Food That Loves You Back

I like to think of the human body as a beautiful plant with limitless capabilities. I understand this is a super simplistic way of looking at the human body, yet most can relate to a plant and what it takes to thrive. When considering a plant, we understand that what we feed ourselves and the environment surrounding us will determine our capabilities and limitations. Our body is made of chemistry, with its mass comprised of only four elements, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen, where about 96% of which is water. Therefore, we need to eat in a way that targets our core makeup. I believe this is how we eat to live. 

Here are my five favorite food picks for healthy living in your daily diet.

  1. Leafy greens: kale, lettuce, and spinach.

All are excellent sources of dietary fiber, which helps maintain heart health and blood sugar levels. They give the body a sense of fullness, adding to weight loss as the appetite is lowered. They are digestion roughage which allows for better digestion and smoother bowel movements. These leafy greens are high in folic acid, which according to the Journal of Physiology, alleviates depression and fatigue.

  1. Broccoli

High in vitamins C and K, broccoli has iron, potassium, and fiber to fill full quickly. It can be enjoyed both cooked and raw, which is the best for maximum nutrients. Broccoli is high in choline and Vit K and contributes to memory function and focus. Broccoli is higher in protein than most vegetables.

  1. Nuts

Almonds, cashews, and walnuts are packed with nutrients. Nutrients rich in iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and folate are healing machines. They have healthy fats that help regulate LDL and HDL cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides. They are heart friendly with mono-saturated fates to keep the heart healthy and decrease heart disease. The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found that the high antioxidant content and the alpha-linolenic acid (plant-based omega-3) in walnuts can improve brain function. Yes, I believe we should be eating nuts every day.

  1. Berries and fruits

Berries are full of antioxidants. They protect your cells from free radicals, the etiology of many chronic health problems like cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, and cancer. I’ve always been taught the brighter the berry, the better the healer. We’re talking about cranberries, strawberries, and my favorite, blueberries. Blueberries are known to fight inflammation, so if you are headed into or are already into stressful situations, pack in some berries. Did you know that studies show that a chemical called tryptophan in bananas can regulate mood? We know about potassium, Vit B, and folate but also understand they can help fight depression. 

  1. Yogurt

Your gut is on the front line of your overall health, where 80% of your immune system resides. In our gut, we have a complex microbiome community which is essential to our health. Put simply, the good must outweigh the bad. A probiotic is an ingredient that contains live bacteria. Yogurt is a great probiotic and good gut bacteria. When we have a healthy gut, we have a healthy body. In addition to gut health, Yogurt also contains calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium.

There are so many wonderful foods that love us back. I couldn’t name them all, but here are some more that deserve mentioning.

  1. Salmon - reduces brain fog and increases memory and concentration
  2. Beets - increase blood flow 
  3. Avocado - healthy fats improve brain functions
  4. Quinoa - shown to have anti-depressant effects
  5. Dark Chocolate – is shown to reduce the stress hormone, antioxidant

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