To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
Buddha (c. 563 BC to 483 BC)
10 TOP TIPS FOR GREAT HEALTH
Over the past decade or so there has emerged increasing evidence that our gastrointestinal tract (gut) hugely influences our brains and bodies. There is a whole world going on inside our guts and it’s affecting our health and how we feel and behave. Probably the best way that we can influence it, and the one that we can take the greatest control over, is via the food that we eat. What goes into our mouths will impact us today, tomorrow and well into the future. Knowledge is important, but using that knowledge is the real power.
These top tips make an assumption – that you already know the basics of a good diet, even if you don’t always stick to them. Just to reiterate, basics are:
< >Use fresh ingredients, not processed foodsEat 10 or more portions of vegetables and fruit daily, consuming as many colours as you can Add in more healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, unrefined poly- or mono-unsaturated fats)Cut out added sugars as far as possible; they are even added to dried fruit. Cut out hydrogenated fatsCut out artificial sweeteners – they are unpleasant chemicals.Eat at least 3 hours before going to bed Get 7.5 - 8 hours in bed/asleepEat breakfast 1-4 hours after waking, sufficient to make a total of 12 hours minimum.Reduces insulin resistance, which is the precursor to DiabetesReduces stress and inflammationImproves moodMoves lymph around the lymph system (which is the body's main line of defence against foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses) – lymph moves only because the muscles move; it does not have its own pump system like the heart for blood so needs us to exercise.Increases circulation heart rate and blood flow which delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.Creates Endorphins which make you feel good. Serotonin later converts to melatonin which is the sleep hormone and will help you have a good night’s sleep.Our brains are 60% fat – you want it to be good quality to maintain cell flexibility and good transmission between cells. Eat rubbish fat and the cells become rigid which mucks up their optimal functioning and therefore your optimal health.Every cell in our bodies contains fats. Make sure you provide the right ones by eating the right ones.Fat contains a lot of energy per gram (calories), so don’t eat too much of it. If you increase good fat consumption, make sure you decrease other fats or calorie-intense foods or you’ll put on weight.Avoid rancid fats – this means keep unsaturated fats (olive oil, sunflower oil etc) in a cool place and in dark bottles. Rancid fats will cause inflammation within you and, over the long term, make you ill.Cook with a saturated fat such as coconut oil since they remain stable at heat. Unsaturated fats are unstable at heat and will change to trans-fats which are highly damaging.Buy Cold Pressed oils if possible – This is where the fat has been extracted from the plant without application of heat. As mentioned above, heat can transform a polyunsaturated oil into a trans-fat nightmare (and it won’t say so on the bottle). Why I say ‘can’ is because it depends upon the heat applied and the type of oil. Essential Fatty Acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 must be consumed as they cannot be made by the body. We tend to consume sufficient Omega 6 in foods (such as in polyunsaturated oils, olive oil) and too much can be inflammatory. Omega 3 is generally lacking in the body (from oily fish, walnuts, flaxseeds) and is anti-inflammatory. Most of us will benefit from supplementing with Omega 3 if we want optimal health; make sure you chose one made from arctic fish or krill for its purity. 3 Astonishing Benefits of Coconut Oil
The difference between saturated fat and unsaturated fat is that there are no spaces for a hydrogen atom on a saturated fat. That’s it. The Unsaturated fats (and poly-unsaturated fats) have differing numbers of spaces onto which a hydrogen atom can attach. This makes the unsaturated fats unstable and more susceptible to spoiling with age or heat. The way to spot a saturated from an unsaturated fat is that the former is solid at room temperature which the unsaturated is liquid. The jury is out as to whether saturated fats are as bad for you as previously thought. Just don’t go overboard with them and ditch the processed ‘low-fat’
9.Eat Fermented Foods – Aim for One Portion Daily
Fermented foods contain pro- and/or pre-biotics. They are foods that have already been partially digested meaning there is less for your body to do to access their nutrient value. Pro-biotics are good bacteria and these will increase numbers of bacteria in your gut; pre-biotics are foods that your good bacteria consume, so the bacteria you already have multiplies and becomes stronger. You need both in your diet.
Examples of fermented foods are:
< >Natural yogurtSauerkraut (German, cabbage-based. I buy mine from Polish shops)Kombucha (Chinese drink)Kimchi (Korean cabbage-base)They contain enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants and polyphenols. Boost immune systemDetoxify and degrade pharmaceuticals and pesticidesBalance metabolismHelp control blood sugar level Lower cholesterolReduce hypertensionImprove liver function improvementCan help fight antibiotic-resistant infections Nutrient dense food does not equate to calorie dense food. A styrafoam cup contains 100 calories, but is not nutritious. An extreme example, but you get my point.Losing weight does not necessarily mean eating less – it means eating better.Fuel your body right for the best life you can give yourselfAny questions – please ask – firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this document, whilst based on scientific research and experience, are the personal opinions of the author and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you are suffering from a condition or symptoms that require medical attention, please consult a qualified medical practitioner.