Do you love french fries, snack on crisps, bliss out on burgers and chomp on chocolate? We’re so used to pleasing our taste buds that we barely consider nutrients when we choose what to eat.
Never in history have we seen such high levels of obesity, chronic illness and disease, yet the majority of the population do not relate this problem to nutrient deficiency. Why?
We know the human body requires a certain amount of water, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates and oils to function. We also know we rarely obtain all these nutrients from our food. Even diets rich in fruit, vegetables, grains and seeds can leave us wanting for nutrients because of farming and distribution methods, soil quality, chemicals and genetic modification. Why are we surprised so many people are not well?
Modern medicine may have increased life expectancy, but what of our health during those extra years?
Choosing foods based on nutritional value rather than just flavour can help you avoid poor quality foods that cause harm and replace them with nutrient dense foods that actually support normal body function.
Before you prepare your next meal, have a look at the nutritional content on the pack. How do the essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins stack up against the sugars and fats?
Consider the super nutritional qualities of these foods:
Kiwi Fruit: of the 46 calories in a kiwi fruit 0.3 are from fat. It has 74mg of Vitamin C more than a day’s requirement, plus Vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, fibre and antioxidants.
Avocados: The fat you’ll find in an avocado – oleic acid - is linked to reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol. Plus, you’ll find nearly half your daily requirements for Vitamin A in an avocado, plus folic acid, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, niacin and dietary fibre. Even better, Avocados help your body absorb nutrients.
English Spinach: Like kale, spinach has almost 2 times your vitamin A needs. There is fibre, folic acid, Vitamin C, sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is a rich antioxidant.
Salmon: 100gm of salmon can provide 20.4gm of protein as well as Omega 3 fats for heart health and assisting to reduce cholesterol. Salmon is a source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, Folate and potassium.
The list could go on and on.
To take in the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein, fats and carbohydrates we need to function every day, you need to eat a range of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, grasses and herbs.
Adding delicious superfoods like acai berries, bee pollen and raw cacao to your diet is an excellent way super-boost the nutrient value of your food.
Taking time to assess the nutritional value of the foods you eat will help you make more informed food choices and help you gain not just a longer life, but a healthier one.