Nutrition“You are what you eat. What would YOU like to be?” Julie Murphy
What is Good Nutrition?
Nutrition is a word that we hear all the time, and if you’re not getting it right, it can be the main reason that you tend to feel run-down and poorly throughout the week. If your body isn’t getting enough of the good stuff it needs to run at peak performance, then it’s only logical that your body will start to feel the pace and slow down a little. How can you make this situation improve, though? Is there anything that you can really do to make sure that you start feeling fitter, happier and healthier?
Basically – to benefit from nutrition, you need to be prepared to learn about good nutrition. Eating a big greasy pizza will be nutritious, in a way, as it will give your body stamina and energy to get you through the day or night. However, it won’t do you any favors in terms of weight loss or improving your complexion, or attaining optimal health. Good nutrition comes from many sources – typically fruit and vegetables as well as good sources of protein such as meat, fish, eggs and nuts. By getting the right nutrition you’ll be able to sustain a healthy and quality lifestyle. So, just what is good nutrition? How can you know if what you will be getting is going to benefit your body or not?
In a world full of convenient and fast food, and a whole host of diets claiming to the be the best, how do we make healthy food choices? How do can we ensure that we are eating the way that will be best for our health, our looks and our energy levels? Well, we have found that if you follow the principles of the following diets, you will be on the right track. You can test drive them during your Day Spa at Home and see if you would like to incorporate the principles into your everyday life. Here are some summaries of our favourite diets for you to check out and see if they are a ‘fit’ for you:
The Alkaline Diet
The basis behind the Alkaline diet is that a diet high in acid promotes poor health, bloating, lack of energy, the inability to think clearly as well as craving foods high in sugar which may cause you to make bad food choices ultimately resulting in weight gain. This diet therefore promotes the idea that good health can be achieved by keeping the body’s pH at an optimal level by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts.
An Alkaline diet consists of avoiding certain foods in an effort to keep the pH levels of the blood and urine balanced, thereby hopefully preventing problems associate with acidity which is so prevalent in today’s modern Western diets. Advocates of the Alkaline diet & Food Combining Diets believe that many of today’s conditions such as some forms of chronic fatigue as well aches and pain can be traced to this over acid state in the body. An Alkaline Diet limits or prohibits meat, dairy, trans-fats, fast foods, caffeine and sugar.
Food Combining is a method used to help the body properly digest food. Modern life has led to a diet where we consume all types of food at once. According to those who tout a Food Combining diet, this has wrecked havoc on our bodies. The principle of the food combining diet is that our bodies digest both proteins and carbohydrates more easily when they are not eaten together as different types of food involve specific digestive secretions. Carbohydrates and proteins should not be eaten together but should instead be combined with vegetables and other ingredients termed ‘neutral’ foods. This will allow for easier digestion and help control weight. Refer to the image above for the guide to which foods should and should not be eaten together.
Immediate health benefits may be noticed and include greater digestion, less fatigue, reduced sinus problems, balanced moods, and weight loss. Many people who adhere to a Food Combining diet often report feeling sharper mentally as well as a dramatic increase in energy. This diet is not restrictive and there are no foods which are forbidden therefore making it easier for people to adhere to this diet.
The GI Diet
Originally developed for individuals suffering from Diabetes, the GI or Glycemic Index Diet, promotes slow digesting foods that are low in sugar. The GI diet may assist in weight loss as eating meals with a low GI will keep you feeling fuller for longer and reducing caloric intake. The intake of high GI foods makes it harder to control or to lose weight as it promotes the metabolism of these high energy foods instead of the metabolism of other energy stores such as body fat.
The intake of many fruits are restricted in this diet due to their high sugar content. Alcohol, processed sugars, and some foods rich in carbohydrates are restricted in this diet.
Good foods like vegetables and low-fat meats are encouraged.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet mimics the diet of our caveman ancestors by placing its focus on raw foods. It involves increasing protein intake through red meat, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. The diet also requires lowering your carbohydrate intake whilst increasing fiber intake through eating non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods have a low glycemic index therefore they are digested and absorbed by the body more slowly, and in doing so prevents rapid increases in blood sugar levels. Dietary fiber is also important in maintaining good health. Another aspect of the Paleo diet is to monitor the types of fats which are being consumed. Monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats are the ‘good fats’ and therefore more of these should be eaten rather than the trans fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Paleo is more of a lifestyle than a diet and is also known as the cave man diet as it focuses on raw foods. Typically, the Paleo diet is dependent on protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as herbs and spices. As with most other diets, the Paleo strictly forbids sugars and processed foods.
A reduction in sugar and salt are two of the greatest benefits of the Paleo diet. Salt and sugar are well known to cause the body to gain weight. Additionally, foods high in salts and sugars usually correspond to a higher caloric intake which almost certainly causes weight gain. There is also a higher intake of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants on this diet.
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Cut out Sugar
Sugar is the bane of anyone who wants to get fit and healthy and have beautiful, healthy skin. It is the anti-beauty, anti-fitness substance. There are many foods out there that are deemed to be nutritious but are loaded with extra sugars, which effectively negates any health benefits. If you are eating an imbalance of sugary foods your body won’t be getting enough good nutrition – so stay away from building a shopping cart full of sugars.
For more information on why you should cut out sugar, go to our Youthful Longevity page.
Savor Every Bite
Chew your food slowly and mindfully to extract the goodness out of every bite. Digestion begins in the mouth with mastication and saliva, so the more you chew the better your chances for reducing toxin production that leads to bloating and puffy eyes, all while ensuring that your body will efficiently break down the food and absorb the wonderful nutrients in every bite.
Chewing thoroughly and slowly also helps you feel fuller even when eating less food. Chew each spoonful slowly and mindfully while savoring the textures and flavors.
Include Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are absolutely vital for making sure your body is getting the nutrition that we actually need. People who suffer from low mood and other brain health issues can tend to have an omega-3 deficiency.
Omega-3s are also attributed with healthy heart and eye health and can be beneficial in reducing inflammation. Fish is the best sources of this, so make sure that include it into your diet a few times each week so are you are loaded up with omega-3 – it’ll pay huge dividends in the future.
Superfoods are nutrient dense and are loaded in antioxidants. The presence of these antioxidants and nutrients in the body help to neutralize toxins and substances that may compromise overall health and well-being.
Superfoods include foods rich in beneficial fatty acids like:
Almonds, Anchovies, Avocado, Brazil Nuts, Chia Seeds, Coconut Oil, Flax Seeds, Olive Oil, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Salmon, Sardines, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Tuna, Walnuts.
Fruits, vegetables and spices bright in color indicate they contain plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Great choices include:
Apples, Asparagus, Blueberries, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cinnamon, Eggplant, Goji Berries, Kale, Oranges, Peppers, Pomegranate, Raspberries, Red Beets, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Turmeric.
Incorporate super foods into every meal and enjoy their health and skin beauty boosting properties.
Out of all of the Superfoods out there very few come close to being as good for us as seaweed. It’s loaded with iodine which has been removed from our food over time despite being a key nutrient for healthy brain and thyroid health. Eat more seaweed to help yourself stay healthy and active in the long-term.
Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats are found in just everything that we enjoy, from crisps and chocolates to soft drinks. They cause serious problems in the body like increasing insulin, increase the risk of obesity and also help turn your body in a testing ground for an absolute hive of illnesses you would much rather avoid. If you want a diet filled with quality foods that are nutritious, make sure you avoid trans fats or keep your intake of them to an absolute minimum.