Nutrition, diet; probably the most apparent aspect of good health. We all want to know what the best food is? How do I get it? 'It's spoken of so frequently, and there are so many different opinions that it can become overwhelming and confusing to grasp. Hopefully, these few pointers below will get us all on the right track.
What is proper nutrition?
Excellent nutrition or a proper diet is composed of four main food groups. These are grains, fruits, nuts/seeds, and vegetables. With these four food groups, we can obtain all our essential nutrients.
A healthy, vibrant life CAN be achieved with the correct usage of a whole plant-based diet from these four groups. Eating from these will give us the ability to do more, live better, and be happier!
In fact, this is the original diet that God gave to humans in the beginning when he created Adam and Eve. Moreover, God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you, it shall be for meat." (Gen1:29)
This represents what man calls today, fruits, nuts, and grains, but when man sinned. (Gen 3:18) Vegetables were added to the diet. At this point, you're probably wondering about meat and dairy. We will cover this in another blog.
There is also the question of carbs/fats/protein? How much do I have of each? What do science and those living the longest tell us? These are all questions that need to be considered when making decisions in regards to our health. Again this will require another blog to explain.
What happens without it?
When we have an imbalanced diet, we are left depleted, and this is when problems arise. It is essential to ensure that we have the right balance of the four food groups, and then we need to examine each aspect of our diet for ourselves. An essential point to note is that each person and body is different. What works for one may not for another. While one person may thrive on legumes, another may need a higher proportion of vegetables. Remember that not all people are suited to the same foods.
Additionally, care is needed when we select different foods, ensuring that we consider the season, the climate, and our jobs that we are employed. Those living in colder climates should by nature, have different diets than those in warmer areas. For example, If you are physically employed, your diet may need additional nutrients or calories from these four groups, or if you are a pregnant or nursing mother, it may differ again.
As a great author said in 1905; "Often it is food that impairs health and causes weakness instead of strength." It is as accurate today as it was then. It can occur even with a plant-based diet!
A few simple guidelines to ensure you receive the right nutrients;
- Eat from the four food groups - Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
- Eat a variety of mostly raw foods. Aim for 60-80% if you can. Greens are essential
- Eat unprocessed and as natural as possible.
- Nuts should not be eaten in a large proportion as the others.
- Eliminate rich foods - Spices, white flour, refined grains and excess salt
- Stimulant free living!- No coffee, tea, chocolate, alcohol
- Eat your fruits and veggies at different meals - They digest at different rates
How to eat for optimal nutrition
- Chew your food well! As the adage says, "eat your drink and drink your food."
- Refrain from drinking any fluids during meals as this dilutes the digestive juices and makes them less effective. It also causes the stomach to have to expel the fluid before digesting the food.
- Vary the diet but eat simply — not too many dishes at one meal.
- Eat at the same time each day
- At least 5 hours between meals, Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner(if you have it) like a pauper
- 'Don't overeat
- Avoid that late-night snack - last meal 2-3hrs before bed
Lastly, never stop learning! If something doesn't work the first time, try something different. Health is achievable; you just have to learn how.