Nutrition Is Directly Related To Our Health
It is an alarming fact that never before in our evolutionary history has humanity experienced so many life threatening illnesses; which is often directly related to making impoverished food and lifestyle choices. Moreover, very few Westerners understand that the nutritional content of our food has a direct impact on our bodies biochemistry including: organ function, cellular health, detoxification, endocrine health, immunity and how fast we age.
But before we can understand what good nutrition can do for us. Lets first take a look at what nutrition means to our bodies, why it may be time to take control of our health, and turn the boat around!
What is Nutrition?
The definition of the word nutrition comes from the latin verb “nutrire” which means to feed, or nourish the body. In ancient times, good nutrition was the primary form of medicine (along with herbs, sunshine and natural spas). In fact, the great father of medicine Hippocrates himself once declared: “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food”
See below for Elizabeth’s fabulously healthy and delicious recipe for Kale and Avocado Salad
Kale and Avocado salad
1 head of kale finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes diced (or use red bell pepper instead of tomatoes)
1/2 or 3/4 avocado
2 tablespoons olive oil
1and a half teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons red onion diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or substitute sea salt for tamari soy sauce or kelp powder)
Mix all of the ingredients together in the big mixing bowl, use hands to squeeze as you mix the ingredients and help to ‘wilt’ the kale and cream the avocado. This usually takes a minute or two.
Wholesome artisan delicious ingredients all mixed together in a bowl.
Serve immediately and enjoy
Beautiful finished salad served with quinoa. Ideal for impressing friends at a dinner party!
*This salad is great enjoy on its own with some raw seeded crackers, or serve along side a quinoa dish or lentil stew.
In modern times, nutrition is often associated with calorie counting and weight loss programmes – or in terms of standard daily requirements found on the back of packaged food! In our fast paced world, most Westerners have been seduced into mindless food consumption propagated by the fast food industry through the media (often in TV adverts), which has resulted in soaring levels of health issues such as type 2 diabetes , heart disease and infertility to name but a few. Many of these poor food choices are almost devoid of nutrients. And tend to create addictive tendencies. This is due to the addition of excess sugar and synthetic chemicals. It’s no wonder we are facing an obesity crisis here in the UK!
Wonderful dried funghi, grown on the Isle of Wight.
Which Foods Do Our Bodies Need?
Our bodies were simply not designed to consume what most people currently consider to be food. This includes: most animal products, glutenous grains, processed foods, coffee, fizzy drinks, alcohols, the list goes on… In fact, most forms of modern eating count as ‘dis-ordered overeating’, which creates a huge demand on the body’s energy reserves. Furthermore, the human body is not capable of handling such high amounts of sugar. Regular sugar intake creates ongoing stress for the pancreas causing it to release high levels of insulin (the hormone needed to regulate glucose), which is needed to lower blood sugar levels by pushing sugar out into the cells. This is what creates the high/low energy crash cycle after eating sweets, leading on to even more sweet cravings. Consuming high levels of sugar also places stress on the adrenals (the glands on top of the kidneys), in response to the spike in blood sugar they release ‘fight or flight’ hormones. Overtime, this may lead to an increasingly common condition called: adrenal exhaustion, which gives rise to a host of uncomfortable symptoms such as fatigue, feeling anxious, mood swings, and more sugar cravings!
It Is Time To Eat Healthfully
So what can we do about it? It is actually very simple. When we begin to eat well and make healthy lifestyle choices, it not only makes us feel good, but it can also greatly help to prevent many diseases and health conditions.
Over time, the mulptiple benefits of healthy eating typically include: weight loss, greater energy, better moods, improve sleep and a greater connection to nature. There is also an overall feeling of greater self esteem – which comes from loving and taking care of oneself!
Here are some holistic nutrition and lifestyle tips:
* Include plenty of nourishing and alkalising vegetables at each meal. Make sure at least half of your plate is piled high with vegetables especially ones of a dark green variety. The darker green the vegetable, the higher the amount of chlorophyll which is necessary for healthy red blood cells.
* Be sure to drink clean filtered water (reverse osmosis or distillation is best) throughout the day. Keeping the body hydrated is essential for health and helps to transport nutrients, detoxify, calm adrenals and assist in cellular oxygenation. Aim for 6-8 glasses a day and if desired add in some lemon or lime for a dash of flavour.
* Go organic whenever possible to limit herbicide an pesticide exposure – which are carcinogenic to the body and known hormonal disrupters. If you are unable to purchase all organic food then aim to wash and soak your vegetables and fruits apple cider vinegar to help remove the toxins.
* Get into new craze – Juice vegetables (fruit juice has too much sugar). Juicing helps to ‘predigest’ vegetables and ensures that they are absorbed directly into the system. Aim to stick to the green variety for the alkalising and low glycemic index, meaning they won’t spike blood sugar levels. Green juices have a beneficial effect on the health of the liver and can help to release stagnant emotions like anger or bitterness.
* Avoid damaged fats known as hydrogenated fats found in myraid processed food like crisps, cakes, bisquits and chocolate bars. Also avoid heating all vegetable oils including olive oil. Aim to cook with coconut oil or ghee since they are far less heat sensitive. Embrace healthy fats such as: cold pressed hemp, flax and olive and include plenty of avocados, seeds and nuts (especially almond and walnuts) for a healthy spectrum of essential fats and some healthy vegetable based saturated fats.
* Reduce sugar in meals and snacks! Swap those sugary bisquits at tea time for carrot sticks and hummous, or a handful of pre-soaked almonds for a protein rich snack instead. This will help to stabilise blood sugar and help to keep off the excess weight
* Reduce or eliminate regular consumption of animal products, or stick to occasion animal based meals. Switching to a more vegetarian based lifestyle means less tendency towards diseases like heart disease,arthritis, gout and colon cancer. If choosing to buy animal products then go organic and free range which means eating foods free of antibiotics and synthetic hormones. It also ensures animal welfare.
* Bump out the glutinous grains for better digestion including: wheat, rye,oats and barley. Consider using grain alternatives like quinoa (a complete protein food), amaranth or buckwheat instead.
* Find time to meditate, calm and centre oneself on a daily basis. Take up holistic forms of exercise like yoga or Thai Chi or power walking in nature.
* Avoid all processed foods and microwaved foods.