We all hear about heatlhy diet but where to start? I give 10 easy steps for a good start
1 - Eat fruits away form the meals
Fruits are digested faster than the other foods (around 20 minutes). They are passing through the stomach and are digested in the small intestine. When they are eaten at the end of the meals they stay longer in the stomach waiting for the other food to be digested. This process leads to intestinal fermentations.
It is recommended to eat fruits either 1 hour before the meal or 3 hours after.
2 - Chew your food
Chewing food is the first step of the digestion. We consume fewer calories with mastication as our brain takes 20 minutes to signal the stomach that we are full (for more informations check my article mastication-salivation-digestion.html)
3- Start the meals with raw food
To ease digestion it is recommended to eat the raw aliments at the beginning of the meal (a small salad, a carrot, some cucumber…) as our organism doesn’t recognize the molecules transformed by the cooking process. Our immune system starts to work against those “intruders” as soon as we ingest them. Starting a meal with raw food, soothes our organism, and allows our immune system to do its normal job of fighting invading substances and toxins.
4 - Avoid refined and processed foods
They are poor in nutrients. Reducing their consumption is a first step towards health that you can all start today. It is best to avoid white products and look for whole foods richer in fibers, vitamins and minerals.
Often processed foods are full of additives, salt, sugar and unhealthy fats.
5 - Go easy on salt
We are consuming too much salt. Processed foods contain too much salt. Food manufacturers use salt as a taste enhancer.
Our body needs salt to function. It allows the transfer of information from our brain to our body; however, excess sodium can damage blood vessels and links to hypertension and heart diseases.
6 - Drink water but not with the meals
The human body is made of around 70% water. A person loses around 2 liters of water per day with urine, sweat, stools, perspiration and breathing. Drinking water allows us to eliminate some of the environmental toxins, it regulates our blood sugar, it stabilizes our body temperature, and it helps digest the food we ingest. However, the water we drink during our meal dilutes the food and slow down the action of the digestive enzymes. It is recommended to maintain a gap of 30 minutes before the meals and one hour after.
7 - Have a light dinner
Enzymes and hormones work differently depending on the time of day. As our activity reduces as the day progresses so it is recommended to eat a light dinner at least two hours before bed time consisting mainly of raw and cooked vegetables served with olive oil or canola oil. Avoid carbohydrates (fruits, sweet desserts, bread and cereals).
8 - Eat less with a focus on quality with local fruits and vegetables and as much as possible organic products
Organic foods have more beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals as well as better taste. They also contain fewer or no pesticides and reduce the accumulation of toxins in our organism.
Organic food is often more expensive than conventionally grown food so we buy less of that product, however, we need to eat less of that product richer in beneficial nutrients to cover our daily needs.
To reduce portions use smaller plates. Larger plates can make a serving of food appears smaller, and smaller plates can lead us to misjudge that very same quantity of food as being significantly larger.
9 - Eat at regular times
People who eat at regular times have healthier diets overall. The liver genes [organ that cleans the body] work better with regular times.
10 - Favor healthy fats
It is important to eat omega 3 rich food such as cold-water fishes, canola oil, linseed, nuts and seeds. Those fatty acids cannot be produced by the body like other fats.
We need adequate fat to support metabolism, for cell signaling, for the health of various body tissues, immunity, hormone production, and the absorption of many nutrients [such as vitamins A and D]. It is important to limit the consumption of saturated fats such as the ones in meat, dairies, cooked meat, and cakes.