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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Think You Know About Nutrition? Think Again!

Go to any website with health-related content and one of the first things you’ll see is generic, recycled tips for healthy eating, losing weight and feeling better. Apparently we all feel bad these days and frankly there’s a good reason why: Achieving optimal health can’t be done by following just a few tips or tricks. Nutrition can be super confusing, and that is why I am excited to share some great truths about real food from Shane Griffin.

Shane Griffin, a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and the CEO of Whole Life Balance, an international nutritional consulting firm, began to notice that everyone coming to him for advice had the same issue: They’ve been following someone’s ideas to get healthy, but they simply still don’t feel their best.

By learning about Shane’s 9 Core Food Concepts, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep, almost anyone can achieve their optimal state of health:

9 Core Food Concepts to Achieve Optimal Health

1.       Keep your diet pure and natural: Your body’s vitality is at its highest in a pure and natural state. By consuming highly processed, GMO-heavy and impure foods, you create a buildup of toxins in your body that can alter your mood, digestion, energy levels and sleep patterns. Eating pure and natural foods eliminates much of this toxin intake, keeping you healthier and happier for longer periods of time.

2.       Eat proportionally: The food pyramid was right about one thing, you need different food groups in correct proportions to create a balanced diet – and a balanced diet is the key to reaching optimal health. To reach this state, consume six vegetables, two fruits, one protein and one starch daily. Remember to alternate these items and add as many colorful foods as possible!

3.       Maintain correct alkaline/acid balances: Many people are unaware that our bodies have an ideal pH balance, which is 6.0 to 7.5. Too much of one or the other can create an internal environment conducive to disease, create a buildup of waste, and leave your body in a weakened state or worse.

4.       Keep a constant variety in your diet: If you eat carrots every day, eventually your body will not develop a natural “tolerance” to them and won’t process the nutrients optimally anymore. Variety is essential because it keeps your digestive tract functioning at peak levels and allows for maximum nutrient absorption.  So when you eat those six vegetables per day, keep alternating them weekly for the best effects.

5.       Consume Raw Foods: Raw diets tend to frighten folks, but in reality, 60% of your daily food intake should be raw, uncooked items. You already consume many raw fruits and vegetables without thinking of them in those terms, so go into it with that mentality. When you cook foods, the heat actually reduces the nutrient value and you lose out on some the nutritional benefits of eating healthy. Obviously, you don’t want to eat chicken raw, but this plan is easy to accomplish with many of your vegetables and even some fish.

6.       Use food as a natural cure: By eating a variable diet in the correct proportions, your body has an amazing ability to heal itself. Food “treatment” can be highly effective for relieving headaches, promoting healing post-surgery, or even reducing flare ups with chronic diseases such as Chon’s. This can reduce your reliance on over the counter medications like Tylenol, which can be very hard on your liver. For example, Vitamin C is one of the best naturally occurring reparative substances in the world.

7.       Always consume in moderation: Never consume one or more foods to excess. This goes back to the law of variety, and eating too much of one thing can lead to bodily damage over time. For example, kale is extremely healthy. But if you have kale with every meal, you  are at risk for thyroid disease, you can end up with an underactive thyroid or even a goiter, as Kale contains Goitrogens – a natural thyroid medication.

8.       Address deficiencies: If your diet is imbalanced, you can end up deficient in vital nutrients. Almost every disease starts with a deficiency of some sort. Supplementing with natural vitamins and minerals is a fantastic way to “right the ship” and correct the chemical imbalances in your body, but it must be done carefully as everyone’s biochemistry is starkly unique.   

9.       Learn the principles of food combining: It may be surprising to some that certain foods just digest well together. Some react perfectly and others fight each other in the digestive tract. For example, meat and potatoes – an American diet staple – is a terrible combination. When combined, this heavy protein and polysaccharide become difficult to break down into the proper size and the nutritious center of the cells just ends up passing through the digestive tract, rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream. By learning which foods go best together, you’ll ensure your body is absorbing as many nutrients as possible.

Great tips, right? Would you add anything to this list? If so, what? Thanks for sharing!


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