Why Real Food Matters
What goes into your mouth is not just going to effect your weight but your overall health such as skin health, organ health, blood, energy and how your body functions on a day-to-day basis.
It is not important to eat lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, organic meats and fish just too see the numbers on the scales drop dramatically- in my eyes thats just a huge bonus! For now put the weight loss aside and start focusing on being "WELL".
The best way to focus on being "well" is to start taking more care of what is going on your plate and into your mouth. How do you expect your body to function properly if you are not feeding it the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to do so.
Cleanse your body of processed foods and artificial sugars and start giving it what it requires, make nutritious food choices to support your health and general well being.
THE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS & MINERALS:
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes (ever heard of the old saying, "eat your carrots so you can see in the dark?") Vitamin A is also essential for general growth and development, as well as healthy teeth. Vitamin A can be found in carrots and sweet potato, it can also be taken in a supplement form too.
- B Vitamins: Your B vitamins help with energy! Ensuring you are getting enough of your B's will give your body more energy, help with boosting your immune system and iron absorption. The B vitamins are: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B7, Vitamin B9 and Vitamin B12. You can take vitamin B supplements or find it in the majority of whole foods such as avocado, salmon, eggs and lentils to name just a few.
- Vitamin C: This amazing vitamin is great for strengthening blood vessels and giving skin its elasticity and anti-oxidant function. Vitamin C is also great for your immune system and sustaining energy levels. You can find Vitamin C in oranges, strawberries, lemons, kiwifruit, brussels sprouts and grapefruit.
- Vitamin D: Get outside and let your skin feel the sun, this is how your body will absorb and stimulate the production of vitamin D the best! You can also get vitamin D from eggs, mushrooms and fish. Ensuring you are getting enough vitamin D will help support stronger healthier bones.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is great for blood circulation, and protection from free radicals.(Free radicals are atoms, ions, or molecules that contain an unpaired electron.) Vitamin E can be found in almonds, sunflower seeds and tomatoes.
- Vitamin K: Eat your greens! Ensuring that you are getting enough leafy greens into your everyday diet will give your body a lot of nutrients especially vitamin K. You will find Vitamin K in greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Vitamin K is important for blood coagulation (the process by which your blood clots).
- Folic Acid: Folic acid is great for cell renewal and preventing birth defects in pregnancy. You can source folic acid from dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts, cauliflower, beets and corn.
- Calcium: Calcium as we all know helps with strong teeth and bones. Do not let Television trick you into believing that "milk" is the best and only way for your children and yourself to get stronger healthier bones (thats just marketing done very well) ! There are many foods that will give you more calcium than a glass of milk would such as almonds, black currents, chickpeas, broccoli, blackberries, sesame seeds, chia seeds, kale, kidney beans, sardines, herring or wild salmon.
- Iron: Iron is great for maintaining healthy blood and muscle development and growth naturally. It is essential for the formation of red blood cells and transporting oxygen in the body. Foods rich in iron include oysters, clams, liver and other organ meat, spinach, beans, lentils and pumpkin seeds.
- Zinc: Zinc is amazing for your skin, it can help to prevent stretch marks, and is great for your skins over all complexion. Zinc is also great for your immunity, fertility and growth. You will find zinc in oysters, natural cashews, beans, spinach and even in a good natural full strength dark chocolate (the chocolate of course consumed in moderation).
- Chromium: Chromium is for glucose function, it ensures that every cell in your body gets energy when it is needed. You will find Chromium in a lot of fresh vegetables and herbs, so make sure you are eating enough!
SEE WHY PLANT BASED FOODS/NUTS/SEEDS ARE SO CRUCIAL AND MUST BE APART OF YOUR EVERYDAY FOOD CONSUMPTION!!?
- Magnesium: Magnesium is important for the normal functioning of the human body, it also keeps your kidneys, heart and brain healthy. You will find sources of magnesium in beans, leafy greens, natural raw nuts, legumes,and seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and flaxseeds.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is crucial to bone and teeth strength, a bit like calcium. It also helps cells to function properly and make energy. You can find this essential mineral in mushrooms, red meat, poultry, eggs, legumes, and natural raw nuts.
- Sodium: Sodium keeps a control over your blood volume to regulate blood pressure. Sodium is also extremely beneficial in helping the body to digest. You can find sodium in unrefined organic sea salt, kelp, beets, coconuts and carrots.
- Selenium: This mineral is an anti-oxidant mineral, it is vital for the proper functioning of your immune system, it can protect cells from damage and is vital for the functioning of the thyroid gland. You can find selenium in seafood, yeast, full-fat butter, garlic, brazil nuts and sesame seeds.
- Potassium: Potassium is known as the nerve tonic, it aids the sensory function and regulates blood pressure. Potassium is found in tomatoes, avocados, citrus fruits, bananas, cantaloupes, fatty fish, poultry, spinach and celery.
- Iodine: Iodine helps with making your skin, hair and nails healthy. You can find sources of iodine in fresh seafood, kelp, iodised organic salt and spinach.
- Manganese: Manganese combines with other minerals and helps to promote a healthy immune system. It can help with producing sex hormones, and is great for healthier skin, nails and hair. Manganese can be found in green leafy vegetables, avocados, blueberries, pineapples, kelp, green tea, eggs, fresh beetroot and wheatgerm.
From all of this information about the essential vitamins and minerals that your body requires to function, I hope it has educated you on the importance of eating whole foods and why eating a variety of vegetables/seeds/nuts and some fruit is crucial to your health and not just "weight loss".
Start making small changes by adding in some of these real foods to your meals this way you are nourishing your body with what it requires and you will notice a difference in your life!
There are a whole load of supplements out on the market that you can also take that give you the essential vitamins and minerals your body requires to be healthy and function properly, you just have to know the right ones to buy. Having good supplements and eating wholesome is one of the best things you can invest in to make your being "well". 25% of your income should be invested into your health if it is not in tip top shape- and lets face it these days who's is... If you're not healthy from the inside through to the outside, how do you expect the rest of your life to run successfully...? (but thats another blog post for another day)
All of this information you have read I have put together in my own words from my own research, nutritional diploma studies and my own experiences.