Sunday, 8 April 2012

Ten Bad Foods That Are Good For You...

As is so often the case with bouts of inspiration, the frequency of my posts at the moment can be compared to waiting for a bus. You wait for ages for one to turn up, and when it finally appears, you get all three at the same time. I'm able to go for weeks without finding a reason to blog, and then when I finally drag my arse onto a chair and decide to start writing, I find that I can't stop. Nothing wrong with this I hear you say, I just wish inspiration came to me more like the slow, steady drip of a tap rather than the staccato gush of a shower that's been blocked up for months. Anyway, what's most important is not that I seem to be afflicted with occasional bouts of verbal diarrohea, but the fact that I'm trying to keep this blog up-to-date.

So while I have the energy, enthusiasm and good intention, how about another easy-on-the-brain top ten ?

Since I've spent the last couple of posts harping on about the virtues of a fat-free, sugar-less spartan diet, I think a list of bad foods that are actually good for you is a good place to start. I'm not sure I've got enough material for a full-blown top ten, but here goes...

1. Red Wine 
Where would we breast cancer ladies (and men) be without this holy grail of alcoholic drinks to fall back on when times get tough ? The great thing about reading about the abundance of antioxidants in red wine is that no-one ever really tells you how much is enough. One glass or two ? Or maybe half a bottle will do ? It seems as though we have a group of chemicals - namely polyphenols to thank for this guilt-free drinking. 'Moderate' drinking of the red stuff seems to guard against heart disease, cancer and a host of other chronic illnesses. Cabernet Sauvignon seems to be the grape of choice, but let's face it ladies, when you're at home suffering from your latest scanxiety attack, forget about the small print, any old bottle of red will do.

2. Chocolate 
Despite the fact that I spent my early formative years living opposite a sweet shop run by a woman so generous in girth that we affectionately nicknamed her 'fatso', I never really acquired a taste for the sweet stuff. On a good day, I'll always choose a savoury pasty over a sweet pastry. But since my journey into Cancerland, I've had time to reconsider. Dark chocolate (over 70% cocoa) is Mother Nature's way of giving us cancer patients a choco fix without having a guilty conscience afterwards. A medley of cancer-fighting antioxidants is the reasoning behind this. So a few squares a day can really keep the doctor away.

3. A Takeaway Curry from your local Indian Restaurant
O.k. I know I'm stretching it a bit on this one. Current research suggests that having a spoonful of not-so-tasty turmeric (the stuff that gives curries their characteristic yellow/orange colour) every day could halt the spread of breast cancer cells. Turmeric is poorly absorbed by the body so needs the presence of olive oil and black pepper to help things along. Here's where your favourite friday night takeaway comes in. Forget about the fat-laden ghee, the even fattier coconut milk, curry contains turmeric. Turmeric fights cancer. End of story. Now pass the Vindaloo.

4. Semen
Sorry, wishful thinking. Next !

5. Burger and Chips
Here's where I get creative. Don't think about that quarter pounder big mac with fries and mayo. Think of the wholesome veggie bean burger that you normally only chow down on at a hippie music festival or when there's no other choice around. Now add some leafy greens, a generous spoonful of hummus, a slice of tomato and a bit of avocado. Substitute the nasty ole regenerated potato chips for roasted sweet potato wedges... and congratulations ! You've just completed your five-a-day portions of fruit and veg. You still get to feast on a burger bun only you won't feel half as stuffed and soporific once you've finished eating and your body will be singing your praises until well, the next lot of sweet potato fries.

So there you go. Not the top ten that I'd originally hoped for but hey, it's Easter and I'm mentally on holiday. If you can think of any others, feel free to add to the list. And Happy Easter folks!

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