Food is foundational to health. If you don’t have a strong and sound foundation in your house, no matter what patch work you do, it may all come crumbing down. The same goes for our bodies. What we put in our mouths or absorb through our skin becomes the framework and the fuel of our cells; the energy that drives us and enables us to defend against pathogens and disease. When it comes to building your foundation there are some practical strategies to keep in mind:
1) Eat organic and grass fed/finished as much as possible. You do not want to feed your cells with chemicals that are used to kill other organisms such as insects and weeds. Which means you also don’t want to consume animal products which grew fat eating herbicides, pesticides and GMO crops.
2)Eat the rainbow. So many of us do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, or if we do we eat the same ones over and over. Due to many factors such as decreasing nutrients in our soil, it is imperative to be eating 5-9 serving of fruits and veggies per day. A practical way to do this is to make half of your plate (at every meal) produce. Different colors in produce show us that they are made of different nutrient profiles. In order to intake all of the vitamins, co factors, enzymes etc. that are needed for the biochemical reactions that are happening within our cells it is important to eat all colors of fruits and vegetables to get a full palette.
3. Eat Healthy fats. Eating healthy fats at every meal is a priority as many vitamins and herbal compounds that we get from our food are fat soluble. Meaning they are absorbed by the body when they are in the presence of fat. And vice versa fat is more easily digested when mixed with specific herbal compounds. Fats are also the backbone of our hormones, so if you want a steady mood, energy, and the gift of fertility then make sure you are eating healthy fats such as avocado oil, avocados, olive oil, olives, coconut oil, coconut, ghee, nuts and seeds. And if you really want to support your hormones then try seed cycling (eating specific seeds at specific times in the month to support the cyclical nature of our physiology).
4. Take your food out of plastic. More and more research is coming out showing that plastics are contaminating our food and water supplies. Please store your food in glass or other non-plastic containers. Be careful of take-out containers that are plastic, hot food and soups will leach some of the plastic lining adding to the credit card size of plastic that we intake each week. Tea bags also have plastic sealant to keep them closed, which can seep into our tea. Plastic bags, and plastic wrappers should all be avoided for your body and the environment.
5. Food is medicine but only if you are absorbing it. Our bodies our smart and will not prioritize digesting if they are stressed by external factors. The body thinks that running from the tiger is more important than digesting the meal you just ate. To absorb food properly it is important to focus on eating, and only eating. Multi-tasting, working, driving, walking etc. while eating does not aid digestion it distracts from it. Instead give your body time to assimilate, and really focus on chewing your food so that it can be broken down starting with enzymes in the saliva. To optimize digestion of foods, make sure you are hydrated before eating but stop drinking 15 minutes before eating, do not drink while eating or for an hour afterwards as it dilutes the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. If need be you may take little sips of warm tea while eating to help with dry food.
Dr. Krista Imre ND. Naturopathic medicine addresses the root cause of illness rather than the mere suppression of symptoms. To learn more or schedule an appointment call Nature Medicine Clinic in Colts Neck at 732.305.8745 or visit naturemedicineclinic.com.