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Nutrition, Health,

and Disease
Nutrition, Health,
and Disease
Living in Harmony

Kaufui Vincent Wong


Nutrition, Health, and Disease: Living in Harmony

Copyright Momentum Press, LLC, 2017.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any
meanselectronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other
except for brief quotations, not to exceed 400 words, without the prior
permission of the publisher.

First published in 2017 by

Momentum Press, LLC
222 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017

ISBN-13: 978-1-94708-318-9 (paperback)

ISBN-13: 978-1-94708-319-6 (e-book)

Momentum Press Nutrition and Dietetics Practice C


Cover and interior design by Exeter Premedia Services Private Ltd.,

Chennai, India

First edition: 2017

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Printed in the United States of America.

This is my sixth book in a mini-series in the field of nutrition, health,
and disease. In this book, about half the book deals with specific foods
which are good for our health. The monograph is recommended for use
in a nutritional or an epidemiology course. This book was designed as
one of the textbooks for a whole course, and it can be employed to cre-
ate modules in existing courses, or as a supplementary text in nutrition
associated with epidemiology. It is meant for the general public. This is
not only just a book for epidemiology students, but also for the ordinary
adult who wants to be independent in their nutritional choices. To be
independent, requires the availability of knowledge and wisdom on these
subject areas. Topics covered in the book chapters include consumption
of amaranth, tofu and soy products, and well-cooked chicken, as well as
topics involving exercise, drugs, and mosquito-borne diseases.

amaranth, chicken, drugs, exercise, mosquito-borne diseases, soy, tofu

Chapter 1 Amaranth Grain and Greens for Health Benefits1

Chapter 2 Movement as Response to Pain from Muscles,
Tendons, and Joints in Sedentary Persons9
Chapter 3 Celebrities, Drugs, Mortality, and Survival15
Chapter 4 Tofu and Soy for Health Benefits21
Chapter 5 Risk Factors for Breast Cancer Too Broad
to be Very Useful27
Chapter 6 Giving Up the Joy of Live Chickens
in the Era of Bird Flu33
Chapter 7 Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, West Nile and
Zika Viruses Spread by Mosquitoes and People

About the Author49

This monograph presents seven chapters, three of the chapters in this
book are related to popular foods through the ages, amaranth greens, tofu
and soy, and chicken, hence the inspiration for the title of the book..
to live in harmony with traditional foods. The title of the book is Nutri-
tion, Health and DiseaseLiving in Harmony. Another chapter is on
drugs, and not living in harmony with drugs. One chapter is about
the importance of the right kind of daily exercise. Another chapter is on
the current status about knowledge regarding breast cancer, the story of
which I told in the Preface of book three in the mini-series. The last
chapter is about the big four viral diseases of Dengue Fever, Yellow
Fever, West Nile, and Zika.
As I stated in all my previous five books in this mini-series, guidance
for the common man in his daily diet is mandatory for success. This book
will be about some common and popular traditional foods and the peo-
ple, among other topics in health and disease. The monograph will be
appropriate for use in a nutritional or an epidemiology course, or part of
any medical course that includes elements of epidemiology and nutrition.
This book was designed as one of the textbooks for a whole course, and
it can be employed to create modules in existing courses, or as a supple-
mentary text in nutrition associated with epidemiology. It is written for
general readership. This is not only just a book for epidemiology students,
but also for the adult-in-the-street who desires a better diet and health for
themselves. Topics discussed in the book chapters include consumption
of amaranth grains and greens, soy and tofu, and well-cooked chicken.
The lightly poached chicken loved by the Chinese should be avoided,
especially in the era of the bird flu. It might seem that the U.S. public is
more accepting of drugs now that marijuana is legalized in several states.
However, from the health viewpoint, it is best to avoid this opioid. In the
East, for example, in China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia,
Thailand, and Myanmar, possession of marijuana results in a very severe
x Preface

Modern air transportation has allowed all passengers to be potential

carriers of the viruses that cause Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, West Nile,
and Zika. Because the Aedes aegypti is ubiquitous around the world, the
potential for these four diseases to reach all corners of the world is very
I acknowledge with thanks the academic journals in which all my
papers (chapters) have been previously published. The perceptiveness of
Mr Joel Stein and Ms Charlene Kronstedt of Momentum Press who rec-
ognized the public service value of my work is acknowledged with thanks.
I humbly dedicate this sixth book in the mini-series to St Brother Andre
of Montreal, Canada. He was a lay brother, who did all his defining work
in his lifetime by helping the sick and terminally ill. He seems to be still
helping out in the post-life sainthood of his.
Kaufui Vincent Wong, PhD, PE
Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of Miami, FL, USA.

Amaranth Grain and Greens

for Health Benefits
With regards to amaranth greens and its healthful benefits including pre-
vention against cardiovascular disease and hypertension, there is evidence
in the literature about these benefits. One objective of the current work
is to suggest the amaranth green as a suitable home garden vegetable for
people worldwide to encourage more consumption of vegetables. That it
is a practice in many parts of Asia and Oceania should be an encourage-
ment for the people in the Americas and Europe. It tastes like spinach, but
with a stronger flavor. The many health benefits of the amaranth grain,
greens, and oil are briefly outlined. Owing to its resilience under many
climatic conditions, the amaranth green should be grown in households
worldwide as a vegetable. Amaranth grain agriculture may be expanded
worldwide since the gluten problem (from wheat, rye, and barley) has
become better known.

cardiovascular disease, hypertension, phytonutrients, vegetable

The amaranth is an ancient plant, which has been estimated to be eaten
by humans for about 8,000 years. Indeed, the ancient Greeks used the
amaranth. Amaranthus, together known as amaranth, is a diverse genus of
short-term perennial plants [1]. A number of amaranth species are grown
as leaf vegetables, as a cereal or cereal substitute, and garden plants for
landscaping purposes.

Literature survey performed about this topic revealed a list of health

benefits resulting from eating amaranth greens, amaranth seeds, and food
products made from amaranth flour, as well as consuming amaranth oil.

Health Benefits of Amaranth

There is a recipe for preserved duck eggs (Chinese hundred year old eggs)
stir-fried with pink amaranth leaves. This practice must have been derived
from using the beneficial phytonutrients of the amaranth to counteract
whatever that is not as healthy (free radicals) from the putrefied proteins
in the preserved duck eggs. It is an acquired taste, but preserved eggs do
have a following among the Chinese population.
It is speculated that the amaranth made up to 80 percent of the Aztecs
diet [2]. It was certainly a healthy diet, because of the absence of glu-
ten and refined sugar [35]. That their diet was low in animal fats was
probably also a contributory factor to the health of the Aztecs.
In [6], it was concluded that a threatened Amaranthus grain species
may have benefits if used to interbreed with more commonly cultivated
species types in agriculture.
Reference [7] from 1992 was a state of the art review about the pub-
lished literature on grain amaranth agriculture and production, which
was very active in the 1980s. In 1989, Mallory studied agronomy and
production from 1919 to 1988 [8]. He had a bibliography of 192 cita-
tions with abstracts, with many on the cultivated varieties of amaranth.
Reference [9] is a more recent article on the amaranth grain; their
findings were that the nutrients from the amaranth grain benefited the
health of young normal mice, or at least normal with respect to the fat
content in their blood samples.
In a book [10], the researchers included amaranth as a beneficial crop
grown and indigenous to Latin America.
In [11], there is a listing of fourteen reasons to eat amaranth
grain. Below, written with references, are a selected number (nine) of

1. Similar to quinoa, amaranth is not a true grain but the seed of

the amaranth plant. It is very productive as the plant is capable of
Amaranth Grain and Greens for Health Benefits 3

y ielding 60,000 seeds [11, 12]. At six generations per year in suitable
climate [12], the amaranth is really productive. In addition, it does
not contain gluten, which has been found to have a general negative
role in the human body [3, 4].
2. Most grains like barley are short on lysine, an amino acid. The ama-
ranth grain contains lysine [13]. Hence, amaranth grain contains a
complete protein as all the essential amino acids are present.
3. Amaranths protein content is about 13 percent [13, 14], or more
than most other grains. In contrast, a cup of long-grain white rice has
13 grams of protein, which is half the amount found in amaranth.
4. Amaranth can thrive at nearly any altitude in tropical and temper-
ate climates if it has moist, loose soil with decent drainage. It can
even live in water-shortage settings if the plants are mature [12,
13]. Amaranth is grown worldwide in countries like China, Russia,
Thailand, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Mexico. Various preparations of
amaranth are considered traditional foods in parts of India, Nepal,
and the African continent. There are limited number of farmers cul-
tivating amaranth in parts of the United States, comprising Florida,
North Dakota, and Nebraska, although in many other parts of the
United States, amaranth is so invasive that many Americans view
them as a wild weed that impedes the growth of other less aggressive
plants [15].
5. Amaranth seeds or grain may be consumed, and so can the leaves
and flowers. The genus Amaranthus has more than sixty different
species [1]. They are commonly used in Asian and Caribbean fares.
The popular Chinese version of amaranth greens dish consists of a
low-temperature light stir-fry or saute of the greens in oil, garlic,
salt, and spices to taste. The Caribbean callaloo dish which requires
a green has African roots [16]. The green most frequently used in
callaloo is amaranth green, but the taro root green is popular in
Trinidad [16]. The African Americans have made a similar vegeta-
ble stew dish with collard greens [16]. In the use of taro leaves, the
people of Trinidad are similar to those in Fiji, where the taro leaf
green is the most important vegetable cash crop for the people of Fiji
[17]. The amaranth greens are also cultivated and eaten by the other
peoples of Oceania [17].

6. Amaranth contains a wealth of minerals [15]. It offers calcium, mag-

nesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. One cup of uncooked
amaranth has 31 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
for calcium, 14 percent for vitamin C, and 82 percent for iron [11].
On the other hand, one cup of cooked amaranth has 40 percent
of the RDA for magnesium, 36 percent for phosphorus and over a
105percent for manganese.
7. Amaranth oil is therapeutic for cardiovascular disease (CVD)
and hypertension [18]. Reference [18] is a 2007 publication, the
researchers being mostly Russian. There was a 1996 American study
which discovered that amaranth oil could reduce low-density lipo-
protein (LDL) and total cholesterol in female chickens [19]. A 2003
publication demonstrated that amaranth has phytosterols [20] with
its cholesterol-diminishing characteristics.
8. Amaranth grain provides another breakfast choice that does not have
to include added refined sugar. Amaranths tiny grains take on a por-
ridge-like texture when cooked, making it a reasonable choice for
breakfast. In actuality, amaranth porridge is an old-style breakfast
in India, Mexico, Peru, and Nepal. The minor aim of the current
work is to caution against the addition of refined sugar to any recipes
involving amaranth grain or greens [5].
9. Amaranth grain is a good candidate for a dietary fiber food. It pro-
vides 13 grams of fiber per uncooked cup contrasted to 2 grams of a
similar quantity of long-grain white rice [11, 15]. Ones body is kept
regular with the help of dietary fiber.

Ancient Grain that Does Not Contain Gluten

As a seed that does not contain gluten, or a similar protein zein (such as
in corn), amaranth grain seems like a seed grain that is set to take off
in popularity. It is easy to cook like rice and oats. Unlike rice, it does not
have arsenic taken up naturally from the environment [21].
In the standard American diet (SAD), the breakfast meal normally
consists of some kind of cereal, a dairy product, and refined added sugar.
The cereal would likely contain some kind of product obtained from
wheat, rye, and barley, with the gluten protein present. To have a health-
ier replacement, oats, rice, and amaranth grain are offered as alternatives.
Amaranth Grain and Greens for Health Benefits 5

Rice porridge has been consumed in China and in Chinese communities

outside of China for a while. Similarly, amaranth porridge has been con-
sumed in India, Mexico, Peru, and Nepal. The caution here is that no
refined sugar should be added to the porridge, and savory recipes of the
porridge may be propagated for popularity and health.
The after-meal dessert is also a meal-end-dish in the standard Amer-
ican diet that would be hard to let go for many. This one is open to any
kind of novel recipes and ideas. Amaranth flour is available, and fruits
(fresh, dried, and frozen) are available as ingredients. This holds true for
oats too. Whole fruits may be used as fine desserts by themselves. To cut
down the amount of glucose and fructose consumed per unit weight of
food, and to raise the relative amount of fiber per unit weight of food,
amaranth grain or oats could be use in addition (subtracting some of
the fruit). The nutrient/calories or N/C formula to evaluate a food item
would be raised in the dessert, and hence be more healthful. Care should
be taken that if any heat is involved in cooking or baking, it does not
go above 250F [22, 23]; otherwise, noxious food products would be
formed. This general fact is applicable to the preparation of regular main
dishes also.

Discussion and Conclusion

Amaranth grain and greens give significant health benefits. In particu-
lar, the consumption of amaranth for CVD and hypertension has been
proven. If cultivated in ones own garden, this traditional vegetable can be
minimal in cost and effort, making it a smart recommendation.
Amaranth seeds are used as cereals or as a cereal component. Ama-
ranth oil has been shown to be beneficial for health. Amaranth flour is
used in many food products. Since it does not contain gluten, its avail-
ability is a good replacement for wheat (rye, barley which also have glu-
ten) and wheat products, as well as for the derived flour. It is suggested
that amaranth greens be cultivated in ones garden, wherever possible.

This paper is dedicated to all my social media friends who have encouraged
me with my work in nutrition and health, with a focus on phytonutrients.

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Epidemiology and Public Health Reviews 1, no. 3.
[6] Marcone, M.F. April 30, 2001. Starch Properties of Amaranthus Pumilus
(Seabeach Amaranth): A Threatened Plant Species with Potential Benefits
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1988: 192 Citations with Abstracts. Bibliography of Cultivated Amaranths
[9] Cazarin, C.B., Y.K. Chang, M. Depieri, E.M. Carneiro, A.S. de Souza, and
J. Amaya-Farfan. 2012. Amaranth Grain Brings Health Benefits to Young
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[14] McMasters, M.M., P.D. Baird, M.M. Hazapfel, and E.C. Rist. 1955.
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[16] Wikipedia, Callaloo. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
[17] Wikipedia, Fijian Food. Retrieved June 28, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.
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Female Chickens. The Journal of Nutrition 126, no. 8, p. 1972.
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[23] Jgerstad, M., and K. Skog. 2005. Genotoxicity of Heat-Processed Foods.
Mutation Research 574, nos. 12, pp. 15672.
Acid coagulants, 2122 Celebrity culture and drug abuse
Aedes mosquito, 42 African American singers, 16
Amaranth grain and green Bono, 18
after-meal dessert, 5 Culpeppers study, 17
Aztecs diet, 2 illegal drugs, 16
beneficial phytonutrients, 2 KartikaJahja, 18
breakfast choice, 4 Mannings culture, 1617
cereal content, 4 misconduct anxiety, 17
consumption, 3 Nelson, Willie, 18
cultivation, 3 reprehensible habit, 17
dietary fiber food, 4 reversal of adulation, 1718
lysine content, 3 Sternheimers book, 16
minerals, 4 Center for Infectious Disease Research
N/C formula, 5 and Policy (CIDRAP), 35
oil, 4 Chicken meat, 3334. See also Bird
protein content, 3 flu
rice porridge, 5 Chinese style poached chicken, 3334
seeds yielding, 23 Conglycinin, 23
species, 1 Culex mosquitoes, 42, 43
Aztecs diet, 2
Dengue fever, 4245
Bean curd. See Tofu
Bird flu Fermented tofu, 22
avian influenza H7N8 virus, 35
bird markets, 37 Glucono delta-lactone (GDL), 21
in China, 35 Gypsum, 21
frozen chickens, 3738
H5N1 virus infection, 3537 H5N1 virus infection
human deaths, 37 aerosolized material inhalation, 36
LPAI H7 virus, 35 Chinese style poached chicken, 36
testing kit, 37 human-to-human spread, 36, 37
Breast cancer infected bird feather, 35
alcohol, 30 migratory birds, 36
drug diethylstilbestrol, 30 water contamination, 36
and exercise, 29
mortality rates, 29 Musculoskeletal pain
obesity, 29 atrophy, 11
oral contraceptives, 30 balance exercise, 10
racial group, 2930 daily prescription, 11
risk factors, 2728 joint replacement, 1011
52 Index

sedentary seniors, 1112 Tofu

stretch and motion exercises, 11 acid coagulants, 2122
calcium content, 24
Non-fermented soy foods, 23 cardiovascular health, 23
fermentation, 22
Physical exercise, 910 fermented, 22
proteins and amino acids, 23
salt coagulants, 21
Salt coagulants, 21
selenium content, 23
Silken tofu, 22
Soy food. See also Tofu
adverse effects, 24 Viral diseases, 44
micro-organisms, 22 West Nile virus (WNV), 4245
mold activity, 22
nutrients, 2223 Yellow fever, 4245
non-fermented soy foods, 23
Standard American diet (SAD), 4 Zika virus, 4245