This is a very long article but well worth the read. You can bookmark the site and come back to finish if you don’t have enough time or copy the entire document and paste into a Word file…
For a long time people have realized that there is a relationship between food, and health. However, it’s only been in recent years that the true benefits of eating a healthy diet have been understood. Doctors and nutritionists alike know that there is a connection between nutrition and health due to the role vitamins and minerals play. It’s not uncommon today for consumers to visit their doctor for their yearly checkups where they are given blood tests that check for vitamin deficiencies.
It may seem strange that in today’s modern societies and first world countries that we would be the least bit concerned with nutritional deficiencies, but unfortunately due to the fast-paced, fast-food lifestyle, many people are overfed, but under nourished. TV shows like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, where he tried to complete a healthy make-over of America’s school lunch programs, and HLN’s “Cook Your Ass Off” bring to light how important eating the right type of food is to the human body.
The truth is, eating the wrong food causes most of the illnesses first world inhabitants experience today. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, some cancers, tooth decay, osteoporosis, and even depression can be traced to issues with people not eating meals composed of the right type of nutrition. There is even evidence today that many autoimmune illnesses like Fibromyalgia are linked to a deficiency of vitamin D (Pain Medicine, Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 452-458).
Thankfully, humans are resilient, as you learn more about nutrition and how it affects your health, once you make the changes the results are usually dramatic and astounding. And, the thing is, it’s not even that difficult. It really is simple. The truth is that good health boils down to this: Eat as close to nature as possible, eat mostly plants, drink water, move around, get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Supplement only when truly necessary.
Whether you choose a vegan lifestyle or one of everything in moderation — you can eat healthy, increase your nutritional quotient, and improve your health dramatically by understanding the role that nutrition plays in your health and disease prevention. In addition it helps to know where (and how much) fat, fiber, protein, and the various vitamins and minerals come from. Due to the commercialization of food and corporations lobbying the government, our information is tainted, the answers my surprise you.
Food Allergies & Intolerances
Some people have additional challenges to getting proper nutrition from their food such as food allergies and intolerances. Thankfully, true food allergies are rare. But, many people have serious food intolerances and should pay attention to those, avoiding the offending foods whenever possible.
Sometimes a problem surpasses a simple intolerance or even an allergy and becomes an actual disease. Celiac Disease has been in the press and in the forefront a lot lately. Part of the reason has to do with so many processed foods happening to contain gluten. Celiac disease is a condition where it is very dangerous for a person to ingest gluten due to the fact that their body lacks the ability to properly digest it.
Due to the reaction these people have from gluten they have experience actual damage to their stomach lining which then prevents them from absorbing nutrition through their food. If not caught soon enough Celiac Disease can actually be life threatening. Fortunately, you can do without gluten in your diet if needed by using substitutes. Today there are many substitutes available to help people who need gluten free food eats nutritionally healthy meals.
It’s become popular to eat for food issues when people don’t actually have food issues. There is no point in doing that. All you are doing is limiting the ways in which you can get the right nutrients through your diet. Don’t borrow problems from other people that don’t exist for you. You want to eat a wide variety of food, in mostly plant form, to get the nutrition that you need so that you are healthy, feel good, and avoid diseases when possible.
If you believe you might have a food intolerance, allergy or disease talk to your healthcare professional about your options.
9 Tips for Successfully Adding More Nutrition to Your Diet
Eating a more nutritious diet isn’t actually very hard. In fact, once you get used to avoiding processed food, excess processed sugars and the like, and within 30 days you will feel so good that it won’t be hard at all. However, getting through the first 30 days can be challenging. Some research suggests that many processed foods are addictive due to the additional flavonoids and killer combination of fat, sugar and salt. Due to that addiction, you might feel slightly worse before you get better, but not for long.
A properly balanced diet will improve digestion, energy, and weight will seemingly without trying become normal. Due to the fact that eating a diet full of nutrition that is as close to nature as possible, tastes good to, it will soon become second nature. Here are some tips to help you get a handle on your nutritional needs and stick to it.
1. Keep It Simple — Don’t overcomplicate anything to do with food. You don’t have to be a trained chef to prepare delicious meals for yourself or your family. Remember that most people typically rotate 12 to 14 meals all year long. If you discover nutritious meals that you and your family enjoy, there is no reason not to eat them every week.
2. Start Slow — Don’t try to change overnight. There is one caveat to this idea. If you are truly ill right now, if you have heart disease, or diabetes or other major illnesses, you might want to consider “going cold turkey” but if you are currently not in danger of imminent death, you can take it slow. Change one bad habit a week, and by the end of the year you’ll be a lot better off.
3. Remember The 80/20 Rule — You’ve likely heard of the Pareto Principle. This started as an economic principle but it can be used in every aspect of life. It says that 80 percent of your outcomes can account for 20 percent of your efforts. With food, we’ll flip that a bit and say that if you’re 80 percent “perfect” with your nutritional choices you’ll see the most results. The other 20 percent doesn’t really matter as much as you might think.
4. Eat The Rainbow — No, this isn’t about eating Skittles, in fact, you should never eat Skittles. Instead, eat nature’s skittles, sweet veggies, fruit and greens in all the colors of the rainbow when consumed in abundance will give you more energy, give you more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than any other food group. What’s more, when you eat them raw or cooked without additives, you can pretty much eat all you care to.
5. Healthy Carbs & Whole Grains — Incorporate healthy carbs and whole grains into your diet every single day. Starting your day with a big bowl of steal cut oats with fruit and some almond milk is super nutritious and healthy. You’ll feel better all day long. Your digestion will be improved you’ll get your metabolism hopping, and you won’t crave junk.
6. Eat When Hungry — One of the biggest problems with “diets” is that when people get hungry their natural instincts take over. They start craving the highest calorie items they can find. That usually means some form of fat, sugar and salt. Like donuts, cookies, chips, and processed cereals. Remember, it’s just nature. Anytime you get hungry, eat.
7. Plan Ahead — Taking the time to plan your meals and snacks for the coming week is an essential part of ensuring that you get enough nutrients in your diet to help get healthier and retain health. Lack of planning will have you in the drive-thru in no time. You’ll be tired, hungry and that natural instinct we talked about before will kick in. After all, you must eat, and the human body is designed to ensure that you eat the calories it needs.
There are even some studies that suggest calories are only half the problem. Someone can eat a 2000 calorie fast-food “dinner” and then be hungry an hour or two later. Why? Lack of nutrients. The body seeks more food to get the nutrients by signaling hunger. Eat enough nutrients some say, and you’ll be less hungry.
8. Drink Fresh Filtered Tap Water — So many people go for the bottled water, but the truth is, unless there is something wrong with your water supply, bottled water is not cleaner or healthier than tap water. In some cases tap water tests better than bottled water. You do want to invest in a charcoal filter for your tap to ensure that some contaminants stay out and so that your water tastes better.
9. Get Moving — While nothing to do with nutrition, it has everything to do with how your body feels. As you eat better you’ll find that you have more energy. You’ll need to find a way to burn that energy. Find a way to burn off some energy each day through moving your body. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 30 minute walk, or three 10 minute walks, try to move for at the minimum of 30 minutes a day.
Getting started on a new lifestyle can be intimidating, but using these tips to help you get started will work. The biggest trick or tip is to build new habits. Instead of having a habit of getting up, pouring out a bowl of sugary cereal or skipping breakfast and going for the coffee, start new habits that will lead to better health.
Success isn’t outside of your grasp if you just take it one day at a time.