A piece on using food to heal.
Food is necessary to live. We all know that. What most of us don't know is how big of an impact food has on our holistic health. What you eat changes your mood, appetite, emotions, physical pain, digestion, mental health (this list could go on). Instead of eating to fill yourself, eat to feel your best. Yes we need a variety of foods to live; are you getting the proper nutrients in your diet to feel your best?
We can always use food as medicine. When looking in the fridge, I think to myself "What will make me feel better?". I want to consume things that will aid myself to feel better and help me perform optimally. I don't want to crash half way through my day, or have mood swings when bad things happen. I am striving to be balanced. Eating certain nutrients helps me achieve this.
Below is a list of foods I enjoy eating to keep myself feeling strong. I have faith that after consuming these items my body feels better and can perform more optimally in my day to day life. I will explain each of their benefits along with supplying you a valid source of scientific information regarding their claims. Although I try to focus on getting most of my micronutrients from plants or natural sources; supplements, vitamins and minerals are great to add to your diet to give you that extra boost. I have provided a gallery at the end of this article with photos of most supplements I take.
Since I am vegetarian and mostly dairy/gluten free, I do lack some very important nutrients such as iron, B12, vitamin C. Everyone is individual and I do have faith that vitamins/minerals/antioxidants etc. help me in feeling my best and may help you in your journey towards better health. I would advise you first to get tested by your family doctor to see if you are lacking nutrients (deficiencies) in any certain areas and then go on to trying out new supplements. There are always risks associated with herbal medicines and vitamins so please take with caution.
As many of my loved ones know, I love everything that is green. Green foods help me feel my best by increasing my energy, digestion and overall well-being. Green foods contain tryptophan = serotonin = improved mood. I make sure I eat at least 1 green thing a day (but average 3-5) to become more balanced from an internal state.
We should be aware, that the term "superfood" is being used commonly today in the health atmosphere, however, it is a marketing term used to state health benefits of a certain food. Many doctors out there may disagree with the word "superfood" as people take it too literally at times. Many of these foods are "super" since they have multiple positive benefits to your overall well-being. Adding them to your diet will aid in solving issues within the body but will not turn you into a "super human". I encourage you to always aim for increasing the amount of healthier foods you eat to feel your best as well.
In addition, I also aim to ensure my supplements and vitamins are obtained from natural plant sources. Synthetic sources can be risky. Aim for eating the food nature blessed us with on our earth.
MY MAIN HEALTH FOODS
I try to incorporate these daily.
1. Moringa Powder. This is my holy grail. It known for it's high vitamin and mineral content with over 40 various antioxidants. It is an ancient tree that has been used for years in herbal medicine studies. The leaves are then grinded to powder. I like to drink a teaspoon with water and lemon or add it to smoothies. I always feel an increase in energy after consuming this.
2. Spirulina. (Another green one). I love this stuff. It is an algae full of nutrients and being researched to have therapeutic effects on the body and mind. I find it easy to add to drinks and food since it is usually in a powder form.
3. Probiotics. They are known for aiding your digestive health by healing the gut. I usually take these in a pill form before bed each night.
4. Echinacea. It is known to protect against the common cold and help with symptoms of sickness. This immune booster can be found in tinctures, vitamins and powders!
5. Activated Charcoal. This black powder can be used many different ways. It is known for it's ability to pull toxins out of the body. It can be used in a drink or smoothie, as a toothpaste or even a face mask. This charcoal has been scientifically researched to help with drug overdoses in the past. I use it when I have had a weekend full of drinking or when I may have taken a large amount of aspirin, tylenol, or advil, to clear my systems.
6. Matcha (another green one!). Matcha is love, matcha is life. Matcha is super fine green tea leaves that are traditionally used in the Japanese Tea Ceremonies. The benefits are endless, ranging from cancer-fighting abilities to weight loss to energy increases. One cup of matcha tea is equal to about 8-10 cups of regular green tea. Step up your tea game with this delicious drink.
7. All Greens Superfood Drink. (This stuff is amazing. It is full of fruit and veggie blends, sea vegetables, digestive enzymes and herbal extracts. I bought it from Costco a few months back and still have a decent amount left in my tub. It does not have a horrific taste and it really cleans out the body when you need it most.)
8. Ginger. (Known to aid in digestion, decrease nausea and increase the immune response)
9. Apple Cider Vinegar. (Kills bacteria within the body and controls blood sugar)
1. Vitamin D.
(Sunshine vitamin, important for bone health)
2. Vitamin C.
(neurotransmitter and immune system health)
3. ThyroVantage HT.
(stimulates thyroid hormones)
4. Vitamin B12.
(nervous system health)
(antioxidant and enzyme stimulator)
(For heart and cardiovascular health, definitely necessary if you are a smoker!!!)
(increases serotonin levels)
(decreases time to fall asleep and quality of sleep)
(This is the most important one for me since I am borderline anemic. Taking iron with vitamin C improves it's absorbency. Important for the transport, storage and use of oxygen in the body)
(Is known to improve quality of sleep if taken an hour before bedtime).
(Aid in digestion and ailments within the body, a herbal remedy)
2. Liposomal Glutathione.
(Important antioxidant to detoxify and aid in cellular defense)
3. Vega Sport Protein Powder.
(A plant based protein supplement with many added benefits)
This stuff is to die for. It may be a bit on the expensive side, however, it contains BCAA'S for your workout needs and tastes delicious (mocha flavour is best). It isn't easy to find a protein powder with BCAA's already included into it.
4. (PLANT-BASED) BCAA'S.
(A workout supplement)
A great supplement to add to your workout routine. I feel and perform my best in the gym when I am consuming these during my workout. They are Branched Chained Amino Acids. They aid in recovery, muscle protein synthesis and energy. I won't workout without them. I did a school project on their efficacy, if you would ever like to read it I will send it to you.
(Another green one...anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Clears the body of odours.)
This comes in liquid form and is great to add to smoothies and drinks.
I do wish I had the time to take these every day but realistically that does not happen. I find it easy to take pills right before bed, so I keep many on my night stand (may be an idea for you). However, my favourite way to get most of my micronutrients, is from vitamin powders and liquids. I add everything into a large mason jar, add water, ice and lemon! This is usually delicious and filling. If I am craving sweets, I go to one of these drinks first and see how I feel. Below are some recipes I made but I usually just throw everything in and see how it tastes.
I feel experienced in understanding what nutrients I personally need the most and it may take you some trial and error to find out what your body needs. Don't rush the process. Understand we are all individual. Take your time and eat your greens.
This is how I try to flourish in keeping myself in good health. I'm always interested in trying new health foods so if you have any suggestions please let me know! Thanks for reading.
DAILY GREEN DETOX DRINK:
1 tsp matcha
1 tsp spirulina
1 tsp moringa
1 scoop greens superfood drink
1 drop liposomal glutathione
1 drop bitters
1 tsp activated charcoal
-Add all ingredients to mason jar with water, ice and lemon juice. Enjoy!
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp tumeric
-Add all ingredients to mason jar and stir.