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Natural Awakenings Tucson

The Nutritional Value of Our Food Matters

The more we all learn about our food origins—types of soil, what the soil and plants are treated with, quality of water used, how they are harvested and when, how far they are transported and what’s done to them before we buy them—the more we can grasp how important it is that we buy fresh, in season, local, organic foods. Our local store often does carry organic foods, but how fresh are they really?

Since Tucson was designated the first city in the U.S. to be recognized as a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy, lots more food-related activities are being discussed, appreciated and highlighted. Hopefully most of Southern Arizona now knows that our little town has the longest agricultural history of any city in North America. So, buying at the local farmers’ markets helps our local economy and our health. Still, local foods can be pro-inflammatory, so be aware of the following.

Foods that are known to cause inflammation are conventionally grown beef, pork and chicken; deep fried foods; peanuts; refined flour products; most packaged or processed foods; and white foods like bananas, potatoes, rice and dried fruits.

Meats aren’t all inherently bad; it is about their processing and what was fed to the animal beforehand. Packaged foods are processed so much that little to no nutrient value is left in the food. Freezing vegetables, fruits or meats is the exception, when not packed in water first.

So, what does inflammation do? It is now proven that inflammation is the root of all chronic illnesses—even cancer—due to the damage done on the cellular level to our mitochondria. These cell components are the powerhouses of our cell’s energy, so once they are damaged, our health begins to go awry.

The idea is to avoid heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, allergies, low energy, joint pains, endocrine disorders, even autoimmune disorders, we need to stop putting into our bodies foods that cause inflammation. Switching to local, in season, organic (which automatically means non-GMO) fresh foods, as well as grass-fed, free-range meats not fed GMO corn or soy, can improve anyone’s health immensely. Try it for six months minimum and see the changes.

Locally, we can shop at the Sunday Heirloom Farmers Market at Rillito Park. From February to March 17, they are open from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., and April through October they are open from 8 a.m. to noon.

Dr. DeeAnn Saber, NMD, of Transformational Medicine, has treated over 800 people for thyroid disorders. Endocrinology is her specialty and her love. To learn more about a healthy food plan for yourself, call to schedule a free consultation with Zach Saber. Connect at 520-209-1755, [email protected] or See ads, pages 3 and 11.