Good Nutrition // Healthy Eating

We have all heard the term healthy eating, well-balanced diet, clean eating, etc. So, why haven’t we applied it to our everyday life? Is it because of lack of knowledge that holds us back? Or have we simply adopted the motto that “you only live once” and then overindulge in the foods that we love. You were given one body, one temple to cherish and take care of. Let us act and declare from this day forth that you are a person who has embraced a healthy eating lifestyle and encourages people to do the same. Say these words “I have adopted a clean eating lifestyle”.

I know what you are thinking, I said it, so now what do I do? Let me help guide you into a new way of thinking about food. Food and nutrition are fuel for your body. To better illustrate this point, think of food like gas in your car. The more you drive your car, the more gas you burn. The faster you drive your car, the more gas you burn. When you decide to go for a morning walk or jog, you first eat your breakfast. The food from your breakfast will give you the energy to workout (your gas tank is full). You have completed your workout (burning fuel) and now it is time to replenish (snack time) and continue your day. Food is your fuel.

What foods should you eat? Here is a good tip. Healthy foods are colorful! They are red, orange, yellow, green, purple, blue, etc. Your plate of food should be colorful. Clean eating includes a lot of natural foods. Natural food is simply food that is grown and has not been altered. For example, fruits and vegetables are natural foods. Grains such as brown rice or quinoa are natural foods and should be a part of your everyday eating. What about meat? The better option is to go for lean cuts of meat and poultry. Lean cuts have less fat.

Nutrition is more than food. Water is an important component of nutrition. Maintaining key vitamins and minerals is also important to maintaining good health. The beauty of this is when you eat it replenish and fuel your body correctly. The foods that you eat will have minerals and vitamins in them. Do not waste your money on supplements, eat properly! There is a neglected area when it comes to good nutrition, and that area is herbs and spices. Most people truly do not realize the power of herbs and spices and how they assist with overall health benefits. Herbs are the leaf part of a plant that is used in cooking- these can be used fresh or dried. Any other part of the plant, which is usually dried, is referred to as a spice. Herbs are a fantastic way to add flavor and color to any dish, without adding fat, salt, or sugars.

There are twelve (12) well-known herbs and spices that are worth mentioning. Cinnamon, studies have shown that cinnamon can reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar and blood pressure. Cinnamon is known to increase the metabolism of the body and lower cholesterol levels, ultimately it helps aids in weight loss. Turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve heart and brain health. Turmeric works as a healing agent and is used to heal skin diseases, digestive problems, arthritis pain, and wounds. Cayenne has a magic ingredient: capsaicin (found in chili peppers). Capsaicin helps with weight loss by increasing metabolism and decreasing appetite. It helps you burn calories! Capsaicin is used to treat aches and muscle joint pains. Ashwagandha, ashwagandha is a spice that helps your body manage stress more effectively. Also, it may also help lower your blood sugar levels and improve sleep, memory, muscle growth, and male fertility.

Basil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Basil helps the body with digestion and controlling inflammation. Basil also helps in controlling blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. Peppermint can be used in the form of leaves, powder, oil, and even capsules. Peppermint is beneficial for skin, cold, flu, headache, migraine and can help in indigestion as well. It can also be used to treat muscles and nerve pain, menstrual pain, and depression. Oregano herb is helpful in treating respiratory disorders and urinary disorders. Oregano is a medicinal herb and has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Thyme in all its forms (flowers, leaves, and oil) are beneficial for overall health. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and insecticidal properties. Thyme herb can be used to treat diarrhea, arthritis pain, controlling blood pressure, stomachache, and sore throat.

Sage is known as a memory booster and helps in promoting mental functions. Research indicates that sage may be able to improve brain function and memory, especially in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Ginger is a digestive aid. Ginger helps to relieve nausea. Ginger is known to help reduced muscle pain. Ginger can also help with inflammation. Parsley is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins like A, C, and K. Parsley has antibacterial properties and may help support bone health, boost your immune system, and enhance liver health. Rosemary is a common household plant, this herb has a high concentration of the antioxidant carnosol, which research shows have promise in fighting different types of cancer and tumors. Rosemary leaves are also often used for indigestion, whereas rosemary oil protects the skin against acne, inflammation, and infection. There are more herbs and spices that help with overall health, I have highlighted just a few.

Smart nutrition and food choices can help prevent diseases. Proper nutrition along with adequate exercise creates great health. Eating the right foods can help your body cope more successfully with an ongoing illness. Understanding good nutrition and paying attention to what you eat can help you maintain or improve your health. Remember, you only live once! Be kind to your body and love your body. It is never too late to start the necessary changes to be healthier.

 

Author:

Loren Ferguson
Community Outreach Manager 

 

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