Prevent, not just fix. That is the theme of the latest nutrition trend being referred to as "proactive health." While related phrases like “food is medicine” or “functional nutrition” are gaining traction, this phenomenon is anything but new.
Proactive health focuses on using food and nutrition as an avenue to improve overall health and quality of life, rather than being reactive to fixing a health problem after the fact. Although the term has only recently been coined, the ideals of this lifestyle approach to health have been preached for decades by dietitians and other healthcare professionals alike.
This way of thinking about food contradicts diet culture, which has relied heavily on today’s environment of media overload and misinformation. Falling into the traps of fad diets like keto, paleo or intermittent fasting, goes against the principles of proactive health. Not only are they not sustainable diet patterns, but also give rise to an unhealthy relationship with food, potentially leading to mental and physical consequences.
Investing in your long-term health starts with your daily choices. Food is a necessity, and every time you eat it is an opportunity to fuel your body. These decisions add up, and over time, will compound to affect your health either positively or negatively. Many people already know what to eat to live healthy – more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and less highly processed foods. This means it is not necessarily a lack of knowledge, but rather external barriers or distractions standing in the way. Simple behavior changes and building the right habits can help you be proactive now in order to live a healthier tomorrow.
It is easier said than done, but the key to proactive health is consistency with a well-balanced, quality diet. Choose foods providing nourishment, not just sustenance. This delivers the calories as well as essential nutrients needed for the body to thrive. Adding a variety of colors to your diet through fruits and vegetables is vital to success. These fresh foods not only supply the body with vitamins and minerals, but also add fiber contributing to gut health. Simultaneously, the fiber can keep you full longer, helping you avoid turning to processed convenience foods.
Invest in yourself by prioritizing your health now. Too often people wait till a health condition arises to change their diet. Need help? A registered dietitian can help you create a routine and stay accountable. Learn more and contact me at TohumNutrition.com.