Health cannot be obtained solely by pharmaceuticals, nor can medications fix the root cause of your disease. It’s important for you to develop a nutritional philosophy, both from the standpoint of disease prevention and in order to support your healing mechanisms if you are suffering from illness.
Let’s get started with changing your diet so as to activate your body’s healing processes, without any negative side effects.
Ensure You Are Absorbing Nutrients
Drink lemon water thirty minutes before your breakfast to stimulate your hydrochloric acid (HCl). A healthy HCl stimulates your own production of enzymes, which is needed to break down the food you eat in order to extract maximum nutritional value.
Eat “Whole” Foods
Whole foods (i.e unprocessed and not refined) are as close to their natural form as possible. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts will help to support healing as well as reduce the risk of developing chronic disease. Whole foods contain high levels of antioxidants, phytoestrogens, bioflavonoids and fiber as well as a natural balance of vitamins and minerals to promote healthier aging and an overall feeling of energy and wellness. At the same time, eliminate refined foods including white flour, white bread and white rice. And most of all, fried foods, no matter how tempting, should be given a wide berth. If you’ve been a slave to French fries, wean yourself off them by substituting sweet potato fries, and then only once a week. When mixed with doses of sugary sodas, highly processed foods and drinks usually result in sluggishness, poor digestion and contribute little to no nutrition.
Eat Your Greens
So-called ‘leafy’ greens are loaded with disease-fighting phytonutrients. They contain the phytoestrogens (isoflavones and lignans) associated with prevention against breast, prostate and gynecological cancers.
Try Raw Foods
The more whole and fresh your foods are, the more life force they have to them (live enzymes) which will help to support healing. Aim to eat raw at least 50% of each day. (If you reach 70%, you must decide if you want to be vegan or not!) And when you do cook vegetables, steaming is much better than boiling, because the veggie will keep more of its nutrients, and taste better as well.
The ‘Ugh’ Factor
Get over any disgust or misgivings when you hear (if you haven’t already) about an excellent source of protein, fiber and mineral content that’s been used for thousands of years: insects. Our six legged friends are munched on regularly by a quarter of the earth’s people, with beetles and caterpillars leading the list. One critter that’s starting to make inroads into Western diets is the cricket. It’s obviously more appetizing in its granular or paste form, so you don’t have to worry about crunching and munching. Made into protein bars, crickets are a terrific source of low fat protein.
Although dairy does contain calcium, contrary to popular myth, bone strength is not linked to the consumption of dairy products but more from plant based foods such as almonds, sesame seeds, nuts, beans, broccoli and kale. The acidic nature of dairy makes it one of the most inflammatory foods in our diet, which can lead to silent inflammation, a precursor to disease. Canned sockeye salmon is a great food choice for supporting bone health – its vitamin D nutrient helps the body absorb the calcium from other foods or supplements.
Shape Up On Sugar Use
Sugar will eventually overtax your immune system, gut and adrenal glands. Keep sugar levels down to no more than about 25-30 grams per day, which equates to no more than eight teaspoons. That’s a tall order if you have a regular Coke at 60 grams, or a fig bar at 30. The ambitious 30 gram guideline is from a World Health Organization (WHO) study from 2013, where it’s recommended sugar consumption be kept to 5% of daily calories, and that’s for an adult with a normal body mass index. Get familiar with how to read sugar amounts on food labeling, and learn to identify “added” sugars that go under different names on labels. Fruit juice concentrates, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose are examples of added sugars to be avoided, especially if they are at the top of the ingredient list, which means there’s more of it by weight in the product.
Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are a vital part of the membrane that surrounds each cell in your body. Consuming them gives you feelings of satiety, control with cravings and help to regulate the production of your sex hormones. Bad fats are typically refined vegetable oils such as soy, peanut, corn, sunflower and canola. These oils are higher in omega-6 (versus the anti-inflammatory omega-3) and are also highly susceptible to oxidation (they are not stable), which make them damaging and inflammatory to your body.
By making the effort to accommodate any of these diet adjustments, you are on the way to having a sound, hard-to-beat nutritional philosophy.