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Natural Goodness From 'Healing Foods Pyramid'

New guide starts with water and includes fruits, veggies and chocolate

FRIDAY, March 18, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- University of Michigan nutrition experts have devised a "Healing Foods Pyramid" that they say emphasizes foods offering healing benefits, plant-based choices, "variety and balance, mindful eating, and support of a healthful environment."

Water forms the base of the pyramid, followed by fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, healthy fats, dairy, eggs, lean meats, fish and seafood, and seasonings such as garlic, onions and herbs. Those are followed by accompaniments such as tea, dark chocolate and alcohol.

The final category at the top of the pyramid is empty, reserved for special treats that might be consumed occasionally, according to experts at the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Clinical Services (UMIMCS).

Daily, weekly and optional choices that can be mixed and matched are also offered on the Healing Foods Pyramid, which was drawn from findings from a number of respected studies.

"We have included only those foods known to have healing benefits or to contain essential nutrients," pyramid co-developer Dr. Monica Myklebust, director of UMIMCS, said in a prepared statement. "Often nutrients are best assimilated in the form of whole foods, in their natural state. We hope this pyramid will serve as a practical guide to healthy eating. We encourage a celebration of abundance, variety and nourishment."

Pyramid co-developer and UMIMCS dietitian Jenna Wunder also suggests "minimizing processed foods and those foods with ingredient names too long to pronounce."

More information

Here's where you can find the Healing Foods Pyramid.

SOURCE: U-M Health System, news release, March, 2005
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