Monday, June 7, 2010
Book Review: An Evidence Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals
This is the first book I read from the group that arrived on Friday. I did not want to put this one down. Now I am going to say this book is not for everyone but if you are a nutrition geek, like I am, this book is great! If I had been by myself this book would have been finished in one sitting. The chapters are as follows:
1. Fruit and Vegetables
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
5. Whole Grains
9. Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin
11. Essential Fatty Acids (omega-3 and omega 6)
14. Soy Isoflavones
18. Organosulfur Components from Garlic
The chapters are organized very similarly. The phytochemical chapters (8-20) discuss: bioavailability and metabolism, biological activities, disease prevention, disease treatment, sources, safety, recommended intake and references. Each chapter is well laid out and clearly written. While some of the science is “over my head” I found that I was able to understand each section after a careful reading.
If reading the chapter headings brings any question to mind post a comment or send me an email. I will be happy to let you know the answer if the question you have is covered by the book. This book answered questions I didn’t know I needed an answer to, which is the sign of great reference book to me.
If you have a serious interest in nutrition I think you will really enjoy this book. I found it to be full of interesting bits of information. As an example of the types of information the book contained I want to share what I learned about coffee. Coffee contains cafestol and kahweol which have been found to raise both total cholesterol and LDL. But these compounds are largely removed by paper filters. Meaning my beloved espresso, Turkish coffee and French press coffees are the ones to avoid if you have high cholesterol or LDL. According to the meta-analysis (statistical summary of studies) those consuming unfiltered coffee experienced an average increase of 23 mg/dL in total cholesterol and a 14mg/dL increase in LDL. Additionally the polyphenols in coffee can bind to nonheme iron (plant sources) and inhibit its intestinal absorption making coffee a bigger problem for vegans than omnivores. Knowing this will make it easier for me to stay away from espresso. Darn it!
The book is full of facts like this. If you are information junkie I highly recommend this book. I know it will be a great reference that I will turn to often. As usual this is something I purchased, it was not sent to me for review.
The weather today has been absolutely glorious. The temperatures didn’t get out of the 70’s and there has a been a gentle breeze all day. It was so nice to open the windows! I was quite tired of having the air conditioning on. I spent some time outside today and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Later I spent quite a long time chatting electronically with my buddy Alexandra who is in Lima, Peru. She just got back from Machu Picchu and wanted to check in so I knew she was safely back to her hotel. I can’t wait to hear her stories in person and see the pictures she took. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and there were no incidents which I happy to hear. Something tells me Dan will be happier than I was to hear this. ;-) Other than a little food poisoning from some street food her trip has been good thus far.
Because I spent so much time goofing off today there won’t be any recipe to speak of to post. For dinner we had quinoa, raw julienned collards, and salsa with spiralized zucchini and raw cheese sauce and more salsa on the side. For nights when I don’t have things planned I make things like this often. Quinoa is quick cooking and salsa adds flavor to meals without fat. I added julienned collards because they are part of the cruciferous vegetable family and are therefore healthier when consumed raw. Spiralized zucchini with sauce is another easy food to prepare. I love the texture of the spiralized veggies so this is a summer staple for us.
Talk to you all tomorrow. I am off to spend a little time with Dan.