“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Good nutrition and healthy foods are vitally important in helping you to regain your health as well as maintain it. Unfortunately, far too many of us have never been taught what good nutrition entails in relation to a long and healthy life.
What are Healthy Foods?
Let me start by saying that because everyone is an individual you need to pay attention to your own body when making proper food choices. What works for one person, may not work the same for someone else. However, there are general principles that can be beneficial for us all. Please consult with your doctor and do your own research to find the best food choices for your individual situation. Generally, healthy foods consist of foods in their most natural, raw, and organic form. This means no artificial preservatives, coloring, pesticides, genetically modified ingredients, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, or additives of any kind have been added to or used on your foods.
Many people with mold illness experience gut or bowel problems that can make it difficult to adequately digest and absorb nutrients from their food. One way to overcome this issue is to ingest high-quality, nutrient-dense smoothies like this one:
- 1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 4 tbsp Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein Hi-Fiber
- 1 tbsp organic flax powder
- 1/2 tbsp Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds (soak for 5-10 minutes before blending to make a gel)
- 3 tbsp Navitas Organic Cacao Powder
- 1/2 banana
- 1 tbsp Navitas Superfruit Blend or 1/2 cup frozen organic berries or chilled pure organic acai juice
- 1 tbsp organic wheatgrass powder
Combine all ingredients in blender. Add a little organic cane sugar or stevia if it is not sweet enough. Add less cacao if you like less chocolate flavor. Use a frozen banana if you want it to be colder. It makes about 16 ounces and can be used as a meal replacement or shared with someone for an energizing snack. It is chock-full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Enjoy one every day for better health.
Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically modified foods have been genetically engineered by changing their DNA. Although there is still much controversy about this topic, there have been no long-term studies on the safety of these foods for our health or the impact these crops have on our environment. Common genetically modified crops include corn, soybean, canola, and cottonseed oil. These ingredients are present in one form or another in many packaged and processed foods. Although there are currently no animal products sold for food that are genetically engineered, many animals are fed these genetically engineered crops such as soybeans and corn. One way to avoid genetically modified foods is to eat organic. Organic products are not permitted to use any genetic modification. They also provide the benefit of avoiding pesticides and other chemicals commonly found on most produce as well as hormones and other growth enhancers given to animals. It is best to avoid genetically modified foods if at all possible and to choose organic products.
Some people with mold illness develop a lack of regulation of ADH which means that they are constantly losing water because their kidneys are not being told to hold onto it and thus they become dehydrated. Adequate water consumption is another key component of good health and is important for proper body function. The use of a reverse osmosis or RO filter for your water can remove many potentially harmful impurities before they enter your body. Depending on your needs, you can either get a whole-house system which purifies all the water in your home or a simple unit that you can install under your kitchen sink for cooking and drinking purposes. The filter system usually consists of a sediment filter, a charcoal filter, and then the RO membrane. Some systems also include a final polishing filter as well. You must properly maintain your system for optimal water quality including changing the filters at regular intervals as recommended by the manufacturer.
Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods that provide a lot of health benefits. Many different foods fall into this category. A few of them include:
- Acai (pronounced ah-sah-EE) berries are high in antioxidants.
- Cacao (or cocoa) is produced from the beans of the cacao tree. It is a rich source of antioxidants and has cardiovascular health benefits if consumed in its raw form. Heating it and alkalizing it degrades the flavonoids and thus reduces the health benefits, so it is best to find raw cacao for maximum benefits.
- Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as other vitamins and minerals.
- Flax seeds are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and many vitamins and minerals.
- Hemp seeds are an excellent source of complete protein which includes all of the essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own. They are also a good source of essential fatty acids, fiber, and other important nutrients.
- Other berries including maqui berries, goji berries, mulberries, goldenberries, and blueberries are all excellent sources of antioxidants as well as other important vitamins and minerals.
- Pomegranates are high fiber if you consume the seeds and also contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Wheatgrass is a good source of protein, fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals. Wheatgrass is a gluten-free product if properly prepared with no wheat seeds allowed to form before harvesting. Look for products that specifically say they are gluten-free.
If you want to improve your health, it is important to avoid hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. These are commonly found in packaged foods and processed foods and are also used in many restaurants. There are some oils, however, that can be beneficial to your health if used in moderation. The healthiest oil you can use is extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil. It is full of antioxidants and is beneficial for your cardiovascular health. Buy a brand that comes in a dark glass bottle and store it in a cool dark place so as to preserve its flavor and quality. Avoid other types of olive oil such as light or pure olive oil that are processed with chemicals and refined. Olive oil is best used drizzled on salad or other dishes but can be used for low-heat cooking. Organic unrefined coconut oil can be used for a wide range of applications from cooking and baking to hair and skin care. It may increase your good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. It is important to look for organic unrefined coconut oil. It has a light coconut scent and flavor. Be sure to avoid all refined and hydrogenated coconut oil products. For high-quality coconut oil as well as organic pastured poultry, grass-fed meats, and nontoxic skin and household products, check out:
If you order by clicking on these links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you. Check out their other all-natural products as well as their high-quality coconut oil. If you choose to use other oils such as canola, be sure to buy only organic varieties to avoid exposure to pesticides and genetically modified organisms.
If you’re like me, avoiding too many sweets can be a challenge. However, limiting or even eliminating your sugar intake can be very beneficial in maintaining good health. It is best for you to entirely eliminate high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners including aspartame and Splenda from your diet. This includes all diet sodas. High fructose corn syrup is added to a variety of packaged and processed foods, so it is important to read the label carefully. Go ahead and try a little local raw honey, organic maple syrup, or organic cane sugar if necessary. A wonderful alternative to sugar is stevia. You can use it either alone or in combination with sugar. This allows you to still enjoy a sweet taste while at the same time cutting back on the amount of sugar needed. Stevia is made from a plant and although much sweeter than sugar will not raise your blood sugar levels.
Throughout this website, you may notice that many times organic products are recommended. You may be wondering why organic products are preferred over traditional ones. Organic foods must follow strict standards to be labeled as such and are made without the use of synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers. They are also not processed using irradiation or chemical food additives. No genetically modified organisms can be used in organic foods. Does this make all foods that say organic on them healthy? No, not necessarily. It is still important for you to read labels and understand all the ingredients that are being put in your food. If you are not financially able to purchase all organic products, then it is important for you to make the best choices possible. Check out the Dirty Dozen list of the most contaminated produce and the Clean 15 list which gives you the least contaminated produce items available. If possible, buy only organic varieties of the products on the Dirty Dozen list. Choosing organic grass-fed meats is another important step to avoid the hormones and antibiotics that are routinely added to most meats.
Choosing healthy foods may mean making some adjustments to your current diet and even learning how to cook with new ingredients and finding new recipes. However, it is important for you to educate yourself if you want to achieve the best health possible.