The Wine Guy: Devil is in the details

Best of The Wine Guy

The Wine Guy
with Anthony Scarano

The best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need for optimum health is through natural food and drink.

The best medical practitioners all agree on this. The human body has evolved along with the lifegiving plants that grow on Earth, and thus is adapted to use their copious nutrients for sustenance, maintenance and repair. Nature has provided us with vitamins and minerals in the proper quantities, in all of the colorful fruits and vegetables, not to mention legumes, herbs, nuts, seeds and grains.

Store-bought vitamins can be harmful because they are too potent, while others may be useless because they don’t contain what is claimed or they don’t fully dissolve in the stomach. It is questionable whether these vitamins can even fully be utilized by the body.

I read the story of a woman who converted her diet, and since doing so rid herself of aches and pains. She takes no medications and sees her doctor regularly, and she feels great. Her secret is a green drink made with pureed green-leaf lettuce, parsley and water or fruit juice, and another drink made with apples, bananas and other fruits. By liquefying the produce she eliminates the bulk that can slow digestion and impede the body’s ability to fully utilize all of the available nutrients. For lunch and dinner this lady eats steamed vegetables.

These diet drinks provide her quick energy, fiber and myriad of vitamins and minerals. These natural foods also help flush out fat, improve digestion, ease stiff and sore muscles, and normalize cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. She is 63 years old but feels years younger.

The ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, told his patients to let food be their medicine. This was 3,000 years ago, but we know today that he was right. The National Cancer Institute reports that eating more fruits and vegetables can decrease the risk of developing cancer and chronic diseases. These foods protect your heart, brain, stomach, eyes and overall health.

Most Americans don’t eat enough natural foods, and thus we suffer from high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease and diabetes on an almost unprecedented scale. Processed foods, fast foods, sugar and “dead” foods such as meat and cereal do not help you, and more often have a negative impact on your health. Sugar, for instance, throws your insulin levels out of balance and actually causes you to crave more food, even if you don’t need it. Thus, you eat more (likely unhealthily) and gain weight.

The normal pH in the body is four parts alkaline to one part acid, meaning we should eat 80 percent alkaline foods (fruits and vegetables) and 20 percent acidic foods (meats, dairy and processed foods). Begin eating this way and you will get trimmer, fitter and firmer, and you will begin to feel better in body and mind.

Much more can be said but I must go for now. Eat right, feel good and look even better!

Anthony Scarano is not a doctor. He is an 88-year-old Evergreen Park resident, winemaker and certified naturopath. Suggestions in this space are solely the opinions of Mr. Scarano based on years of independent study and personal experience, and may not be beneficial to health. Wine should be consumed in moderation, as overindulgence may be harmful to health.