Wellness begins with a healthy body. So, how do you begin creating a healthy body?
First begin by introducing healthy foods in to the diet. As you begin to give the body what it needs you may lose cravings for less healthy habits. If you stick with the list below you will begin to see changes in your energy level, mood, level of pain, bowel pattern and in other areas of your life.
Eat fresh vegetables and fruits – organic whenever possible
The average American does not get nearly enough vegetables and fruits, consequently, many vitamins and minerals are lacking in the diet. These foods should be present with each meal and should be the snack that you choose instead of reaching for chips or other packaged snacks. Try dried fruit and nuts if you are craving sweets and oils.
Why organic? The pesticides and herbicides that are used on conventional veggies and fruits are toxic to the body and also deplete the soil of minerals that we need in order to be healthy. These chemicals can interfere with your body’s hormonal (communication) system. Studies have shown that organic vegetables and fruits do indeed have more vitamins and minerals than conventionally grown foods. Presently, organic foods do cost more than regular foods but your health is worth it and in the long run it will save you on medical costs.
Choose whole grains and sprouted grains
There is an array of delicious grains that are healthier than refined flour breads. Whole grains contain more vitamins, like the B vitamins, and fiber as well as healthy essential fats. Wheat is fine in small amounts for some people but varying your consumption of whole grains can help you stay lean, improve your bowel function and increase your energy. Try grains such as brown rice, quinoa, amaranth or millet.
Sprouted grains are higher in protein than regular grains. You can find them in breads and even pastas. Soaking whole grains such as rice for 8 hours can be as beneficial as sprouting them.
Drink more water
Water is one of the most vital components to life yet it is estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. When we become dehydrated initially we will feel thirst but over extended periods of mild dehydration we no longer feel thirst. Choose water that is filtered rather than tap water. Even small amounts of chlorine and fluorine over time can create toxicity in the body and can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland*. If you drink distilled water be sure and add Trace Minerals to the water to replenish it unless you are on a detox program that recommends distilled water for a brief period.
Eat healthy fats
Fat is not something to be avoided. Fatty acids are required for hormone production and other important functions. The key is eating fats that are good for you and avoiding the ones that are problematic. Good fats include vegetable sources provided they are not hydrogenated or heated to high temperatures. Most Americans have diets high in omega 6 fatty acids and low in omega 3. The ratio of omega 3 should actually be 2 or 3 times that of omega 6 intake. Flax seeds, chia seeds, raw walnuts and salmon contain omega 3 fatty acids and avocados are also a good source of healthy fats. If you use flax seeds be sure to grind them and use immediately and store in refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from becoming rancid. Walnuts should also be kept in refrigerator or freezer for the same reason.
Most vegetable oils are unstable when subjected to high temperatures, they breakdown and become rancid. For this reason fried foods are toxic to the body regardless of what they are fried in. Nuts are also healthier raw rather than roasted.
Coconut oil is actually the most stable oil to use when cooking due to the length of the fatty acid and the fact that it is partially saturated. It can be a good substitute for butter for that reason.
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