14 January, 2009

Health Tip of the Day - Food is Medicine

Everything you put in your mouth (or on your skin) has an effect on your body, for good or for ill - there is no neutral ground. Food can be like a powerful drug. It can have a chemical affect on our body and alter our emotional state.

To keep your mind clear and body in balance, eliminate foods high in refined sugar and unhealthy fats. Replace non-foods with high quality nutritious food. Go for colorful meals. Experiment with a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Think of the rainbow when putting together a salad or vegetable tray. White is not only the absence of color, it generally indicates an absence of nutrition.

Your tongue, your palate, responds to the training you (or your parents) give it. Taste is a product of habit. The cause of a habit is repetition, so to change unhealthy habits, substitute something positive:

☻ Instead of coffee, start your day with a large glass (32 ounces - drink slowly, especially at first) of water with 1/2 a lemon squeezed into it. You have been without fluids for 8 to 10 hours or more. One of the signs of dehydration is lagging energy. If you have to sweeten it, add a touch of honey, agave, or (green) stevia, but decrease the amount from day to day to lessen your dependence on that burst of sweet.
☻ Replace that doughnut in your morning snack with an apple or pear. You still get to satisfy your sweet tooth, but the extra nutrients and enzymes will keep you going longer.
☻ Add darker leafy greens to your salad, rather than relying on iceberg lettuce, which loses any nutrition it has quickly after harvest.
☻ Keep raw (not roasted or salted) nuts on hand for quick snacks instead of candy bars. The B vitamins and healthy fats in them will give your brain a boost.
☻ Fill your refrigerator with a variety of cut up veggies or fruit. They will be easy snacks to grab (instead of chips) when you have the munchies. The crunch factor is still there, but with a lot more benefits.

You get the idea. Let your imagination take you to a better place in your health, through the food you eat.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General of the 2.2 million deaths in America each year, 1.8 million are diet related. Research shows that eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables protects you against cancer, heart disease, and the effects of aging.

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