Are You For Real?
Article written by Daniel Max, Holistic Health Counselor, Yoga Instructor, Shiatsu Practitioner, owner of Sense of Self
Choosing a healthy diet means choosing a natural diet. Natural foods come in various forms: raw, cooked, fermented, or dried. Foods stop being natural when processed with chemicals or preservatives. Some foods which may look natural are not if they have been raised or grown with hormones or through genetic engineering.
We fill our shopping carts with substitutes for real food. We grab animal byproducts like cold cuts, hot dogs and processed cheeses. We’ve been told that soy sausage or fake bacon are “health foods” when in fact they are highly processed products made from soy byproducts.
Health food is real food as nature created it. Our focus on healthy eating is usually limited to the type of food we are eating. We commonly overlook the importance of the quality of food. If we cease to pump our animals with antibiotics and hormones and stop processing the food with nitrates and preservatives, there would be no need to substitute it with other highly processed “healthier choices” like a soy burger. You can’t solve a problem with the same mindset that created it.
If you do eat these types of food, eat them in moderation and choose real meat products from real, grass-fed, naturally raised animals, free of all chemicals and preservatives. Furthermore, be sure to balance your diet with plenty of vegetables, especially the green leafy ones.
If we only ate grains, fruit and vegetables from soil rich in natural nutrients, and meat from animals fed natural food, we would maintain a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals.
But let’s be honest; that’s not easy to do even if we planted and raised everything ourselves.
Super-foods are naturally nutrient dense. Unlike many dietary supplements, super-foods contain many nutrients that support each other and prevent the kind of imbalances that often occur when taking only vitamins.
Here are some of the major super-foods:
- Goji Berries: Goji berries are a complete protein filled with antioxidants and trace minerals. These berries can improve eyesight and boost production of growth hormones. Add to your trail mix or top off a breakfast cereal with it.
- Raw Chocolate (aka cacao): Contains more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, acai and goji berries combined. Full of magnesium to help the body stay alkaline, an amazing source of iron, and it contains tryptophan, a mood-enhancing nutrient. Keep in mind that raw cacao – raw chocolate that has not been cooked (as opposed to most chocolate bars) – retains more nutrients. You can find raw cacao as powder, nibs, or whole beans.
- Maca Root: Enhances libido, rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, and silicon (for bone strength). It supports the endrocine system and thyroid in accurate hormone production. Maca is great for rebuilding the adrenal gland, which is our body’s center for handling stress. It counteracts the damage caffeine causes to our adrenals.
- Bee Pollen: Contains all twenty-two essential amino acids, increases endurance, improves muscle growth and definition, and is packed with B vitamins to bolster against stress.
* it is important to start with a small amount of bee pollen (1/4 tsp) to ensure that you are not allergic to it (signs of allergy include light swelling as well as moderate difficulty in breathing).
- Spirulina: Contains 65% protein, supplements B12, builds the blood with its high chlorophyll content, and is full of beta-carotene.
*This algae is cooling and wet: if you are prone to feeling cold avoid using large amounts
- Hemp Seed: contains all essential amino acids, has brain-building and liver-supporting lecithin, is rich in vitamin E, and contains essential fatty acids to protect the skin from sun exposure.
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