A high intake of white food may reduce the risk of a stroke with 55%. In a Western diet white fleshy fruits and vegetables are the most common. They constitute 40% of the total fruits and vegetables consumption.
Some ten years ago my father died. Ten years before that he had a massive stroke. After the stroke he was no longer able to speak anymore. His walking capacities were also badly impaired.
Strokes usually run in the male line of the family. That’s why his stroke was a wake-up call for me. I cannot tell whether he ate too little white fruits and vegetables. As far as I remember he hardly ate any fruits. But why are white fruits and vegetables so important?
White fruits and vegetables
Apples and pears make up 55% of the amount of white food that we eat. Banana, cauliflower, chicory, cucumber and mushrooms around 35%. Onions, leek, and garlic around 10%. Other white fruits and vegetables are dates, ginger, kohlrabi, parsnips, shallots, turnips, white corn, white nectarines, and white peaches.
A high intake of white food (> 216 gram each day) lowers the risk for a stroke with 55% compared to people with a low intake (<57 gram each day). Every 25 gram extra lowers the risk for a stroke with 9%.
Be aware that there seems to be no connection between the consumption of other types of fruits and vegetables from other color groups and the prevalence of a stroke.
- White corn
- White nectarines
- White peaches
White vitamin ‘bombs’
Many nutrients such as vitamin C and D, and potassium and calcium, have no color at all. Fibres have no color either. Important white vitamin ‘bombs’ are:
Asparagus – Purifies the blood and is a fluid-repellent for bladder and kidney dysfunctions. However, asparagus contains high amounts of purine. So those who suffer from the gout, don’t eat asparagus.
Cauliflower – Low in calories, rich in fibre and vitamin C. 125 gram of cauliflower is enough to provide for the recommended daily amount. Cauliflower is also good for your bones because it contains a lot of calcium. But be aware that you do not cross the day limit for calcium. This is 1 gram per day for healthy adults between the ages 19 and 50 and 2 grams per day when you’re 50 years and over. Too much calcium contributes to calcification of the arteries and kidney stones. Cauliflower contains relatively much vitamin K, B6 and folic acid (B11).
Champignons – Contain vitamin B2, B3, folic acid and minerals such as potassium and phosphorus. At some levels champignons outperform other vegetables. They contain provitamin D. This is a vitamin that helps the body to produce its own vitamin D. One hundred gram of fried champignons provides 30% of the daily required copper intake.
Onions – Contain lots of fibres, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and iron, and disease-resistant antioxidants, such as flavonoids. Flavonoids are said to prevent cardiovascular affections.
Potatoes – Contain vitamin C, lots of fibres, and vitamin B6. 20% of the elderly have a shortage of vitamin B6. According to the food pyramid potatoes are not counted as a vegetable, as they contain a lot of starch and thus should be consumed sparingly.
Why are nutrients important?
The nutrients found in fruits and vegetables have a significant impact on our health. The phrase “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables is a simple way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible, so that you can maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients.
The colors of fruits and vegetables are a small clue as to what vitamins and nutrients are included. By getting a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, you are guaranteed a diverse amount of essential vitamins and minerals.
Examples of nutrients in white fruits and vegetables are beta-glucans in cereals, catechin (EGCG) in peaches and vinegar, thiamine, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus in flax, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds, and lignans.
Dieticians claim that these nutrients boost immune activity, activate ‘natural killer’ B and T cells (important in the prevention of cancers), reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers through balancing hormone levels.
Some white food cooking tips
Steam your vegetables. This is always better than boiling because most nutrients will be preserved. Don’t cut your vegetables to pieces. Preserve the steaming water. Great to cool down frying food, to cook food or in soup.
Apple and pear sauce. ‘Hot lightning’ my mother used to call the combination of cooked potatoes and cold applesauce. Well this combination you better avoid. But after dinner, or just in between, apple and pear sauce is a very fresh and tasty healthy snack or dessert. You can buy this type of sauce in most eco shops. Yet it’s more tasty when you prepare the sauce yourself. This is extremely simple. Cut the organic apples and pears, take out the seeds, and boil them in a very little bit of water. Never peel organic fruit!!! The sauce is ready when you can mash the fruit with a wooden spoon or fork. Preserve the juice from the cooking. This can be used as a flavour enhancer when you fry vegetables, or chicken and turkey.
Champignons and garlic. This again is a very easy and quick to prepare, and very tasty, food. Fry more garlic than you’re used to (at least five parts from a not too small bulb). Use lots of very good virgin olive oil. When the garlic starts to color (which is usually very quick) add the mushrooms. Fry until the champignons glaze and are soft. Ready. You can use this combination on most vegetables and with chicken or turkey.
Potatoes. Nothing is so tasty as fried potatoes. But they are even tastier if you dry roast them in the oven without oil or butter. Don’t peel the potatoes (so you better use organic ones). Cut the washed potatoes in thin slices (between three millimeter and half a centimeter). Distribute the slices on baking paper which is spread out on an oven rack. Preheat the oven at 200.C. Keep an eye on the slices. Turn the slices halfway when they start to color.As an additional advantage most of the starch in the potatoes will be gone.
Salt. Do never add salt to your food. All fruits and vegetables contain salt. If you have a healthy diet, you get all the types of salt you need in your body.
Have a nice meal and stay healthy!