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Blog Post: You Are What You Eat – How a Healthy Diet Can Help You Feel Better

Posted Mar 02, 2017

You’ve probably heard the saying – you are what you eat! But, have you thought about it… literally?

Huffington Post wrote an article comparing exercise and diet when trying to lose weight, in which they interviewed two experts in the nutrition field. One expert, Shawn Talbott, stated that weight loss is roughly 75% diet, and 25% exercise. While both are important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Talbott says: “You can’t out exercise a bad diet.”

What we put into our bodies fuels our bodies’ health and wellness. When we fill our body with holistic, nutrient dense foods, the more energy and nutrients our bodies possess to fight illness and disease. Our bodies are complex machines, needing many different types of nutrients and trace minerals to function at full capacity. Each food group and food type possess differing nutrient and mineral profiles. This is why diverse, whole, naturally produced, unprocessed and unrefined foods are best for an optimal diet – as they naturally possess these nutrients in their genetic makeup.

Example: You have an organically grown, local Sweet Potato. In a quick Google search, we find that Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6… and the list goes on. A Sweet Potato will only possess these nutrients, if it is grown in soil that possesses these nutrients. It cannot naturally be re-added later. And when we eat this Sweet Potato, our bodies then absorb these nutrients into our makeup. Beta-carotene, associated with the orange colouring in fruits and vegetables, then acts to fortify our eye sight, skin, etc. When healing ailments of the skin, it is recommended to incorporate foods rich in beta-carotene to your diet, as both a preventative and treatment method*. By eating foods that possess nutrients specialized to fight our ailments… we fortify our bodies ability to overcome these illnesses.

With that in mind, we’ve done some research into foods, habits and herbs that target – Joints! Although science cannot claim that diet alone cures certain diseases… we have seen tremendous benefits when targeting symptoms through diet and lifestyle changes. For those suffering from arthritis, the symptoms often look like inflamed joints, and tissues surrounding the joints. By eating foods that reduce inflammation, and eliminating foods that create flare ups… there is a possibility for relief! Here is what we found:

Do:

  • Eat ocean fish, such as mackerel, salmon and herring. (Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids ease swelling and pain)
  • Eat foods rich in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, sea-buckthorn, kiwi and bell peppers. (Vitamin C has a positive influence when fighting off disease)
  • Eat foods abundant in Vitamin E, found in plants. (Vitamin E intercepts oxygen free radicals)
  • A diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains ensures a dense nutrient makeup.
  • Eat high fibre, low-calorie foods.
  • Use herbs that boost your immune system and possess anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Use salves that sooth pain, or cool muds to chill the area.
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Tai Chi is a slow moving exercise, which targets joints while strengthening balance.
  • Use herbs rich in GLA, such as evening primrose, borage, black current or hemp seeds.

Don’t:

  • Drink too much coffee, alcohol and nicotine. These all lower your immune system.
  • Overload on milk products, heavy oils and fatty meats like beef or pork.
  • Consume refined or heavily processed foods.
  • Ignore food allergies that could be causing flare-ups?

If you’re ready to try something different in the name of better health, why not start with what you’re using to fuel your body? When making any significant changes to your diet, it’s recommended to keep a food diary. Write down what you eat on a daily basis, and any changes you notice. If eliminating a food, do so for a minimum of 2 weeks to ensure that the food has fully exited your system. Then make note of the changes. If you do decide to reincorporate some foods, make note of these changes. By keeping this journal, you are mapping your food journey. It is empowering to know your body, and how it responds to certain foods.

References:

Readers Digest: 1,001 Natural Remedies for Healthy Living
Readers Digest: Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal

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