You are what you Eat...So don't be Fast, Cheap, Easy or Fake!
Updated: May 5
September is here, which means summer is wrapping up and fall is on its way. Another awesome thing about September and the late summer/early fall time is that home grown, farm fresh fruits and veggies are in abundance right now! Just in time for this super awesome nutrition blog.
We are all aware that eating our fruits and veggies is good for us and eating fast and greasy food is not good for us, but many people are unaware of the amazing power food has. It has been said that “The food we eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of Medicine or the slowest form of Poison” (Ann Wigmore) which is a pretty powerful and oh so true statement. In this blog we are going to hit the high points of what foods you can eat in order to keep your body healthy and on track and possibly provide your body a quicker path of healing from an injury. Get ready for a spattering of information about nutrition and ways to keep your body on a healthy track (and other such useful information):
Antioxidants provide our body with a way to fight cell damage and breakdown. This damage can occur for many reason, but often with injuries it is due to inflammation.
By adding antioxidants to your diet you are providing your body with a fuel source to fight and rebuild the damaged cells
Foods highest in antioxidants: Blueberries, walnuts, strawberries, artichokes, cranberries, coffee, raspberries, pecans, ground cloves, baking chocolate, dark chocolate, red wine, sour cherries, and cranberry juice
Eat The Rainbow
Brightly colored fruits and veggies contain something known as phytonutrients, which he make the body less susceptible to diseases. It is important to get a wide variety of fruits and veggies, so try to eat all the colors of the rainbow several times a week and take note on how good you feel!
The Mediterranean diet is a diet that has been recently in the news for its amazing health benefits. Research has shown that those adhering to a Mediterranean diet display less cardiovascular disease risk factors and overall better health.
The Mediterranean diet is comprised mainly of a “plant-based” diet. Half your calories you consume should come from vegetables and some fruits. This diet also focuses on good quality meat products with a large emphasis on fish like Salmon and Tuna, as well as high quality poultry products, while limiting red meat to 2x/wk (ideally grass-fed/organic). Diary should be limited to 1-2 servings/day. Whole grains should make up about another 1/8 or so of your calories. Of course, sugar should be avoided as much as possible and limited to 1-2x/week at the most. The other big focus of this diet is its emphasis on cooking with extra virgin olive oil as the main fat source.
The other key piece of this diet is the exercise component, which recommends 30 minutes of exercise most days.
Other diet options: AIP, Keto, Paleo…what in the world?!?!
There are so many diet words going around and everyone seems to be jumping on different band wagons because their neighbor, best friend, co-worker, or mail man are on it and doing great. Before you jump on board here is an explanation of the various diets out there and what health benefits may come from being on them.
AIP – Autoimmune protocol – This is an umbrella term that includes various specific plans. The basic idea is to eliminate particular foods such as dairy, gluten, nightshades, eggs, and sugar. Continue the elimination until symptoms resolve. At that point, you can slowly add one food back into your diet at a time. Research indicates it is better to add foods back in to your diet, as long as you tolerate them well, rather than prolonged elimination to prevent depletion or deficiencies in certain vitamins and nutrients that may be found in some of these foods. Most common triggers are diary, gluten, and refined sugars (white sugar, brown sugar, etc.)
Paleolithic Diet (i.e. eat like a caveman) – the basis for this diet is fairly simple in theory, but less easy to actual execute. The idea is that we have entirely too much processed food in our diets and if we go back to eating the raw forms of food and eliminating processed things (this includes processed white flour, enriched wheat flour, etc.) we will be healthier. Paleo diets mainly restrict grains, dairy, and processed foods, including all processed sweeteners. This diet has shown promising results with metabolic syndromes and MS, but research has been limited. Long term effects of being on this diet for an extended amount of time have yet to be determined.
Ketogenic Diet – the burn fat by eating fat diet. This diet seems to be the most popular as of recently. This diet is well known for its anticonvulsant properties when used in persons who are having seizure issues, but further studies have yet to figure out if a Keto diet plan is appropriate or sustainable for the general population. This diet seems to have a lot of buy in because its dietary intake structure is 80%+ Fat, 7% protein, and 8% carbs. It is considered a very low carbohydrate diet. This diet recommends to cut out most grains, fruits, legumes, and potatoes. The recommended fats to consume on this diet are avocados (oil/food), coconut (oil/food), olives and extra virgin olive oil, meat and fish, nuts and seeds, fish oil, flax oil, Ghee, hemp oil, and walnut oil. Some versions of this diet allow dairy and others prohibit it. This diet is not shown to be sustainable for most individuals, but has shown promising results for people cycling 20 days on Keto diet, 20 days on Very Low Carb diet, and then 4 months on Mediterranean diet plan. Further research is still needed in this area, however, this diet has shown health benefits for people with seizures, dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, migraines, and persistent pain. Again, this diet has not been proven to be sustainable for anyone to be on for an extended amount of time.
Glycemic Fruit index
Everyone knows fruits are healthy, but there are actually some fruits that are better for you than others and these fruits pertain to the glycemic index. The glycemic index shows how much sugar are in certain kinds of fruits. Just like in regular food, lower sugar is better, so hence with fruit the lower the glycemic index the more optimal it is for you.
Low Glycemic fruits: Grapefruits, apples, kiwis, pears, nectarines, oranges, grapes, berries, and bananas
Medium Glycemic fruit: Cantaloupe, apricots, cherries, figs, peaches, and raisins
High Glycemic fruit: Watermelon.
Sugar, yes even fruit sugar, can cause harm to your body, especially if it is already struggling with an injury or disease process. Choosing fruits with lower sugar will provide your body with important and healthy nutrients while not giving your body a jolt of sugar that may set it off
Hopefully, you survived that fast paced trip through the world of diet and nutrition. We tried to hit the high points while not having you glaze over from the amount of information. If you do have further questions regarding how you can use food and diet to heal your body give us a call today. Laurel and Tara are ready to assist in this matter and are certified in functional nutrition for pain management. Now get out there and enjoy all the farm fresh produce before it is all gone!