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Go To Health! (Because Life's Too Short. . .)

the Author:

Shara Rendell-Smock, author

Shara Rendell-Smock has written more than twenty computer software manuals, numerous newspaper articles, including a monthly health column for The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

She's the author of two books of non-fiction: Getting Hooked: Fiction's Opening Sentences 1950's- 1990's
Living With Big Cats: The Story of Jungle Larry, Safari Jane, and David Tetzlaff
For ordering information, click here.

To read more about these books, participate in an ongoing joke contest, surf on over to .
The author currently lives on Florida's Space Coast.

Shara signed with a New York Literary agency in December.

TOP TEN Most Nutritious Vegetables

(according to Health magazine and former US Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop.)
  1. Broccoli
  2. Spinach
  3. Brussels sprouts
  4. Lima beans
  5. Peas
  6. Asparagus
  7. Artichokes
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Sweet potatoes
  10. Carrots

The following foods are rich in antioxidants;

Vitamin A/ Beta Carotene -- liver, egg yolk, fortified milk, butter, margarine, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomato, cantalope, peaches, fortified grain products.

Vitamin C -- citrus fruit and juices (oranges, grapefruit), strawberries, kiwi, cantalope, green peppers, raw cabbage, spinach, kale, broccoli.

Vitamin E -- nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetable and fish-liver oils, fortified cereals, dried apricots.

Vitamins and Nutrition

What to do? Pills can't replace a healthy diet. Yet it's controversial in our society whether a good diet does provide us with adequate vitamins and minerals. In any case, many people who are concerned about their health or the quality of their diet choose to take a multi-vitamin or individual vitamins, minerals, and food supplements. This may be especially advisable for people over sixty, who may have inadequate diets or impaired absorption due to gastrointestinal limitations.

Our bodies assimilate vitamins with food, so we should take them with a meal. Here is an overview of specific vitamins;

Vitamin A (Beta Carotene) helps growth and repair of body tissues; skin; reduces susceptibility to infections; reduces night-blindness and weak eyesight; helps bone and teeth. Beta Carotene helps reduce the risk of lung cancer and some oral cancers. Unlike Vitamin A from fish liver oil, Beta Carotene is non-toxic.

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) helps generate energy; aids in the digestion of carbohydrates; promotes a healthy nervous system, muscles and heart; stabilizes the appetite; promotes growth and muscle tone.

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) is necessary for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism; helps form antibodies and red blood cells; maintains cell respiration; helps vision, skin, nails and hair; and reduces eye fatigue.

Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) helps synthesize amino acids; aids in fat and carbohydrate metabolism; helps form antibodies; maintains the central nervous system; aids in removing premenstrual women's excess fluid; promotes healthy skin; reduces muscle spasms, leg cramps, hand numbness, and nausea.

Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) helps regenerate red blood cells (to prevent anemia); necessary for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism; maintains a healthy nervous system; promotes growth in children; increases energy; and is required for calcium absorption.

Niacinamide (Niacin- vitamin B-3) improves circulation and reduces the blood cholesterol level; maintains the nervous system; helps metabolize protein, sugar and fat; reduces high blood pressure; increases energy; helps skin and digestive system.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is essential for healthy teeth, gums and bones; helps heal wounds and fractures; reduces scar tissue; prevents scurvy; builds resistance to infection; is rumoured to aid in the prevention and treatment of the common cold; gives strength to blood vessels; helps absorb iron. It prevents the conversion of nitrates (from tobacco smoke, smog, bacon, lunch meats, and some vegetables) into cancer-causing substances.

Vitamin D helps utilize calcium and phosphorous; necessary for bone and teeth formation; maintains a stable nervous system and a healthy heart.

Vitamin E is the main anti-oxidant nutrient; slows our cell's aging that is caused by oxidation; supplies oxygen to the blood for the heart and other organs; prevents and dissolves blood clots.

Just a Few of the Controversies

Recent studies indicate antioxidant vitamins (C, E, and Beta Carotene) may actually delay the effects of aging, reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease, strokes, and cataracts.

However, many health groups, including the American Cancer Society, say it is premature to recommend dietary supplements containing antioxidants: Some other as yet unidentified substance in fruits and vegetables may actually be responsible for reduced disease risk.

Currently Congress and the Food and Drug Administration are trying to determine whether certain dietary supplements, such as those containing antioxidants, should be regulated as foods or drugs.


Too much of some vitamins and minerals can cause health problems. If taking a supplement, be sure you read the label on recommended amounts, and possibly ask a health or medical professional about benefits and risks of a given supplement.

In the end, we have so many facts and speculations concerning vitamins that I feel this column simultaneously presents too much and too little information. I could do an entire series on minerals, amino acids, and herb supplements. . .

Next Week:

A Basic Way to Wellness

What do you remember about Nutrition from school? E-mail me your insights at Also - we bumped "Massage Therapy" into a two-part series. . .any comments on your experience with Massage Therapy are greatly appreciated.

Back to the top / The New Sideroad / Go to the latest column

Issue # 19
Tuesday, March 10, 1998



Part 1 of 3 Basic notes about Nutrition

"Back" to Health

Part 1 of 4- Looking After Your Back

Part 2 of 4- Avoiding Back Sprains

Part 3 of 4- Medical and chiropractic treatments

Part 4 of 4- Physical Therapy and Self Help Tips

Humour and Health

Part 1 of 5 - "Think You're Funny?" (A look at laughter.)

Part 2 of 5 - What the Experts Say. . .

Part 3 of 5 - A Matter of Perspective

Part 4 of 5 - Humour as a Coping Mechanism

Part 5 of 5 - Wooten on Humour and Coping

Overcoming Sleep Disorders

Part 1 of 4 - how your mattress can make all the difference.

Part 2 of 4 - strategies to help you sleep.

Part 3 of 4 - more strategies to help you sleep.

Part 4 of 4 - what is a sleep log and how does it work?


Stats indicate that for those over the age of 50, one of every two women and one in eight men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture. Our sedentary lifestyle puts us at risk for this disease. Yet osteoporosis is not inevitable. Here's some information on this disease and how we can prevent it.

Part 1 of 4 - - details the likelihood of developing this disease, and its dangers and consequences.

Part 2 of 4 - - presents the risk factors of osteoporosis and some of our misconceptions about the disease.

Part 3 of 4 - - insights into diagnosis, and basic management techniques.

Part 4 of 4 - - new medical treatments to stop osteoporosis, and safety in the home of osteoporosis sufferers.

Next Week:

A Basic Way to Wellness

Nutrition Guidelines

  • Fat should be no more than thirty percent of total calories.
  • Saturated fat should be less than ten percent of total calories.
  • Carbohydrates should be at least fifty percent of total calories.
  • Emphasize complex carbohydrates such as fruits, veggies, starches, grains, and beans.
  • Fiber--Eat twenty to thirty grams daily.

Part of the original Sideroad. Text © 1998, Shara Rendell-Smock. Posted March 10 , 1998. The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at

Shara's books can be ordered from her web site at