“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
Eat well, be well
As we’ve mentioned before, the month of January represents an opportunity for new beginnings. Whatever it is that you would like to begin anew with, keep in mind that mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected. So whatever your goal, physical health through nutrition should be a priority.
Here are five nutrition tips to live by throughout the month of January and the rest of the year.
1. Limit your intake of inflammatory foods.
Many of today’s most serious diseases have inflammation partially to blame. For example, inflammatory activity has been linked to the worsening of Alzheimer’s Disease. In order to do everything we can to prevent illnesses that are affected by inflammation, we should be paying attention to the inflammatory foods we are eating and how we can limit them. Some of the most common inflammatory foods include refined carbohydrates like white flour and French fries, gluten, lactose and meat. Incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods, such as turmeric, into your everyday diet.
2. Do not ignore your gut.
Your gut is incredibly important to your overall health. It is responsible for sterilizing the food you eat in order to protect you from illness. It is also where most of the body’s serotonin is produced, which means it is partially responsible for your happiness. In order to make sure your gut is in optimal health, consider eating more fermented foods – you can ferment veggies yourself!
3. Know what whole grains are and eat more of them.
Did you know that just because something is says it’s made with whole grains, it does not mean that it is actually healthy? The FDA does not even fully understand this idea, which is why so many super light colored breads at the grocery store are labeled “whole grain.” When grocery shopping, make sure your bread is made of 100% whole grain and check the ingredient list to make sure whole grain is one of the first ingredients. Be sure to avoid enriched or refined flour.
4. Avoid antibiotics unless they are completely necessary.
It is becoming increasingly common for the healthcare industry to prescribe antibiotics when they are not 100% necessary and your doctor’s office isn’t the only place you might be taking unnecessary antibiotics. The meat and dairy industry often feed antibiotics to their animals since they are kept in such cramped conditions and are so likely to pass illnesses on to each other. But taking anitbiotics – especially when you do not need them – increases your tolerance to them. Strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are becoming more common, which is a scary thought. So don’t be afraid to question your doctor’s decision to put you on an antibiotic and reduce the amount of meat and dairy you’re consuming.
5. Lessen your intake of refined foods.
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard that you should be limiting your intake of processed foods, but we can’t stress this enough. Processed, or refined, foods would be unrecognizable to our ancestors. This form of food has been stripped of practically all of its nutritional value. Instead of snacking on chips and cookies, try swapping them out for healthier snacks like nuts or veggies.