Hello everyone! Today, we will delve into the most important aspects of our nutrition. Many have asked me to share my own dietary experiences and the key principles, rules, and guidelines that can help us avoid unfavorable health consequences like illness and poor well-being. I’m not an expert or a scientist, but I have developed some guiding principles for myself. Here are the five central nutrition principles – no more, no less. Let’s get started!
Get Rid of Refined Products and Excessive Sugar
Friends, refined products and excessive sugar should not be part of our diets, or at least, not in the large quantities currently consumed. Ideally, we should be getting our sugar from natural sources, as nature intended. People tend to consume sugar in excessive amounts, adding it to all kinds of foods. Instead, we should focus on fruits such as bananas, coconuts, apples, kiwis, and mandarins.
The items you see on your screen now are examples of what to avoid. I’ve managed to eliminate these from my home, and I’m currently participating in a 30-day challenge to further reduce sugar intake. If you want to be healthy and make the right choices, it’s time to say goodbye to refined, processed foods loaded with sugar and simple carbohydrates that spike blood sugar levels and provide empty calories. Instead, opt for nutrient-dense options that offer essential vitamins and minerals.
Nourish Your Gut Microbiome
In recent years, the scientific and medical communities have increasingly recognized the importance of a healthy gut microbiome. Our gut hosts a variety of beneficial bacteria essential for our health. These bacteria produce hormones, nutrients, and vitamins, which are vital to our well-being. If our gut microbiome is unbalanced, our body’s “machine” begins to break down.
Consuming excessive refined products, as mentioned in Principle #1, can harm the good bacteria in our gut, promoting the growth of harmful bacteria. To support our gut health, we need to feed the good bacteria with fiber, long-chain polysaccharides, and other nutrients. This means incorporating vegetables into every meal, such as a vegetable salad for breakfast and some fruit, but be mindful not to overdo it with fructose.
It’s important to go beyond the typical cucumbers and tomatoes and include leafy greens, herbs, radishes, cabbage, garlic, onions, celery, and avocados in your diet. Diversity is key, as different colors of fruits and vegetables provide various health benefits. Aim for a colorful plate that encompasses the entire spectrum of the rainbow.
Aim to consume five servings of assorted vegetables and fruits daily, including fiber-rich options. A healthy, diverse diet will keep your body’s systems running smoothly and efficiently, directly impacting your overall well-being.
Eating Habits, Sleep, and Timing
My point is not the 3rd in importance; yes, they are all equally important here, not directly related only to nutrition, but also to sleep and timing. There is a lot of debate about when one should eat their last meal of the day. There are many specialists who advocate for eating at different times, and I want to address some of the myths and misconceptions that we love so much.
Our all-time favorite is the belief that we shouldn’t eat after six o’clock. Who came up with this idea? No one knows for sure, but it’s a very convincing argument made by a person who seems to be very well-known but has a questionable reputation. Strangely, they didn’t mention melatonin or somatotropin, which should have been discussed.
There are many different opinions, and people tend to argue fiercely and contradict each other, searching for all possible ways to prove their point. That’s why we need to choose our own perspective, considering various points of view and weighing the facts on both sides. We should adopt the viewpoint with the most evidence and then find peace in that decision.
Humans need certainty; living with uncertainty is very difficult. This includes certainty in nutrition. While you may make mistakes from a scientific standpoint, it’s important not to get too bogged down in the details. In my opinion, this principle is still relevant.
Mindful Eating and Breaks Between Meals
We often find ourselves eating not out of necessity but due to habit or simply because it’s pleasurable and enjoyable. Sometimes, we even munch on something while watching a good movie, and that’s perfectly normal in today’s fast-paced life. However, we tend to overindulge and forget that we should eat to live, not live to eat.
Frequent and heavy meals can strain our systems and directly affect our long-term health. Our body needs time to digest, process, and expel waste; therefore, it’s essential to allow significant gaps between meals. If we don’t give our body enough time to rest, it can become congested with harmful substances called toxins, which can eventually impact our health.
The first step to mindful eating is taking breaks between meals. The second is to avoid consuming unnecessary calories, especially if you live a sedentary lifestyle. Eating too many calories will force your body to store the excess as fat, leading to weight gain and poor health.
It’s crucial to understand that we should eat to fuel our bodies according to our lifestyle and activities. If you exercise regularly, you might need more calories, whereas a more sedentary person would require fewer. Adapting our eating habits to our needs will lead to better overall health.
Personally, I am transitioning to a system of two or three meals per day, having long forgotten the idea of eating five or even six times a day. I believe it’s absurd to eat that frequently. Instead, I now focus on two main, nutrient-dense meals and one snack that usually consists of vegetables, fruits, and grains. Remember, it’s essential to eat mindfully and prioritize quality over quantity.
Increasingly, I have come to appreciate the importance of incorporating a fasting day at least once a week. Ideally, you should abstain from food completely on this day. However, if that’s too difficult, you can opt for a lighter fasting day by consuming salads and fruits, which are easy to digest and provide essential vitamins and fiber.
A better option, in my opinion, is to practice intermittent fasting daily. This involves choosing an 8-hour window during which you can eat, while abstaining from food for the remaining 16 hours. This system effectively replaces a full-day fast once a week and has numerous benefits for the body.
Fasting is a natural state for our bodies. Throughout human evolution, constant access to food was never guaranteed, and periods of fasting were common. Our bodies are adapted to occasionally going without food, so there’s no need to fear fasting.
I understand that it’s impossible to condense the topic of nutrition into a few key points, but today I have tried to present the most crucial aspects. These simple actions make up 20% of the effort that yields 80% of the results. Start with these simple steps, and your life will significantly transform. Before investing in expensive supplements or procedures, focus on the basics, as simplicity is the highest form of complexity.
The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. The content presented on this website should be considered solely as opinions and personal experiences. Read more