An herbalists view on how our diet can affect our wellness goals
The Standard American Diet known as SAD, is calorie rich but nutrient poor, it's dense in highly processed foods and lacking in fiber, mineral and vitamin dense whole foods. So as a Food as Medicine advocate and educator here is the platform I use to work with individuals:
1. Each individual has unique food needs
2. Different foods provide different functions
3. Variety and seasonal choices are cost effective and smart
4. Each bite provides us the opportunity to increase or decrease our vitality
Each individual has unique food needs
Based on our nutritional building blocks we received prior to birth, the use of medications such in childhood right up through today, the environmental toxins we are exposed to, rates of stress, lack of sleep, exercise or lack there of, and a whole host of other categories, our nutritional needs are going to be different. What works for one person may actual cause gut and digestive distress for another, even with in family groups. So knowing what food / health triggers an individual has is the first step. Following a diet that is causing inflammation and digestive stress isn't wellness positive.
Different foods provide different functions
Eating a diet that is filled with a varied array of foods allows the body to absorb the building blocks it needs to strengthen the immune system, create healthy muscle and brain building blocks, manufacture necessary hormones that regulate sleep and wake cycles, and provide for a self regulated detox system.
Variety and seasonal choices are cost effective and smart
Mother nature knows just what we need and provides it at exactly the right time (oh a little of my herbal back ground is showing here.) When we purchase and eat seasonally local grown food we are
1. Providing our body with mother natures natural booster for what ever germs are seasonally prevalent. Take for instance Springs diverse harvest of green leafy plants, who may be a little on the bitter side. These greens help to increase the bile production of the gallbladder which helps to improve the livers ability to eliminate the fat rich foods that are often consumed during the colder, darker months of winter, making way for the body to detox and prepare for a new cycle of growth and activity in the warmer months of the year.
2. Eating locally sourced seasonal foods helps to support our local economy but closer to home the contents of our personal wallet. Eating local means we pay less for the transportation and work it took someone else to get us our food, less money for processing and packaging, and when it comes to fresh food, foods that are seasonally abundant wind up being less expensive because it's product that needs to be moved prior to spoiling.
To find locally sourced food providers check out https://www.localharvest.org
Each bite provides us the opportunity increase or decrease our vitality
Coming back to the idea that we each have unique nutritional needs. What ever that morsel on the end of your fork is, is either going to make you feel better, or make you feel worse. When choose foods that are nutrient rich, that provide us the lubrication for our joints and brain activity, that reduce our blood pressure, increase our melatonin production for health sleep, we are bound to look better, feel better and work better. Where on the flip side if we choose foods high in salt that cause us to feel bloated, high calorie sugar fueled snacks that give us an energy high with the invariable crash, after time we are going to ache, feel cranky and tired and eventually be caught in a cycle of being tired and wired.