4 Foods You Can Start Eating Now For Better Health!
Cutting Out vs. Adding In?
As a Holistic Nutritionist, a lot of my time while working with clients is spend building plans that remove certain foods from the diet, so as to decrease inflammation and reduce the load on the digestive and immune systems.
However, what is equally important, and something that many don’t think about, is adding beneficial foods into the diet! The goal here is to add in foods that promote healing, increase the nutrient intake of one’s diet, and to diversify someone’s diet!
So, what are the top 4 foods I recommend adding in for general health? Read on!
- Bone Broth:
Bone broth is one of the best and most nutritionally beneficial foods one could add into the diet! No, I’m not talking about the beef or chicken broth you can buy at the grocery store; that’s the watered-down version!
Bone broth is made by cooking the bones/carcases of any animal (beef, chicken, or pork would be most common) for a long time. Although just bones are typically used to make bone broth, it is best to include other parts of the animal, such as the skin, joints etc. as this will provide the best nutrient yield (in this case, it can be best to use whole carcasses. The goal here is to boil these parts for long enough so that all the rich nutrition seeps out into the cooking liquid!
What kind of nutrition am I referring to? Well, these cooked animal parts can provide minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and important amino acids! The most beneficial part of the nutrition provided by bone broth is the amino acids, these in particular being proline and glycine, as they will support the production of collagen in the body, a protein that is the building material for nearly everything in the body! These amino acids are supplied by the collagen/gelatin that comes from the cooked animal parts and developed during the cooking process.
- Sea Vegetables:
While these may not be the most appealing foods to add into your diet, sea vegetables, namely foods like dulse, nori, kelp, spirulina, and chlorella, are some of the most nutrient dense foods in the world!
While they can provide a whole host of nutrients, the most important nutrient sea vegetables provide is the mineral iodine! Iodine is essential to support your thyroid in the production of its hormones. The thyroid is noted as the King of metabolism, i.e., the building up or breaking down of all things in the body, the production of energy, the regulation of body temperature, hormone output, and digestion! So, as you can see, the thyroid is extremely important!
In North America, sea vegetables are not a staple in our diets, and because iodine is not commonly found in many other foods, many individuals in Canada and America end up being deficient in this all important nutrient.
- Organ Meats
When our Paleolithic ancestors roamed the Earth, they had to hunt wild animals and forage wild plants to survive. After successfully hunting a wild animal, one of the first parts of the animal they would consume would be the organs. Instinctually, they knew that these parts of the animal provided the greatest nutrient yield and would help them restore their energy after a hunt.
You can see this same example taking place in the animal kingdom today, as many predatorial carnivores will consume the organs of their dead prey before eating anything else.
Again, these might not be the most appealing foods to consume, however there is no doubt that organ meats such as liver, are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet!
The fourth and final food I would recommend to support overall health would simply be vegetables! Of course, bone broth, sea vegetables, and organ meats are recommendations that may seem a little ‘out there’ but bringing nutrition back to the basics by simply consuming more raw and cooked vegetables is one of the easiest ways to support health from a dietary perspective.
Vegetables have a great variety of nutrition, from vitamins and minerals to fiber and antioxidants. While many people tend to lean on their favourite vegetables, or ones that don’t taste very strong, it is important to consume a variety of vegetables, in a variety of color, and both cooked and raw.
Remember, just because these four foods may be some of the most nutrient rich foods around, this doesn’t mean you have to start eating all of them in large quantities in order to be healthy! The goal is to not make healthy eating overly complex, and as such, eating a well balanced diet that contains fruits, vegetables, good quality animal proteins, nuts, seeds, and other high quality fats, and that is free of refined sugar and processed junk foods, will always be a step in the right direction towards supporting overall health. These four foods can simply act as ‘add-ons’ to bolster the nutrient density of your diet!
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Keep on living holistic,
Michael Sharp, CNP, NNCP.
DISCLAIMER: The information listed above is for educational purposes and discussion of general health information only. The information, opinions, ideas, and suggestions listed above are in no way intended to diagnose disease/health issues or act as a treatment for disease/health issues and is not to act as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Before taking part in any natural or alternative approach to health, these approaches should be reviewed by your doctor for approval especially if there are existing health conditions and if prescribed and or pharmaceutical medication is being taken due to the potential for interactions between medications and any natural approaches to health.