by Life Enthusiast Staff
While eating is for most, an enjoyable activity, the constant intake of the wrong foods can quickly add up to a health problem. Generally speaking, you should avoid foods that are overly fatty (particularly hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils and fats of animal origin such as fatty meat cuts), those that are overly processed, (canned foods such as soups, pasta, gravies, sauces, etc.), and those that are overly sweetened. Artificial sweeteners are also a no-no for the truly health-conscious.
Here are some pointers on how to improve your dietary intake for maximum health:
Drink at least eight glasses of pure bottled or filtered water daily. Water keeps the body hydrated, which is essential for all organs and systems. (Excess consumption of strong diuretics such as drugs, coffee and certain black teas can increase your need for water.)
Avoid bad fats.
Avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (trans fatty acids) commonly added to refined foods as they have well-documented negative impacts on health. These chemically altered trans fatty acids will embed within cell membranes, particularly if consumed in excess quantities, negatively affecting the function of the cells.
Limit your intake of refined sugars including pasteurized honey. Refined sugars can lead to abnormal fluctuations in blood sugar resulting in mood swings, lowered immunity and lowered energy levels (fatigue). Try natural sugar (sucrose) alternatives such as tagatose, stevia plant or licorice root extract.
Eat healthy fats.
Increase your consumption of foods that contain the essential omega-3 fatty acids required by cell membranes to maintain structure and function. These omega-3 fats are particularly beneficial for the cardiovascular system and to help the body minimize inflammatory processes. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds - so try adding these seeds to your meal plans.
Add whole foods.
Consume mainly "natural" foods. Fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables are loaded with phytochemicals (plant nutrients) and fiber, which help to fight free radical action (anti-aging action) and keep the digestive system "regular."
Increase your dietary intake of organic berries (blackberries, saskatoon berries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, etc) as they are loaded with antioxidants that protect against aging and disease.
Eat more slowly and chew your food extra well to improve digestion. As the body ages, it produces a reduced amount of enzymes and stomach acid. This hampers the body's ability to absorb vital nutrients. To prevent or remedy this situation, you may want to supplement your diet with Betaine HCL and digestive enzyme tablets or capsules. These should be taken with meals to increase your ability to breakdown food particles properly. (This helps to decrease the absorption of large foreign particles into your bloodstream, which may provoke abnormal inflammatory, spasmodic and degenerative reactions.)
Add a multi.
It is often difficult to maintain adequate nutrient intake in this fast paced world full of processed food; therefore, it may be wise to add a high-quality vitamin-mineral supplement to your wellness program.
Evaluate your digestion.
If you suspect that you may have a digestive problem ask your healthcare professional about the CDSA test, a laboratory diagnostic tool used to determine overall digestive system health.
"Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food."Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.)
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