Good Nutrition – Key to Optimal Health!
Want great health and energy? Good Nutrition is key to optimal health!
The most important building block of health is nutrition. Food is the fuel for your body. You cannot have great health and energy without good nutrition. Most diets focus on macronutrients of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. If you want superior health and energy your diet should focus on getting large amounts of micronutrients which consist of vitamins, minerals and phytocemicals. These foods will give you a nutrient rich diet which helps prevent disease. Almost 2/3rds of Americans are overweight. They get plenty of calories but in terms of nutrition they are malnourished. It isn’t surprising diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are on the rise.
What is a nutrient rich diet? According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Eat to Live, a micronutrient-rich diet supplies 14 different vitamins, 25 different minerals, and more 1000 phytochemicals, plant-based chemicals that have profound effects on human cell function and the immune system. It turns out that foods that are naturally rich in these nutrients are also rich in fiber and water and are naturally low in calories. These high-nutrients, low-calorie foods provide what your body needs to maximize its self-healing and self-repairing mechanisms. Dr. Fuhrman says your future health will increase as your nutrients to calorie ration increases. This means some foods give you a lot more nutrients than other foods that have the same calorie count. These foods are nutrient dense. You want most of your diet to consist of nutrient dense foods.
Here are high-nutrient foods that actually can be eaten in large quantities:
Leafy Green Vegetables
Romaine lettuce, leaf lettuces, kale, collars, Swiss chard, cabbage, spinach, bok choy, parsley
Solid green vegetables
Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumber, kohlrabi, okra, peas, green peppers, snow peas, string beans, zucchini
Non-green, high –nutrient vegetables
Beets, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, peppers, bamboo shoots water chestnuts, cauliflower, squash, carrots
Beans and legumes
Red kidney beans, adzuki beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, cowpeas, navy beans, cannellini beans, soybeans, lentils, white beans, lima beans, pigeon peas, black-eyed peas, black beans, split peas
Apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, all melons, oranges, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples, plums raspberries, strawberries, tangerines
The key to great health and energy is to have the majority of your diet be high nutrient dense foods, so what should your plate look like?
- 1/2 -2/3rds of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, all different colors and half of them should be raw. Think of your entrée as a salad but a big interesting salad.
- Divide the 1/3 of your plate that is left in half. 1/6 of your plate should be a whole grain.
- The other 1/6 should be your protein. Proteins consist of legumes, fish, lean free-range meats. If you eat meat, consider meat as a condiment rather than your main entrée. Americans think of meat as the entrée. We need to shift this to the vegetables.
- Include healthy fats in your diet. Since we use fats as a dressing or in our food preparation, we didn’t include it on your plate. Healthy fats include cold pressed olive oil, hemp oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, rice brain oil, walnut oil, avocado, safflower, nuts and nut butters. Fish from arctic waters are good source of Omega 3’s.
There are many different diet recommendations. The U.S. dietary guidelines recommend more grains, proteins and dairy than Dr. Fuhrman recommends. Fit to Live believes that instead of having grains on the bottom of the food pyramid you should have fruits and vegetables. Your diet should have more servings of fruits and vegetables than grains in your diet.
The new dietary guidelines on which MyPyramid is based, promotes fruits and vegetables and whole grains. At the 2,000 calorie level, here’s an overview of what the guidelines would suggest.
- Fruit Group should provide 4 daily servings, or 2 cups.
- Vegetable Group should provide 5 servings, or 2.5 cups.
- Grain Group should provide 6 ounce-equivalents (1 ounce-equivalent means 1 serving), half of which should be whole grains.
- Meat and Beans Group should provide 5.5 ounce-equivalents or servings.
- Milk Group should provide 3 cups/servings.
- Oilss hould provide 24g or 6 teaspoons.
- Discretionary Calories: These are the remaining amount of calories in each calorie level after nutrient-dense foods have been chosen. Up to 267 calories can be consumed in solid fats or added sugars if the other requirements have been met.
Easy Ways to get your basic nutrients!
Americans over eat but still are malnourished because they just not giving their bodies the nutrients they need even though; they are eating lots of food. One of the reasons why you crave food is your body needs more nutrients. Changing your diet can be difficult for people. If you fill in your nutritional gaps with some whole food supplements, it can help stop food cravings and you are at least meeting your basic nutritional needs when you don’t yet have an optimal diet. I think we are designed to eat food, not something made up in a lab so it is important to me to use whole food supplements. I recommend Young Living’s supplements because they are not only derived from whole foods but are infused with therapeutic essential oils. Therapeutic essential oils help carry nutrients across the blood cell barrier. Your body actually absorbs the nutrients. Many supplements just pass right through the body, so essential oil enhanced whole food supplements make a difference.
Are you eating at least 7-9 servings of all different colors of fruits and vegetables every day? If not, I recommend taking Young Living’s True Source, a whole foods vitamin and Ningxia Red, which is a whole food antioxidant juice fusion. True Source vitamins are 3 gelcaps. One is yellow/orange because it is made from yellow/orange fruits and vegetables. One is green because it is made from green vegetables. One looks purple/red because it is made from fruits and vegetable from the purple/red family such as berries. It is an easy way to get all the colors of the rainbow into your diet. I take it on the days I do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Supplements do not replace food however. You should still work on increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables but at least this way you are getting you basic nutrients.
Young Living’s Ningxia Red is rated the best antioxidant product by Brunswick Labs. This is a nutritional powerhouse! It is a Superfood and an easy way to get phytochemicals that are critical to great health. It is whole pureed wolfberries, and some of the highest antioxidant foods in the world. It also is infused with 7 essential oils that have great health benefits. I drink a couple of ounces a day. This superfood increases your energy without caffeine or artificial stimulants.
Lastly, I recommend using Young Living’s Powermeal. This is a vegetarian meal replacement that is a powerhouse of nutrition. The nutrients in it helps build lean muscle mass, contains antioxidants to strengthen immunity, supports bone health and has the nutritional building blocks for regeneration and energy. I just throw a scoop into my smoothie. These are 3 easy ways to fill in the nutritional gaps of your diet. Even busy people can do these. I love these 3 products!