As with anything taken into the body, food has medicinal properties. There is evidence that the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals in plant foods could interact in ways that boost their individual anti-cancer effects. An estimated 70% of all Americans do not receive sufficient nutrients. Getting the most nutrition from your food involves awareness.
Be aware of choices when you purchase food. Begin by planning meals. Planning meals prevents you from grabbing fast food on the run. It also allows you to incorporate variety and balance into your meals. Take the time to inspect food, compare brands, and read labels to ensure that your choices are tasty AND nutritious.
Be aware of choices when you prepare food. Food processing strips away vital nutrients. We are a nation that rates food in terms of speed, cost, and convenience. Buy foods that are as close to their presence in nature as possible (an apple versus dried apple chips). Educate yourself about retaining nutrients when you cook food. Cookinglight.com and nutritiondata.com are two of my favorite sources.
Be aware of choice when you ingest food. Consider how you perceive the food you are about to consume. Are you eating out of habit or are you truly hungry? Consider your environment when you eat. Are you eating on the run or are you ready to take in good nutrition? Consider how much food you need for energy. Are you sitting at a desk for the rest of the day or about to run a marathon? Lastly, consider how you combine food. Ingesting a little healthy fat along with complex carbohydrates (peanut butter with an apple) supports blood sugar balance better than either food alone.
Be aware of choices when you digest food. We digest when we rest. Eating on the run can cause food to pass through the gastrointestinal system without being properly digested. This results in lack of nutrient absorption, gas, bloating and fatigue. It is also important to know if you have a deficiency of enzymes, bacteria, or structure.
Be aware of choices when you eliminate food. Healthy elimination of food waste is just as important as ingestion. When toxins from undigested food or food waste increase in the body we see compromise of cellular function. Normal bladder and bowel habits for you must be maintained to ensure the completion of the nutritional cycle.
Dr. Noelle Butler is a Naturopathic Physician at Spring Integrative Health. She specializes in treating patients with chronic disease and cancer.