We have put the SLEEP pillar of Thrive’s nutrition trifecta to bed (as it were) and we are now moving on to LOVE. By “LOVE” what I mean is:
Are we showing our body the love and respect it deserves? Are we feeding it with food that fills us with the sun’s energy and makes our master detoxifying organ (i.e. the liver) happy? OR are we scorning our miraculous body and making it difficult for our liver to detoxify?
My favourite I LOVE ME foods are:
RAW FRUITS & VEGETABLES & HEALTHY FATS
Delve with me now into the science-behind-nutrition explanation as to why these are my top LOVE-generating foods.
- RAW FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Live, raw fruits & vegetables give us a healthy dose of ANTIOXIDANTS, FIBRE, RAW ENZYMES, BIOFLAVONOIDS & MANY MORE NUTRIENTS every day.
Vitamin C is one of the most famous antioxidant nutrients ever. And rightly so. It’s role in immunity is crucial. But what a lot of people don’t know, is that Vitamin C has the added benefit of nourishing our adrenal glands which help our body cope with stress.
Vitamin C is utilized by the adrenal glands in the production of all of the adrenal hormones, most notably cortisol – our stress hormone. When you are faced with a stressful situation, your vitamin C is rapidly used up in the production of cortisol and related stress-response hormones. If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue & you don’t have enough vitamin C – what happens is that your adrenal glands “panic”. This increases the likelihood of you experiencing anxiety; and this state of adrenal fatigue in turn, wreaks havoc on your blood sugar, blood pressure, and contributes to the dreaded accumulation of belly fat.
Research and clinical trials have shown that people who have high levels of vitamin C do not show the expected mental and physical signs of stress when subjected to difficult challenges. What’s more, they bounce back from stressful situations faster than people with low levels of vitamin C in their blood.
However, vitamin C is destroyed by heat, so if you want bang for your buck – you must source it from raw ingredients. Foods with the highest vitC content including citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, kiwis, blueberries and leafy greens, like spinach.
2. HEALTHY FATS
Examples of healthy fats are those found in whole foods like fish, nuts, seeds & avocados. Examples of unhealthy fats are those found in spreadable butter, margarine & highly refined oils such as: corn oil, soyabean, peanut, canola, sunflower oil.
A diet-rich in healthy fats is extremely important for healthy digestion, energy production & brain function. Dr. Perlmutter – author of The Grain Brain and one of the leading medical researchers in the study of the Mind-Gut connection, explains why:
The part of the cells that make energy are called the mitochondria. When you power the mitochondria with calories from carbohydrates, you dramatically increase the production of chemicals called free radicals in your body. These free radicals have the potential to damage your arteries and even your DNA. These free radicals must also be detoxified from your body by your liver, which already has enough work to do detoxifying other free radicals from sources like alcohol, pollution and excess sugar. So your metabolism becomes sluggish and heavy. You become tired and unproductive.
However, if you power the mitochondria with the calories from fat – far less free radicals are created and this creates a flourishing environment for brain activity. And amazingly, it allows your brain to create new brain cells in a process called neurogenesis. New brain cells! We can actually stimulate neurogenesis by decreasing our carb intake and increasing our healthy fat intake.
So – including foods like avocado, raw nuts & seeds, salmon and coconut in your foods will give you cleaner fuel so that your body can charge through the day feeling like a Ferrari instead of a beat-up Ford Fiesta.
Knowing all this now — close your eyes and imagine your teenage daughter came home crying because the boy she liked just rejected her and instead of reaching for a twinkie, she made herself some avocado mash & carrot sticks.
AND – she did this mindfully because she knew, that the best way to feel mentally & physically strong again was to fuel her body with raw vegetables & healthy fats.
The era of nutritional enlightenment is upon us. And we – as women – and the keepers of our family’s nutritional wisdom are leading and shaping this era. We have the power to shape the eating habits & behaviours of our children for the better.
But it’s all got to start with us.
Cristina Tahoces is a holistic nutritionist and owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice. Please join her Facebook group “Thrive Nutrition Practice” for daily articles, recipes, promotions on professional grade supplements and upcoming workshops.
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