Certain healthy simple sugars are actually needed in your diet! Understanding which foods supply these important sugars is a step in developing an overall plan for optimal health. Galactose is a less known simple sugar, or monosaccharide, and is found in many delicious fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy sources.
Galactose is different from glucose; although they contain the same atoms, these atoms are arranged differently in the two molecules. The body converts the majority of ingested galactose to glucose for use. Galactose can also be bound with glucose to make lactose, a disaccharide in human breast milk. Alternately, it can bind to lipids or proteins to build more complex substances used throughout the body. When galactose is synthesized with these other molecules, it has been found to participate in inhibition of tumor growth. There are processes in the kidney tubules which utilize galctose along with other molecules for re-absorption of essential electrolytes into the blood. Other studies being conducted indicate that some proteins bound with galactose are instrumental in memory function and neuronal development.
Galactose is found in many healthy foods. Although dairy products are a well-known source of lactose, this sugar must be broken down by certain proteins in the digestive system to allow the galactose and glucose from the lactose to be utilized. Better choices for simple galactose sources are fruits and vegetables. Fruits with galactose content are apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, mango, peach, pear, plum, prune, pineapple, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, and passionfruit. Vegetable sources include broccoli, brussel sprouts, avacado, cabbage, carrot, celery, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes, leeks, asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, beetroot, green peas, pumpkin, and spinach. Although the galactose content of all these foods is quite low, including them in the diet will provide the amounts which the body can easily absorb and utilize.
Here is a practical way to use some of these foods. Salad! A salad does not always have to contain lettuce.
(Serves 1-2 persons)
1 Avocado (diced)
1 Pear (diced)
1 Beet (steamed for 5 minutes, cooled, diced)
Juice of ¼ Lemon
Real Salt (to taste)
Black pepper or cayenne pepper (to taste)
Stir and enjoy!