Jo Robinson’s EATING ON THE WILD SIDE:The Missing Link to Optimum Health
EATING ON THE WILD SIDE: The Missing Link to Optimum Health is the first book to reveal the nutritional history of our fruits and vegetables. Starting with the wild plants that were central to our original diet, investigative journalist Jo Robinson describes how 400 generations of farmers have unwittingly squandered a host of essential nutrients. The net result is that the fruits and vegetables we eat today contain only a fraction of the fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in wild plants.
In an engaging blend of science and history, Robinson describes how and when we transformed the food in our produce aisles. Our farming ancestors stripped away the bulk of the nutrients before anyone understood the impact on human health. Only now do we have the technology and the knowledge to assess the extent of the damage.
Facts That May Surprise You:
*Eating some of the newest varieties of supersweet corn can have the same impact on blood sugar as eating a Snickers candy bar or a cake doughnut.
*Corn provides 25 percent of the calories of the world’s population.
*Most berries become richer in antioxidants the longer you cook them, making canned blueberries more nutritious than fresh.
*Broccoli begins to lose its cancer-fighting compounds within twenty-four hours of harvest, so you should eat it as quickly as possible.
*Hunter-gatherers who consumed calcium-rich wild greens had stronger bones than we do, even though they did not eat any dairy products.
*Americans consume more Iceberg lettuce per week than all other fresh vegetables combined, with the exception of white potatoes. Half the population has never purchased a salad green other than Iceberg lettuce.
*Most bottled salad dressings are made with soybean oil. It requires almost seven times more soybean oil than olive oil to make the nutrients in the salad bioavailable to the body.
*One milligram of allicin, the main active ingredient in garlic, is equivalent to 15 International Units of penicillin. Each clove has 7 to13 milligrams of allicin.
*Chopping or mincing garlic cloves and allowing them to sit for ten minutes before cooking them activates the garlic’s allicin.
*Two small onions provide twice as many antioxidants as one large onion of the same variety.
*Ounce for ounce, shallots contain six times more phytonutrients than the typical onion.
*Scallions have 140 times more phytonutrients than common white onions, and the greens are a more concentrated source than the whites.
*If you cook potatoes and then chill them for about twenty-four hours, they are transformed from a high-glycemic into a low- or moderate-glycemic vegetable.
*Adding fat to potatoes or cooking them in fat slows down their rate of digestion. For this reason, French fries produce a smaller increase in blood sugar than baked or steamed potatoes. Sprinkling fries with vinegar slows their digestion even more.
*Orange carrots did not exist until four hundred years ago, when a yellow mutant carrot from Africa was crossed with a red carrot from the Netherlands in honor of the Netherlands’ House of Orange.
*The most nutritious carrots are those that have been cooked whole, then sliced or chopped.
*Beets have more antioxidant activity than all other common vegetables except for artichokes, red cabbage, kale, and bell peppers. Beets have nine times more than the typical tomato and fifty times more than orange carrots.
*The longer you cook tomatoes, the more health benefits they provide. Canned tomatoes are more nutritious than fresh ones.
*Red cabbage has six times more antioxidant activity than green cabbage and three times more than savoy cabbage.
*Artichokes are one of the healthiest vegetables in the supermarket—even the jarred hearts are nutritional powerhouses.
*The reason fresh asparagus tastes so good is that fresh-picked has four times more natural sugar than asparagus that has been stored for just one day.
*Cooked asparagus has 30 percent more antioxidant activity than raw.
*Just half of a medium-size avocado provides six grams of soluble fiber—more than a bowl of oatmeal cereal.
*Nine out of every ten apples we eat comes from a mere dozen varieties. We’ve gone from 15,000 varieties to twelve in just three generations.
*Clear apple juice can contain as little as 6 percent of the phytonutrients of the original apple.
*Berries have four times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, ten times more than most vegetables, and forty times more than some cereals.
*Studies show that the more berries people eat, the less likely they are to die from a heart attack or stroke.
*Sulphured apricots have far more antioxidants than the dark-colored untreated ones.
*U.S. cherries have three times more pesticides than imported cherries.
*Prunes, or dried plums, are higher in antioxidants than many other nutritious fruits, including most varieties of blueberries and strawberries.
*The ancestor of our popular Thompson seedless (green) grape lost its color about a thousand years ago due to a spontaneous mutation, which also reduced its antioxidant activity by as much at 75 percent.
*Welch’s Concord Grape Juice is more nutritious than any other juice in the supermarket.
*Ripe limes are yellow, not green. The darkest-green limes are hard and have the least juice.
*Mangoes have five times more vitamin C than oranges, five times more fiber than pineapples, and a generous number of phytonutrients.
EATING ON THE WILD SIDE will forever change the way you think about food.
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