Basic Foundation of Every Diet

Consider these two choices: We are either moving toward health or moving toward chronic disease by the food choices we make.

Have you heard of the words phytonutrients? Other common names that mean the same are phytochemicals, antioxidants, flavonoids, flavones, isoflavones, catechins, carotenoids, and polyphenols. They are nutrients that come from a variety of plants and have a positive effect on the cells in your body. They are found in beans, grains, fruits and vegetables, and other plants. The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the less likely are to develop serious health problems. Below are what I consider the basic foundation of every diet.

Basic Foundation of Every Diet

  • High fiber: 35 grams/day - fiber helps to keep you regular, it helps to lower your risk for heart disease and it helps you to lose weight by keeping you full longer.

  • Omega 3 oils: 2–3 grams/day - omega 3 oils help to decrease inflammation in your body; help to lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes, and some research have shown that they improve brain function. They are found in walnuts, flaxseed, and fish oil, as well as in cold-water fish such as salmon, trout, and herring.

  • Probiotics: 5–6 billion live cultures/day - Probiotics decrease infections, boost the immune system, and assist in digestion and elimination. They can be taken as a supplement in capsule form, but try eating them in food first. Kefir milk, yogurt, kimichi & miso, and sourdough bread, among other delicious items. If you are given the option of white bread for a sandwich or sourdough bread, choose sourdough bread.

  • Enzymes: Enzymes are important in cellular activities. They break down food into smaller units so your cells can use them for energy and they help eliminate waste. The human body makes approximately 22 different digestive enzymes which are capable of digesting carbohydrates, protein and fats. Raw vegetables and raw fruit are rich sources of enzymes. While all raw foods contain enzymes, the most powerful enzyme-rich foods are sprouted seeds, grains, and legumes. Other sources rich in enzymes are: Apricots, avocados, bananas, and pineapples.

  • Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) - in small amounts. Vitamin A: Carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, apricots, cantaloupe, liver, egg yolks and fortified milk. Vitamin D: Eggs and fatty fish, such as sockeye salmon, mackerel, sardines; and grass-fed, fortified dairy, such as milk and yogurt. Vitamin E: Spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, shrimp, rainbow trout, olive oil, broccoli, and butternut squash. Vitamin K: Dark leafy greens, scallions, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, and cabbage.

  • Water soluble vitamins (B-Complex and C) - Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, bell peppers, guavas, dark and leafy green vegetables, kiwi, broccoli, and strawberries. Vitamin B12: Meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products; Vitamin B9 (folate/folic acid): Beans, lentils, spinach, asparagus, lettuce, and avocado, broccoli, tropical fruits, and oranges; Vitamin B3 (niacin): Lean meats, poultry, fish, organ meats, peanuts and peanut butter; Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): poultry, fish, soybeans, nuts, peas and bananas.

Again, Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet on a daily basis will move you towards good health. So go ahead and fill most of your plate with vegetables and a lesser amount for grains, fruits, protein (meat and non-meat kind) and dairy. I’ve included a diagram

From as a guide.


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