Stay Healthy - Nutrition

Nutrition

The food you eat is the source of energy and nutrition for your body. Eating should be a pleasurable experience not one that causes guilt or regret. Getting enough food is usually not a problem in the United States, but getting enough good nutrition can be a challenge. What should I eat to stay healthy? This is the question we ask our friends and associates-many people have an opinion. There is a lot of advice available. Ultimately, speaking with your healthcare practitioner is the safest start.

Nutrition is a very broad discipline and volumes of information are available and can be expounded upon. The following offers an abbreviated glimpse into what we should keep in mind in order to increase our chances at receiving a healthy report:

Since the average healthy person is composed of approximately 75% water it is important to drink plenty of water - about eight, 10 ounces glasses per day. The amount of water you drink should increase if you are involved in sports or increased physical activity to avoid dehydration. Helping your body maintain a healthy balance or homeostasis (blood pH of 7.35 - 7.5) is important and can be achieved by maintaining a diet which is outnumbered by fruit and vegetable consumption vibrant in color and naturally replete in nutrients.

Taking small bites of food and chewing your food thoroughly along with at least 2 glasses of filtered water with meals aids in digestion and discourages constipation which can lead to a host of health maladies.

In most cases, if our immune system is functioning properly it is unlikely we become ill. Stress, environmental influences and harmful lifestyles and habits all conspire in the formation of abnormal cells which lead to pathology. When it comes to immune health, many of us do not consider how that converts into excess time away from work and for our children, away from school. Make a commitment to increase whole grains, nuts, beans, raw fruits and vegetables (wash fruits and vegetables well) into your diet. Good fats (essential fatty acids), flaxseed and coldwater fish (e.g. salmon) and other vegetable oils aid in heart health, aid in the prevention of cancer, autoimmune diseases and others. Stay away from trans-fats (hydrogenated) and animal fats.

Decrease sweeteners such as processed sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Avoid refined foods like white flour-based foods (e.g. white bread, pastries, bagels and cookies).

After meals, move around before retiring so your body can use its energy for sleep rather than digestion. Exercise regularly without comparing yourself to people on television or fashion magazines. Speak with your healthcare practitioner about a safe exercise for you and be honest with yourself about what you know you can stick with. Spend more time outdoors when weather permits. Connecting with nature promotes good mental health.

Get plenty of sleep so you are energized the next day. Remember the biology class you had in high school? Perhaps you do. The good news is lots of new information is now available about how the body works which helps us to understand it now better than ever.