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Dietary Suggestions For Vitality and Well-being

My Top Fifteen Dietary Suggestions For Vitality and Well-Being.




Our relationship with food has moved and evolved over time. There has been a dramatic shift in the way we process and eat food due to the agricultural and then Industrial Revolution. This followed with a further desire to control the natural environment, rather than work with it, during the modern industrial age (mid 19th century to the present). 

 

Mechanisation led to increased food production. Post WWI and WWII saw a shift towards large scale use of chemical pesticides and herbicides. Most agricultural practices used today prioritise increased production while decreasing costs. Unfortunately, this results in the quality of our food and our planet being compromised. 

 

In our modern, westernised world, we currently have regimented eating patterns and are tempted to eat meals of convenience rather than sustenance. We can buy instant microwaveable meals and ‘fast food’. We have lost connection with the true source of our foods.

 

Thankfully there are changes afoot. We are learning the error of our ways. Regenerative Agriculture and Permaculture practices are gaining momentum. People are realising the value of acknowledging the wisdom of our ancestors and their respect for our environment. Working with the seasons and our precious planet is imperative for our health and survival.

 

Which food is best depends on the individual person, the place and the season. There is not one specific, magical diet or ingredient that nourishes and heals everyone. There is no ‘one size fits all’. Everybody’s dietary needs differ. This is due to our different backgrounds (our heritage and genetics), life experiences and lifestyles. These all shape our gut microbiome. 


Our gut microbiome refers to all the bacteria, viruses, protozoan, fungi and their collective genetic material present in our gastrointestinal tract. More recently it has come to light that our gut microbiome is suffering due to heavily processed foods, pesticides, overuse of medication (particularly antibiotics), alcohol and stress. 

 

Extensive research has shown our gut microbiome is involved in maintaining our metabolism, nutrition, physiology, immune function and mental health [1]. Eighty-five percent of our immune system is in our gut! A healthy gut will support our mood regulation, mental health, physical health and our ability to connect to both ourselves and to others.

 

If you are struggling with digestive issues, please recruit help to restore your gut microbiome. Ask trusted friends and/or family if they can recommend a good naturopath/Ayurvedic practitioner/Functional Medical Practitioner/other health professional.

 

Food can be a natural medicine to promote health and wellbeing. Or it can be a contributor to ill health if the food is highly processed, full of artificial colours and flavours, and lacking in fresh energy. Here are my top 15 dietary suggestions for vitality and well-being.  


Tip #1 – Eat Seasonally.

Tip #2 – Avoid Eating Late at Night.

Tip #3 – Avoid Sudden, Extreme Diet Changes.

Gradual change is best.

Tip #4 – Relax While Eating.

Breathe deeply and chew thoroughly. Deep breaths help trigger our Parasympathetic Nervous System into rest, digest, heal, and grow mode.

Tip #5 – Give Thanks Before and/or After Your Meal.

Tip #6 – Avoid Overeating.

Tip #7 – Prioritise Whole Natural Foods.

Tip #8 – Eat More Colourful Vegetables than Fruits.

Tip #9 – Eat Berries, Nuts and Seeds.

Tip #10 – If You Eat Meat and Dairy, Choose to Buy from Ethical Suppliers.

Tip #11 – Avoid or Limit Weakening Foods.

This includes refined sugars and their products, intoxicants such as alcohol and caffeine, too much salt, and overly processed foods (OPF).

Tip #12 – Consume Good Quality Fat and Oils.

Tip #13 – Consume Bone Broth.

Tip #14 – Consume Foods Rich in Minerals.

Tip #15 – Consume Sprouted Grains, Legumes and Seeds.


Knowing and implementing these suggestions can go a long way in helping your digestion, and hence your overall health and well-being. You can find more about these suggestions and more detailed information in Chapter 8 – “Eat with the Seasons” in my book.





Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. You are welcome to leave a comment below.


With love,


Freya

 

[1] Michael Lane, MD, and Vijayshree Yadav MD, MCR, FAAN, in Textbook of Natural Medicine, 5th Ed. (2020)

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