Integral Nutrition

Author: Vasco Gaspar

Imagine that you have a house and, from time to time you need to go about changing the damaged bricks. Now, imagine that this house is your body and is composed of trillions of bricks. Depending on the level of your activity, it is estimated that your “home” renews nearly all its cells renews nearly all its cells in short period cycles. Where do you think it goes to get the new “bricks”? Mainly, the new “bricks” are achieved  through food and hence it is a important thing to keep at the back of your mind.

Nutrition is one of the few areas where experts can “prescribe” and totally contradict things and yet can be right. Because of that, let me only talk about a few  “universal points” about how to eat well in order to contribute to your well-being.

One key point is that it is important to add healthy foods to your diet than taking away the ones that are unhealthy. An example might be instead of not eating that steak to eat only salad, continue to eat the steak BUT adding the salad. It’s no use depriving yourself of what you like if it will bring anxiety and make you consume a steak even bigger and more eager, the next week. However,always remember that your “house” needs to have the correct “building blocks”. In this sense,  always be careful to consume vegetables, fruits and vegetables because they have “key bricks” with quality. Also add foods rich in omega-3 (some examples: sardines, salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, olive oil) as this is an essential component for the proper functioning of the brain and heart.

Another key point concerns the duration of meals. Did you know that the brain takes approximately 20 minutes to receive the information that the stomach is full? It is for this reason that many times when we eat in haste only after we stop we realize that we shouldn’t have eaten so much. So, chew slowly and calmly, savoring their food well and hoping the brain “realizes” naturally when to stop. Or, if you are the type of person that enjoy to “fill the plate,” a good trick can be to reduce the actual size of the dish.

For other points, I think you already know you should avoid fried foods, sweets, etc.., So I will not dwell more on this. In summary form, I suggest just that next time you go for a meal try to make it integral:

-  include healthy food (nurture your physical side);

- eat consciously, savoring the food  (nurture your mental side);

-  share a meal with someone you like (nurture your socio-emocional side);

-  eat in a sustainable manner, respecting the planet (nurture your spiritual side).

It’s as simple as that. Do not forget to take good care of your body because it is infact a home. The only one that you really have to live in.

Photo Credits: http://morguefile.com/

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