, and we need antioxidants to diminish their damage and to prevent cancer. The antioxidant content of foods today is much lower than 50 years ago due to our depleted topsoil, so it is more important than ever to emphasize antioxidant content in food. These foods are often brightly colored, such as blueberries, raspberries, avocado, or go more exotic with camu camu, mangosteen, or the highest antioxidant ever -- raw chocolate.

Studies show that 80 percent of vegetarians and 60 percent of meat eaters are deficient in vitamin B12. I recommend a high quality B supplement to support the liver, adrenals, mood, digestion, and energy levels. B vitamins are made in the small intestine; so if digestion is off the production of B vitamins should be addressed. Beware of supplements in tablet form, which often will not be broken down and digested, or with fillers such as magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide.

Eat organic to protect the future of earth. Local organic foods explode with flavor and have a much higher nutritional, vitamin and mineral content. Eat local to promote biodiversity, and support local agriculture, a sustainable community and the local farmer. The Ketchum Farmers Market runs through the summer on Tuesdays from 2:30-6:00, and Thursdays in Hailey. Idaho's Bounty supplies local foods year round.

It is important to maintain proper PH balance, which is the measurement of calcium in your body. Our bodies use calcium for hundreds of physiological processes including regulating the activity of the heart, muscles, and mood. It is important to support soft tissues, extracellular fluid, and bones with calcium and other minerals. It is simple to test your PH in the morning with a PH strip and first morning urine. It should be between 6.4-6.8. Eating fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds mineralize the body. Excessive consumption of red meat demineralizes the body. Red meat contains 44 times more phosphorus than calcium and depletes the body of calcium.

Add cold-pressed oils and plant-based fats to your diet. These will nourish your bodies and you will feel satisfied after eating. Remember, no plant-based foods contain cholesterol.

Replenish electrolytes. To replenish electrolytes after a hard workout in the sun, add a pinch of a high quality air-dried sea salt to your water. Never use highly heated iodized table salt.

Live foods increase fiber, nutritional content, and water. According to Viktoras Kulvinskas, the overall nutrient destruction of cooked foods is 80 percent. Dr. Gabriel Cousens writes in Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine that "at least 50 percent of the B vitamins are destroyed by cooking. Cooking foods destroys B1 and B12 up to 96 percent, folic acid up to 97 percent, and vitamin C up to 97 percent."

These are some of the reasons I eat live foods. They also promote more fluid digestion, increased energy, joy, well-being, happiness and spiritual alignment.

These tips will help your body be free from pain, soreness and stiffness, and ready for the next adventure.

Peppo is a nutrition consultant and works with individualized treatment plans to restore bodily health and imbalances. She also owns Glow live food café and eco-store at 380 Washington Ave. in Ketchum.

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