With all the ongoing fads, diets, and revolving data of what may be right or wrong, it can leave many of us feeling confused or frustrated about obtaining proper nutrition. So to simplify the basics of healthy eating which manifests to overall good health, vitality, and decrease disease risks here is a good start.
Eat smaller meals but more frequently improves digestion and also optimizes metabolism thereby managing desirable body weight and sustaining energy throughout the day
Consuming adequate water daily automatically reduces toxins and improves metabolism. Eight glasses of water a day is a good place to start or simply take your body weight in pounds and divide by 2 to find your individual daily ounces of water intake.
The heart, intestines, muscle, kidney, etc. is over 75% water. The concentration of water outside the cells is about 94% which means that water wants to move from the outside of cells where it is diluted into the cell where it is more concentrated to balance. Other great liquids to use daily in your diet are herbal teas and fresh squeezed vegetable juices. Preferably, room temperature drinks are best. Ice and cold beverages can decrease digestive functions. In Eastern Medicine, we refer to this as causing spleen deficiency and the production of dampness in the body. This can lead to weight gain, nutrient malabsorption, and other gastrointestinal issues.
Better alternative nutrition for cow dairy is raw goat, sheep, or buffalo choices. This has to do with their fat content and genetic code is more like what is found in humans.
Proteins are best to eat in portion sizes of 3 to 4 oz. at one time. Free range and organic protein choices are best. Eggs, for most people, serve as an excellent source of protein. Egg yolk consists of lecithin which improves both the brain and liver function. Lecithin is also essential to lower blood fat.
Grains have many health benefits, however, due to the depleted soil quality and use of carcinogenic pesticides, they have to be watched. Best nutrition choices include German breads such as pumpernickel, unprocessed 100% rye, rolled oats, and brown rice. Many people that suffer from gluten or grain sensitivity are actually affected with small intestine bacterial overgrowth which can be treated.
As far as consuming carbohydrates, make sure you choose the nutrient rich complex carbs. These include whole grains which consist of 13 types: barley, rye, wheat, oats, spelt, amaranth, and kamut, brown rice, corn, quinoa, teff, millet, and kasha. Whole grains also provide protein and fatty acids. More complex carbs include legumes, green vegetables, root vegetables, fruits, herbs, phytochemicals, and enzymes.
Root vegetables include sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, yuca, ginger, Jerusalem artichokes, beets, and many others. Herbs found growing all over the world have been used to promote and restore health from disease states.
Vegetables need to be consumed often and of much variety! Leafy greens which top the list consist of beet greens, kale, broccoli, swiss chard, spinach, and mustard greens. Organic is preferred in most fruits and vegetables. Also, use lettuces with most rich-green color for obtaining nutrient dense phytonutrients. Choose brightly colored fruits and vegetables. As far as fruits go, it is best to eat one type at a time and on an empty stomach. Lastly, it is better to juice your veggies and actually eat the fruit due to the high fructose sugars.
Fats are vital and should be a daily staple. These fats should be cold pressed EVOO, walnut, flax seed, and grape seed. Avoid both hydrogenated and partial hydrogenated fats. Cook only with raw butter, lard, sesame, or olive oil. It is best to use unrefined oils such as nuts, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, black olives, avocado, black currants, and cold fish. These are high in omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids. These are vital for the brain, joints, heart, eyes, skin, and etc.
Sweeteners should only be consumed in small amounts such as stevia or tupelo honey. Tupelo honey is the only honey which cannot granulate or crystallize. It has a high fructose and low glucose ratio which offers a better choice for diabetics.
Other dietary/nutrition considerations are to avoid foods based on individual blood type.
A: Dairy, mango, oranges, potatoes, papayas, tomatoes
B: Peanut, buckwheat, chicken
AB: Combination or all of A & B
0: Corn, wheat
Diet & Health Risk Factors For Cancer
Colon cancer- low-fiber diet, high intake of animal fats
Bladder cancer- artificial sweeteners such as saccharin
Pancreatic cancer- x-ray exposure and chemically decaffeinated beverages
Liver cancer- drug and alcohol use, chemical food additives, and polluted environments
Breast cancer- overuse of caffeine, alcohol, standard HRT, low serum Vit. D, high intake of trans-fatty acids and saturated fats.
Tips to transit to healthier eating and better nutrition:
- Replace refined carbs with fresh fruits and veggies, and whole grains.
- Replace saturated animal and vegetable fats with unrefined oils.
- Replace caffeinated beverages with 6 to 8 glasses of pure water daily, herb teas, fresh squeezed vegetable juices and occasionally, diluted fruit juce is acceptable.
- Allow for snacks, occasional parties and restaurant outings. Skip the bread and rolls. Choose entrees roasted, baked, steamed, broiled, or stir-fried.
- Take time to meal plan and food prep. This allows for healthy planning for advance meals.
- Gradually replace unhealthy foods with better choices. This can take time to change a whole family’s diet and does not need to happen overnight. Small steps lead to big journeys.