The topic of nutrition is one that is always present in our lives no matter where we turn. It's on the news, magazine articles, at school, at your doctor's office, and even is a major topic for many books.
Over the years, there have been many ideas presented how to structure your diet so you ensure a good state of health. The RDA established by the government recommends certain percentages of nutrients that are claimed to be a healthy standard for all people in this country.
Now you have many scientists and researchers stating that the RDA standards are too low and need to be revised to reflect higher percentages of nutrients. There are other scientists and doctors that claim based on your body type, you should only eat certain types of foods while avoiding others.
Many health officials advise the public to limit total fat intake to a low percentage of their total daily calories. There are other groups that claim eating a good portion of fat in the diet is actually healthy. So, who is right and what constitutes eating healthy?
Well, I think that society has made nutrition much too complex. Trying to calculate every single calorie and each percentage of nutrients every day is a little too unrealistic let alone confusing. I believe we need to simplify the aspect of nutrition in our lives.
Before we do that though, we need to grasp the real meaning of what nutrition is. Nutrition is any food item or substance that supplies the body with vital nutrients that enable it to carry out normal physiological functions.
Nutrition does not constitute food items that either deplete the body of nutrients and/or increase the energy expenditure by the body in order to process that food item. Nutrition from food should supply your body with vital compounds necessary for physiological functioning and not strip away nutrients.
Based on many people's diets today, there are numerous food items and store bought supplements that actually strip nutrients from the body. To eat too many of these foods and/or ingest poor quality supplements will actually leave your body less nourished than before you ate them. This does not make any sense! A good analogy will serve to explain this concept.
Picture if you will your paycheck that you receive from work. Now, let's say that every time you get your paycheck, you go to the bank and deposit it immediately. As in the normal case when you deposit your check into your bank account, it reflects as an increase in total account value.
Now? picture that every time you deposit your check in the bank, instead of adding value to your account, it actually diminishes your account value. You wouldn't like that very much would you? However, this is exactly what happens when you eat foods that contain little or no nutritional value.
Food items such as coffee, French fries, corn chips, soda, hot dogs, pretzels, white bread, donuts, milk and many other food items contain little or no nutritional value to them. By consuming these foods, vital nutrients will be taken from the body in order to process them accordingly.
I am not advocating avoiding these foods forever. I am simply stating that people eat way too many of these low nutrient foods in their diet. I would recommend adding plenty of raw vegetables when eating low nutrient foods to compensate for the lack of nutrition in these foods.
For example, let's take an average portion of chicken breast. If you ate simply this portion of meat, it would require enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other bionutrients for the body to process it accordingly. In essence, as in this case, the body will have lost vital nutrients in the process of digesting this meat. Most people would view that by eating a piece of meat that this would serve as nutrition for the body.
In reality, this meat added no nutrients to supply the body with its needs and it only really contributed protein. Yes, protein is important to receive in your diet and chicken is a very good source of protein. However, it is that many people don't eat enough fruits and raw vegetables to compensate for the lack of nutrition in their diets.
A typical dinner of chicken, baked potato, and a small serving of peas is still lacking a large percentage of nutrients. How? A baked potato really does not contain very much as far as nutrients. Yes, it has carbohydrates but it has no real adequate nutrients as in vitamins and minerals. Peas, if bought frozen and heated will have lost almost all vitamins and will contribute only some minerals, some fiber, and some protein.
This meal just does not contain enough raw enzymes, vitamins, and minerals in order to nourish your cells adequately let alone to process the food itself. Thus, even though you may have eaten a large meal as in this case, you still have not contributed many nutrients to your body to allow for normal physiological functioning.
When the body does not receive enough nutrients with every meal, it will draw these vital compounds from its reserve. The body normally uses vitamin and mineral reserves in times of emergency such as when a person has a cold, flu, or some other illness.
Think of the reserves like a savings account in which you use only for times of real need or urgent emergencies. You only want these reserves being tapped into at these times of real need. You do not want your reserves being used on a regular basis just to aid in processing the food you eat.
If your reserves keep getting used in non- emergency situations, as is the case when one eats a low nutritious diet, then eventually they become depleted. Once this happens, one is setting themselves up to become deficient in many nutrients, become susceptible to low immunity, and experience poor physiological functioning of the major organ systems.
At the point the reserves get used up, the body will eventually start taking whatever nutrient it needs from other sources. For example, if one has lost extensive calcium reserves, then the body will take it from the bones and teeth.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body and is very important in serving to buffer the acid produced by eating acidic foods and foods that contain very little or no nutrient content. So, if someone is not receiving proper amounts of calcium in their diets, then the body will eventually take what it needs from your bones and the teeth.
This is a condition no one wants to be in. Taking a calcium supplement would not restore this condition. In fact, taking store bought calcium supplements could actually aggravate this condition. Cells CANNOT absorb store bought supplements since they are synthetic and are not recognizable to your body.
In taking a store bought calcium supplement in this case, you will aggravate this calcium deficiency because your body now needs to process this unrecognizable compound and will use up vital nutrients in doing so.
Does it not make sense to eat foods that already contain the needed nutrients for proper digestion and that feed your cells with the vital compounds they require for normal physiological functioning of your body? Food items such as pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, potato chips, cheesesteaks, meatball sandwiches, pop tarts, processed cereals, white breads, and many canned/packaged foods contain very little or no real nutrients that are essential to the cells of your body.
In modern times, convenience has taken priority over actual nutrient content of foods. People tend to go for the food items that take very little time to prepare. In this choice for convenience though, many people will not receive proper amounts of nutrients that are essential for optimum health.
One can never get true nutrition from canned or pre-made foods. True nutrition only comes from whole foods that are close to nature as possible. Whole grains, fruits, legumes, vegetables, nuts, roots, seeds, eggs, and pure oils are the best way to receive the vital nutrients that the cells require for optimum health.
When preparing a meal, one should always seek to make these whole foods the main portion. You don't need to deprive yourself of your favorite food items. One just needs to structure their diets in a fashion where they are receiving a fair amount of raw nutrients on a regular basis. Eating only a couple pieces of fruit and a couple vegetables a day simply will not supply your cells with all the nutrients the body needs for normal functioning.
The Best Diet
Many people wonder if there is a special diet that benefits everyone. There are many books and programs that claim their diet regimen is healthy for everyone. I say that you are the only one who knows what the best diet is for you. Every person has his or her own unique blood makeup and genetic structure.
A diet that serves one person may not serve another. Your unique blood makeup will determine what suits you best. Some people do well eating meat while others do poorly when they eat meat. Some people do best on grains and vegetables while others do best with eating cheeses and other high fat & high protein foods.
You are your own master and only you know how you feel after eating certain foods. My recommendation is to experiment and observe the kinds of foods you eat and determine how you feel. For example, when you eat meat, how do you feel in the hours afterward? Do you feel energetic, alive and balanced? Or, do you feel tired and have indigestion? Again, you are the master of your body.
Allow your body and cells to tell you what the best diet is for you. I do recommend the following daily regimen for everyone. Conform the following recommendations to your body type. For example, if you know that you require meat in your diet, then just add meat to these recommendations. If you are a grain or cheese type then add these to my recommendations.
Suggested Daily Regimen for Optimum Health
Eat 4 to 5 fruits a day. I know that this sounds like a lot. You can easily consume this many fruits by incorporating smoothies into your diet. For example, take 2 bananas and a mango with a little distilled water and then blend into a smoothie. You can combine many fruits to make great tasting smoothies.
Another example, take a papaya and strawberries with some water and blend. A great idea is to freeze bananas and then use these in all your fruit smoothies since bananas make a great binding ingredient. Freezing them adds that refreshing smoothie texture. Make a commitment to yourself that you will eat 4 to 5 fruits a day. They taste great and it is healthy for you.
Eat as many raw vegetables as you can every day. Eat a variety of veggies, especially ones that are dark green since they contain chlorophyll, a compound that is very beneficial for your health. Also, vegetables contain fiber that is very important for proper bowel health and elimination. Make large raw vegetable salads for lunch and dinner and make the portions to be more than 50% of my whole meal. For example, make a large salad of red romaine lettuce, onions, avocado and red peppers. How about a salad of cucumber, fennel, olives, tomato, and carrots?
There are many combinations that you can come up with. Just be creative! Again, you can add shredded meat to these salads if you are one who does well with meat, or add walnuts if you do well with nuts or add goat cheese or hard-boiled eggs. Add whatever that serves you well. Only you know what serves you well. I can't tell you that nor can anyone else. Listen to your body because it is always communicating with you. Learn to hear its message!
Use healthy oils every day: Drizzle extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil or pumpkin oil on all your raw salads. These oils are very beneficial to your health. Use them daily since the fats in these oils are very healthy. If you are concerned about gaining weight from ingesting these oils I have news for you. You will not gain weight from every food item that has fat in it.
As you will discover in the chapter on weight management, it is not a healthy practice to limit all fat consumption. In fact, limiting your overall fat consumption can actually program your cells to store more fat on your body and may increase your chances of weight gain.
The issue with fat is the type of fats that people ingest that are not suitable for long term health. Almost all prepared foods such as canned and pre-packaged food items contain what are called hydrogenated oils that are chemically altered and are very dangerous to your long term health.
These oils can cause all sorts of health ailments and shorten your life span. Almost all restaurants and food manufacturing companies use these hydrogenated oils in their foods for the preparation process. If you ever see an ingredient listed as HYDROGENATED, then you know that it is not healthy.
Juicing: This is a great way to receive raw nutrition without digestion. You can juice any combo of raw vegetables. Pick veggies that are super green like spinach, kale, and parsley. Juice at least 3 to 4 times a week and notice how much better you feel.
Use seaweed: varieties like dulse, kombu and hijiki in your salads and meals. These sea plants are packed with vital nutrients and are great keeping you body clean.
Make homemade soups and stews with fresh vegetables. You can add anything you like. How about adding egg to make egg-drop soup or how about chicken broth soup. Be creative. Make a large pot and then store the rest in a big corningware container. Eat some every day for a main meal or a snack. You can dip whole grain rye crackers in it for an extra crunch.
Make your own homemade ice cream: Freeze bananas and then put them into your food processor and pulse. You now have instant banana sorbet. You can also freeze strawberries, pineapple, mango, peaches and watermelon. Use any combo of these fruits. Just pulse them in your food processor and you have instant sorbet. You can add fresh mint, ginger and other spices to make it an extra special treat.
To make you own ice cream just pulse some frozen bananas or any fruit you like. Add this mixture to organic milk or goat milk and then add some vanilla extract. You can add some stevia to make it sweeter and some lecithin (found in health food store) to make it creamier, Then just put this into the freezer for a couple hours. Voila?you now have an awesome natural treat. Experiment with this and other combinations.
Words of Wisdom
You are the only one that is responsible for your body and health. No one else will make sure that your cells are receiving proper amounts of nutrients. Some people will pay extra money to put the highest-octane gas in their cars to ensure they run well.
However, when it comes to putting the highest quality food into their bodies, the same attention is not there. Just because your belly is full and you are no longer hungry, does not mean that you have really nourished your body!
Your body is your main vehicle. You need to take care of it and love it just as you would a child. You have 70 to 100 Trillion cells in your body and each one has its own intelligence. In essence, you are carrying 70 to 100 Trillion little babies with you at every moment. Only you are responsible for them and only you can nurture and feed your cells appropriately. Your body responds to you the way you treat it. If you want optimum health, then you need to nurture your body and cells.
Eating healthy does not have to be lacking in taste. If you take care of your body then it will thank you in return by giving you optimum health and a great feeling. Isn't your health worth it? Make the commitment today to start nurturing your body and fueling it with Mother Earth's pure and whole foods!
IF YOU DON'T TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY, THEN WHOM DO YOU THINK WILL?
Rino Soriano is a Holistic Wellness Consultant & Health Coach. He specializes in empowering people to create optimum health for their entire lives. Rino had chronic fatigue syndrome for over 4 years and through self empowerment and holistic modalities he healed himself.
Rino's expertise in knowing how to create and maintain optimum health is truly revolutionary.
Rino now also offers online seminars for chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers that coaches them to restore their health.
His book How To Create & Maintain Optimum Health For Life is receiving high praise. http://www.healthsecretsneverbeforerevealed.com
Educating & Empowering People For Optimum Health
Rino Soriano -"The Chronic Fatigue Buster"