It seems to be an obvious answer, but for many, it isn’t. I thought a post on this topic would be a good place for many to start understanding why the food we ingest is paramount to our health.
Why does nutrition matter?
The simple answer is that we are what we eat (and more importantly, we are what we digest – see my blog post ‘How Gut Health Affects Overall Health’). As humans, we are a biological living entity. One of the basic functions of life is to consume nutrients to support basic function. This is where the importance of our food comes into play.
For a moment, I want you to think of your body like a car. You wouldn’t put Coca-Cola into your car instead of gas, right? A quick search on the good old Google shows that when you do this, the sugar turns into a sludge and clogs the gas lines, the engine eventually seizes and other parts of the car start to shut down, including the power steering. If you pour Coke into your gas tank, you run the risk of severely damaging several parts of your engine system; this is not unlike what happens in your body if you consume junk, or empty calories.
In order for us to function optimally, we need the right fuel. This predominantly comes in the form of a whole foods diet.
Some foods equate to putting “regular” gas in your body: these would be organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods help you run at a baseline level of function. Other foods might equate to putting “premium” in your body: these are the more nutrient-dense foods, sometimes called “superfoods”, such as kale (and most other leafy green vegetables), tomatoes, garlic, turmeric, sea vegetables, bee pollen, acai… there are so many out there, and these are just a few). These foods are what give you more of an edge against fighting off disease, inflammation, and detoxifying against environmental toxins. And then… you get to the Standard American Diet (appropriately shortened to S.A.D.): refined sugars, high fat and fried foods, and highly processed foods with minimal intake of fruits, vegetables and other whole foods – aka. A JUNK FOOD DIET. These types of foods have little or no nutritive content, and they are what will get in and gum up your system, so to speak: causing plaques to build up on your blood vessel walls, inflammation, and oxidative stress in your body. In the end, it’s oxidative stress and inflammation that are at the heart of almost every disease process out there.
This is why nutrition is so essential and why I hope you will start to give (or continue to give) consideration to what you are putting in your body on a regular basis.
If you want to lead a life where you are functioning optimally, where you feel energized and have the vitality to do the things you want, nutrition is one of the first things you should prioritize. Putting the right foods into your body with a focus on whole foods with lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocados), and lean healthy proteins is the first step to setting the stage for optimal health and wellness!
For more guidance, you can get in touch with me through the ‘Contact’ page. Alternatively, you can find tips on how to optimize your nutrition and make more educated decisions when it comes to your food by following me on Instagram or Facebook.