When adopting a lifestyle of holistic health and utilizing natural healing solutions, it is key to chose healthy food options for our bodies. Think of it like this – back in the primitive days when the Indians inhabited our lands, they ate food straight from the earth without any harmful preservatives or chemical agents. Ultimately, good nutrition will guide us down the path of living a healthier lifestyle.
So what do the words, “good nutrition” mean to you?
First of all, there are four basic nutrients that we all need: water, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. In addition, vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients are essential to the human body. In terms of the necessity for water, consider that the body is actually two-thirds water and every function in the body requires it. In addition, water is the carrier of nutrients and the facilitator of moving waste products in and out of cells. Not to mention, without adequate water consumption, your body temperature could be affected.
As for the need for carbohydrates, they provide the body with its “fuel” to function. However, it’s important to pick unrefined food such as fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and whole-grain products as opposed to refined, processed foods such as soft drinks, desserts, candy, and sugar. The reason being is that refined foods contain very minimal vitamins and minerals and can actually lead to disorders such as diabetes and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if consumed in large amounts over a significant period of time (several years).
Protein is responsible for the growth and development of the human body. In addition, it gives the body energy and takes part in the manufacturing of hormones, antibodies, enzymes, and tissues. However, protein can be consumed in excess with a diet rich in meat and dairy which is also high in fat. Therefore, aim for a diet consisting of about 50 grams a day.
Lastly, as strange as it sounds, we need fat in our diet. Fats consist of building blocks known as fatty acids and these fatty acids are categorized as either saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated. These three categories determine how many hydrogen atoms are in the chemical structure of a given molecule of fatty acid.
From infancy to two years old, we need considerable fat to support normal brain development. In fact, fat is the most prevalent provider of energy for our bodies, as well as it aids in growth. However, after the age of two, our bodies only need small amounts of fat and unfortunately, too much fat can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and colon cancer.
According to allthingshealthy.com, “in order to achieve the physical, mental, and spiritual balance that you are aiming for, you have to maintain a balanced diet of whole foods.” For example, “whole foods are foods that do not undergo processing or refinement and they do not have added ingredients like salt or sugar.”
I completely understand that incorporating a “pure” diet does not come easy for most people. In fact, I am a prime example of wanting my “cheat foods” and falling “off the wagon,” with my food choices at times. Let’s face it – we are by no means, perfect individuals and we all have the desire to enjoy ourselves with food. Personally, pizza and pasta are my weaknesses and an occasional indulge in chocolate is quite common.
However, just having the desire to try to eat as healthy as humanly possible will take you far in this journey! In addition, I will do my best to equip you with numerous healthy recipes depending on your taste preferences, as well as a list of foods to avoid and specific foods to assist in treating an underlying issue you may have.
Hang in there! Just think – feeling better can simply come from eating healthier. It’s that easy and if weight loss is a goal of yours, 80% of that goal will be achieved through diet!