Hey Fam! Welcome to another blog post. It is very important to know how to eat well. Why? Because just like how we put grade A fuels into our cars, give it the best oils and ensure that it is serviced every few months; that is the same approach that should be taken when fueling our bodies. However, let’s clear one thing up first. ‘Well’ is relative term. Well has a lot to do with a person’s genetic makeup, their likes and dislikes and whether or not diseases or viruses are present. So what is good for you may not be necessarily good for me. However, there is a sure fire way to ensure that what you ingest will be something healthy and good for you.
Eating well is ingesting the highest quality foods in such a way that the digestive organs are able to efficiently work together to convert food into energy and nutrients to optimally feed the entire body. So whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, an omnivore or have certain food sensitivities, here are four things you need to take into consideration so that you are able to eat well.
The Less Processing, the Better
Processing relates to food that has been heated beyond a certain temperature (> 118° F), or if the food was refined or if chemicals are added. Eating food closest to its original form is best; as the food will contain enough of its own enzymes to aid the body in digestion. The more processing food goes through, the more the enzymes in food are destroyed. The body then has to create these enzymes that are lacking; and the greater the dependence on the body to produce these enzymes during digestion, the more stress is put on the body’s systems and organs.
Let’s be realistic though; cooking and processed foods may be hard to avoid while living in this current fast-paced world. To consume certain foods like bulgar, quinoa, meats and sweet potato would take us quite some time to prepare, so that it can be consumed raw. The key is meshing healthier decisions into our current lifestyle in a way that is practical. Eating foods that are less processed is one of the biggest benefits of changing my lifestyle and embarking on my health journey.
So how did I do it? Natural smoothies, lightly cooking meals and avoiding refined carbohydrates and replacing it with complex carbohydrates are some of the ways. Smoothies is one way of keeping the body alkaline. It also makes it easier to reach the goal of 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by experts. I usually have an all vegetable, green smoothie as a healthy start to my day. They are so easy to make and are a quick way of eating raw foods. Another way is lightly cooking foods, for example, vegetables. The texture may take some getting used to; but it is doable plus it’s less time cooking.
Stay Away From Inflammatory Foods
In excess, sugar is a big culprit of inflammation. This includes glucose, fructose, lactose and sucrose. Now, the fact is we do not need to consume that much sugar in every day life unless extreme physical activity is undertaken. If we are honest most of us our days consist of mainly sitting or lying down. Among the worst offenders are white rice, white flour, white sugar, juices and drinks on the market.
So what happens when excess sugar is eaten? Bad bacteria and disease are living organisms that exist within our body. For them to multiply and grow they need fuel. And you guessed it! That fuel in one of its simplest forms is sugar. So while the body is receiving fuel, so is bacteria, viruses and disease. This gives rise to inflammation within the body and makes getting rid of any ailment harder.
Also, as a rule of thumb I avoid consuming a lot of ingredients that have to be declared by food manufacturers on their packaging as a warning to consumers. These foods are responsible for most of today’s allergies among humans. These are nuts*, gluten, eggs*, shellfish, dairy, soy and pork. Now I believe that we should be able to consume all these things because our ancestors, even back to Jesus’ days, were able to consume some of these things. However, because of how much genetical modification has been going on, the human body is not able to process these foods without an adverse reaction. Genetically modified foods are not new Fam. This has been going on for quite some time.
The digestive process starts in the mouth! The more chewing occurs, the more the process of digestion is aided. Food is broken up into smaller particles which puts less pressure on the throat when swallowing and the oesophagus when transporting the bolus. Cutting and swallowing is never a good habit to form, whether you are in a hurry or not. Enough time needs to be given to start the breakdown process of food.
Chewing and the chemical reaction of salivary enzymes is responsible for the preliminary digestion of food. It is said that we should chew foods up to 32 times before swallowing, according to experts.
So from now on chew your food. It will feel unnatural to chew so many times when you just start. However a habit starts after 21 days so at least try to make it to that point, so that after it becomes natural. Slow it down and ensure you are relaxed during and after eating.
Strategy is very important when eating well; because even if all the other steps above are followed, if it is not done in a way that is optimal for the body, health might still be elusive. The first strategy to implement is to start the day right. When breaking the fast it needs to be something truly beneficial to your body. Therefore ingest something raw and nutrient dense first thing in the morning.
Eat in such way that the waste from the meal quickly exits the body. This is a great strategy to implement as eliminating waste quickly boosts health. Optimally any food group combined with vegetables is digested easier by the body. Therefore combining protein and veggies, fat and veggies and other carbs and veggies are the most ideal way to eat food from any group. However, hardly anyone eats like this so a more realistic combination is consuming, lean protein, lots of deep leafy green veggies and complex carbohydrates that contains marginal starch, such as, pumpkin or sweet potato.
Another strategy is to consume most meals at room temperature as the stomach has less work to do convert food to body temperature so that it can continue the digestion process. Please allow the temperature to cool a little, before eating food right off the stove or to warm up after coming out of the fridge.
Eating well is simply including these steps in your eating plan every day – and preferably at every meal. This will do wonders for your health and maintaining a healthy weight. Converting food into nutrients takes a toll on the body and naturally becomes harder as we age; this includes producing enzymes. So let us give the body as much help as possible by implementing these steps. The healthier you become the less bad cravings you will have, the less you will snack and the more you will eat only when you are hungry.
Leave me a comment down below letting me know what you think. Are you going to try any of these steps? I would really love to hear if any of you are already doing any of these options. If you just want to leave me some positivity, click the heart down below. Kindly share this post with everyone, especially someone who may need it and keep the conversation going. Thanks again for stopping by, until next time Fam, walk good.
*I have these foods in moderation
Disclaimer:Any information shared is not meant to cure or treat any medical conditions. Always consult with your doctor about your personal health and wellness. I am not a health professional. All reviews are my personal opinion. Please do your own research on products and companies before using any product you find on the internet. MishiMatters does not claim responsibility for any of the products or companies discussed on this site but does its best to discuss only wholesome ones.
Heritage Integrative Healthcare. (2017). The Importance of Chewing Your Food. http://heritageihc.com/blog/chewing-your-food/
Enchanted Learning. (2016). The Human Digestive System. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/anatomy/digestive/
Healing Daily. (2002).Raw foods and enzymes. http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/enzymes.htm