We’ve been focusing a lot the past two months on how to manage depression and even anxiety. There are so many approaches and it really comes down to figuring out what works best for you! Each of us is different and the root cause of what causes us to be depressed or anxious is different as well.
Along these same lines, we wanted to talk about all the ways food can heal our bodies, not just depression. When we are depleted in any vitamin, mineral or amino acid, we become unbalanced and that is what causes discomfort and disease. This is a great infographic from Positivemed.com that helps us see just how important some of the most basic vitamins are for our general health. This information becomes even more critical as we age. Take a look.
So, without taking a couple handfuls of expensive supplements, how can we get these vital nutrients? It’s important to remember that these vitamins come from fresh, whole foods, not from eliminating food groups or overly processed foods. It’s great to eat your broccoli everyday but not if it’s prepared as a roasted dish, or covered in rich, fatty sauces. All the over cooking and processing eliminates the nutrients we desperately need.
Focus on buying and eating fresh fruits and vegetables and eat them raw, as often as possible. If we could all eat 7-10 cups of a variety of fruits and vegetables, 70% of them raw, we would be a lot closer to balanced health than many of us are now.
When choosing proteins, choose the whole protein. For example, don’t separate your yolks and whites. When either one is eaten alone, it can spike an insulin response. When eaten together, it has little effect on the insulin and provides a good, healthy, whole fat that allows are bodies to better absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K. Likewise for chicken, don’t strip off the skin. The whole chicken has many health benefits, skin and all.
We are headed into a busy time of year when parties abound and gatherings centered around food will be the common theme of the holiday season. As you approach the fun, make good choices. Choose to start your meal with a rich, green salad. Hit up the veggie tray and enjoy a little hummus, guacamole or even that tasty ranch dip if it helps you enjoy them a little more. Remember balance, and take from each of the food groups but be sparing on the sweets!
You will find, as you begin to shift your focus from eliminating food groups and limiting diets, to a whole food approach, you will be healthier and happier!