Tuesday, October 6, 2009

10 Practices for Best Nutrition

1) Eat the widest variety of foods you can tolerate. Every food has different nutritional content, so eating the widest variety of food that you can tolerate means you will get the most nutrients. Some sources of nutrients are easier to access in some foods than in others, and some require a combination in order to maximize nutritional value.

2) Eat food in a variety of formats from raw to well done and every point in between. Food releases different nutrients based on how it is prepared. Some nutrients can only be gleaned from eating a food raw, while others are only accessible through cooking. You will get the most every food has to offer if you can eat it prepared in many different ways. This helps to keep food interesting, too!

3) Eat as many colors in the rainbow as you can daily. Every color of food has different nutrients. Mixing and matching food colors means you get the widest array of nutrients on top of having something visually enticing to eat.

4) Eat whole foods as often as possible. Whole foods are much more nutritious for the body than partial foods. For instance, eating a whole apple will not spike your blood sugar level while drinking apple juice will. Nature put everything in there for a reason. (Seeds and stems don't count.)

5) Eat organically as often as possible. Organic foods tend to have more nutritional value than industrial foods, on top of NOT having the pesticides and other nasty chemicals grown into their skin. NOT getting poisoned on top of more nutrition is good.

6) Eat seasonal food from local, sustainable farms. Food that is picked ripe and has traveled little is way more nutritious than food that has been picked unripe and travelled half way around the world. You actually create a kind of carbon footprint, or ecological debt, when you buy food from around the world because of what it really costs to ship it. Sustainable farming means that the farm will not be void of nutrients in the soil within a few years. It means that the land and animals are cared for in a way that promotes ongoing life instead of sacrificing tomorrow in the name of today. You are helping to save the planet on top of yourself with this practice!

7) Eat fat, protein, and carbohydrates at every meal. Fat, protein, and carbohydrates are all critical for body functions. Depriving your body of what it needs routinely will result in nutritional deficiency, bodily breakdowns, and disease. Find the balance that is right for you.

8) Chew thoroughly before swallowing. Digestion starts with the eyes and nose, but the mouth is very important. Chewing thoroughly means that your tummy and gut have an easier time breaking the food down further. All of the digestive juices get flowing with a good chew.

9) Eat foods in rotation. Eating a food for 24 hours then not for 96 hours keeps you in good variety and reduces any likelihood of developing an intolerance or allergy to any particular food. When you can't just eat anything that other people can and your grocery list is limited, this also becomes important for maintaining interest in the foods you can eat.

10) Eat foods that promote the health desired. Eating foods that contain the nutrients needed to address illness is the best way to support the body towards health and well-being. I continue to be amazed at the power of food, the fuel of our very lives. You are what you eat!

1 comment:

  1. That's all great advice. I'm making a big pot of chili today to use up the peppers in my garden before the big freeze comes. The beef will be from "our cow," raised about 10 miles west of here. Regarding #2, I heard an interesting program on NPR this week with an anthropologist talking about what a difference cooking food had made in human evolution. We didn't have to have such big mouths/teeth for chewing raw foods for one thing -- and it made us more social because we hung around the cooking fire. Have fun this weekend at your art show -- I've been enjoying sending frog and rooster cards to friends!