Garbage In, Garbage Out…Mastering Diet Part 4

So if you are cutting back on all of the things mentioned in part 3, then what exactly are you going to replace it with? Well here are a few suggestions that have become the most common with nutritionists and dieticians. Most of these I have incorporated into my daily diet routine…although I’m still working on the love of fish.

Fresh Vegetables

You can’t go wrong with water rich foods in general but research into Mediterranean and Ikarian  diets are showing a possible relationship between longevity/vitality and the leafy green vegetables. One of the keys is to always go fresh when possible and dump the frozen foods. Over cooking and over processing will kill off all of the real nutrients that give you the max benefits. Broccoli in particular is popping up all over the place as part of the “brain food” category. Visit  www.bluezones.com for more info on the Ikarian lifestyle.

Complex Carbohydrates

It’s the fuel for the bodies engine, it causes the metabolism to work harder than simple carbs and it’s the substitute for societies “secret crack”..sugar. There are two keys though; First, getting to know the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates. Additionally, natural is always better than processed so whole grain rice, small red potatoes, etc will always be better for you than processed breads and cereals. Second is knowing how much is enough. Metabolism, blood glucose levels and your consistency in physical activity will all play a role so one size does not fit all. Over “carb loading” can be a recipe for fast weight gain, but those popular no-carb diets are proving to have long-term negative impact on the human body.

Fish

Wild Salmon in particular has made its way into the “brain food” pack as well. Fish can be a bit of the unsung hero though as it’s a little tougher to prepare plus the smell, taste and navigating bones do not appeal to some people. To that I offer three solutions; A little soy sauce, a little Wasabi and the sushi bar. Beyond all of the hype about Omega 3, fish remains a high-caliber substitute to red meat and poultry.

Brain Foods

Brain food is the new nutritional buzz word that is gaining a huge amount of hype and attention. It refers to foods that are associated with improving concentration, focus and clarity of thinking. Ginkoba Biloba was the original herb to kick off the movement but has since gone back and forth with the experts as to its positive vs. negative impact on the body. Blueberries have taken the forefront for brain foods but the biggie is chocolate. Research has emerged suggesting very positive benefits of the Cacao Bean which has been translated into, “chocolate is the new brain food”. Processed chocolate, however, still has all the down side of any candy…including the “secret crack”. Want the max benefit? Buy whole Cacao Beans and just eat those or grind it up and sprinkle it on foods like you would Cinnamon.

Herb Teas

Green Teas get all the hype but the truth is that many herb teas promote better digestion, allow you to expel toxins and have additional benefits. Spice teas with Cinnamon for example; It has been suggested that Cinnamon helps to regulate the blood sugar level in the body. It can be a great substitute for that additional cocktail before dinner or the after dinner coffee.

Red Wine

“But wait, you said to cut back on the booze?” True but that does not mean you have to give it up all together. The fact is that the tannins in red wine have long been thought to have health benefits. Referring again back to the Mediterranean diets, you will find red wines as a common staple. Balance and moderation is also once again a key, too much of any good thing can be no good. A few glasses per week, after a long day or amongst friends seems to be the winning combination.

What are your favorite foods for max health and vitality? Got any research to share? Your feedback is always appreciated. BN

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