Would you put petrol in a diesel car?
The food we eat has an overreaching effect on our health and well-being, whether we are conscious of it or not. Becoming more aware of your diet will help you to make necessary adjustments to meet the needs of your body – and it will do an enormous amount to maintain and improve your health.
There are 11 systems in the body which all need certain nutrients to function optimally.
Any lack of nutrients leads to a body that is not running efficiently. There are molecules we get from food that our bodies can not make so it is vital to ensure we have balanced varied diet.
We live in a world where there is not only an abundance of poor nutrient dense food but highly palatable and potentially addictive foods such as the mix of sugar and fat, which makes it harder than just will power to stop. They wreak havoc with our gut flora and immune system which has a huge knock on effect to health. They can cause huge cravings to eat more of the food. People feel like they have no control and defeated. But it is much more complex than just will power. This is why eating a balanced diet is so important to get everything back in line and lead to more optimal health.
Balanced nutrition will lead to a body working at best including less fatigue, optimal weight, reduced cravings, increased energy, better sleep, more motivation, reduced inflammation, reduced risk of chronic diseases as well as much more.
Nutrition – In these times of uncertainty and with everything that is happening it is more important than ever to ensure we eat food that will support our bodies as optimally as possible. Here are some top tips to ensure that you are giving your body an epic boost:-
- Pack in a rainbow of colours with your vegetables and fruit each day. The more colour the better. Each colour has molecules called phytonutrients which have different positive effects on your health. They are all antioxidants which basically means they prevent damage to cells and are anti-inflammatory. Why don’t you create a colour chart and get you and/or your family to think of as many different fruit and veg of each colour. Then tick off each one throughout the week. Aim for more and more each week!!!
- Stay hydrated!! – I know this seems like such an obvious one but so many of us don’t drink enough water. This doesn’t include tea and coffee but does include herbal teas and both still and sparkling water. Water is vital to feeling epic and just 1% dehydration can lead to fatigue and feeling below par. It is such a simple yet effective tool to have in your tool box to feeling awesome!!
- Try and get in lots of natural anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory foods – These foods will really boost your immune system and help your body feel awesome. Foods such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, sage, coconut oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice with warm water and honey (locally sourced and raw if possible) are all epic foods for the immune system
- Good Fats – It is so important to have good fats in your diet. These are fats like Omega 3s which are really high in oily fish (there is a great acronym called SMASH to help you remember oil fish, Sardines, Mackerel, Anchovies, Salmon and Herrings). Vegan options are flax and chia seeds as well as hemp seeds. Avocados and coconut oil are another epic fat for you. Fat also keeps you fuller for longer which will lead to less snacking and it has less of an effect on blood sugar levels which is an epic thing for the body.
- Be mindful of sugar!!! – I think this is another topic that people hear a lot but are unsure of what happens in the body. Basically too much sugar not only wreaks havoc with the blood sugar balance which has a huge knock on effect to lots of systems in the body as well as weight gain, it can also deplete the body’s nutrient balance, which triggers a cascade of inflammation and metabolic disruption. I would recommend to not have refined sugar more than once or twice a week if possible and have sweetness from natural sugars such as fruit.
- Eat whole foods as much as possible – Basically I always go off the understanding that anything with an ingredient list longer than 5 items has had processing. So get excited about cooking from scratch and experiment with recipes. It doesn’t have to mean hours of slaving in the kitchen at all. Very nutritious meals can take a matter of minutes cooked from scratch.
- Planning is key – the more time you put into your planning the more time you are putting into succeeding. I know if I don’t plan and just rely on will power I will end up gorging on food that does not support my body optimally and I will feel rubbish from it. So take some time once or twice a week to ensure that you know what your eating for you and your family. It will save time, money and your health in the long run.
These are simple key points that you can apply to your life without too much struggle. The main thing is to KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! Nourish your body with food that it is designed to breakdown and you will feel the benefits of it, including more energy, optimal weight, better sleep, balanced mood as well as so much positive effects inside that you can’t see and maybe can’t feel with all the body systems working synergistically.
Written by Becci Gowers dipCNM, mBANT, studying MSc in Personalised Nutrition – Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist. Founder and Director of IgniteYou CIC