What Does Healthy Eating Mean to You?
How to Reach Peak Performance and Live longer.
At HEALTHY MindBodyLife we ask these questions in the early stages of our Nutritional Therapy programs:
What does ‘Nutritional Therapy’ mean to you?
What does “healthy eating” mean to you?
Please describe you health goals and aims in one sentence:
The responses are often fascinating and always very insightful.
The reason we ask these questions, and others, are to gauge our clients viewpoint and perspective on how they see ‘health and well-being’ – quote marks are added here as health and well-being views can be dramatically different, and we acknowledge this in our programs.
The above questions also help form a personal nutritional mission statement, used throughout our nutritional programs. The mission statement acts as a central and guiding anchor that prevents a program from drifting off.
Our perspective is that healthy eating is different for different people, and this is a great thing!
For some, healthy eating might mean weighing foods, measuring macronutrients, analysing micronutrients and preparing perfectly optimised meals for their body. For others it may simply mean eating less processed foods and eating more vegetables. This is the main reason we offer personalised nutritional programs.
Despite our differing views on what healthy eating means to us, it would be unwise to ignore the undeniable science-based evidence on nutrition. With this in mind, HEALTHY MindBodyLife deliver nutritional therapy programs with the following underlying principles:
The key to unlocking better health is through your gut
Antioxidants. Our lifelong friends
The Key to Unlocking Better Health is Through your Gut
Imagine having a racing car with a small un-noticed hole in the bottom of the petrol tank. You can use premium quality fuel. You can fine tune the engine for better speed. You can upgrade the brakes and tyres for better stopping distances and grip. You can work on the optimum racing lines.
However, you will never reach peak performance until the hole is repaired and all the fuel can get to where it needs to go.
This is exactly the same in our bodies!
Imagine having a digestive system that is not absorbing all the required nutrients from your food. You can eat great quality food with all the right nutrients. You can fine tune your exercise to improve your speed, strength and endurance. You can meditate and work on effective habits to be in the best mindset and make best use of your time. You can eliminate, automate or delegate every non-essential aspect in your life.
However, you will never reach peak performance until the holes in your digestive system are repaired and all the nutrients can get to where they need to go.
How to Achieve Peak Digestive Performance
To ensure our digestive systems do not have any holes and to help it absorb all the nutrients from our food; it is essential to support and nurture our microbiome.
The human microbiome is the collection of all the genes, in all the microbes in and on our body. Our microbiome is extremely important for our health, as humans and microbes depend on each other for survival. These microbes are also known as good bacteria or probiotics and live in a symbiotic relationship with us.
Our gut microbiome can consist of hundreds of different bacteria species and are the engine of our gut. Because, they break down food into the useful nutrient components for our body to thrive.
However, not all bacteria are good for us, as is well known. There are also harmful bacteria that can cause infection, inflammation and disease. It is the good bacteria that play an important part in keeping the harmful bacteria under control.
Thus, having a variety of species, and a high number of good bacteria is vital in a healthy digestive system and healthy immune system.
Some of the benefits of probiotics include:
- Improved digestion
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Regulate hormones
- Increase resistance to infection
- Relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Reduce the risk of certain cancers
Therefore, we can achieve peak performance by looking after our good bacteria. This is done by eating the food love to feed (prebiotics). Prebiotics include foods such as banana, onion, garlic, wheat, artichoke to name a few.
Antioxidants. Our Lifelong Friends.
When you slice an apple in half and leave it on the side, within minutes the flesh starts to brown. This is Oxidation.
Oxidation is a natural process that happens to all living cells in nature. Oxidation takes place when oxygen interacts with cells of any kind. The browned flesh of the apple is oxidation happening in front of our very eyes.
The cell changes that oxygen create inevitably lead to cell death, and in the case of our bodies the dead cells are renewed and replaced. This continuous process is fundamental in order to maintain life; also known as metabolism.
Interestingly, by the time you have read this sentence, millions of cells have died and been replaced by new ones in your body.
Antioxidants are therefore critical to survival, as they inhibit the oxidation of the vital molecules in our cells. Without antioxidants, oxidation would destroy our cells too quickly without sufficient time for cell replication.
Whilst the body metabolises oxygen very efficiently, it is not perfect. Sometimes replicating cells get damaged in the process and their molecules turn in free radicals; unstable molecules, with unpaired electron rings. Because free radicals are unstable they can cause damage to further cells by trying to complete their electron rings. This is done at all costs and in a chaotic manner.
Furthermore, this radical nature and electron stealing behaviour can also cause damage to our DNA. Leading to mutated cells and abnormal growth. Abnormal growth can be shown in health conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
To prevent free radical damage our body’s best defence is utilising antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that can safely de-radicalise the free radicals and protect cells before the vital molecules are damaged. This is done by donating an extra electron to the free radical and neutralising it. Electron donation!
How to Live Longer!
To put is simply, we can live longer by eating foods rich in antioxidants, and luckily for us there are plenty of foods rich in antioxidants to help us protect our cells.
The four main antioxidants are:
- Vitamin C – found in fruit and vegetables
- Vitamin E – found in nuts seeds, beans and fish oils
- Beta Carotene (Vitamin A) – found in fruit and vegetables
- Selenium – found in meat, cheese, vegetables and fish
Our lives literally depend on eating enough vitamin A, C, E and selenium. In addition, they work synergistically, meaning they work better together when the balance is right.
Antioxidants are our lifelong friends because they help support our immune system, help fight the signs of ageing, and help prevent cancer.
Antioxidants are our lifelong friends because they help us to live longer!
If you have found this article interesting and would like to find out more about our nutritional therapy programs and how we can help inspire, enable and guide people to live a healthier and longer life, please get in touch.
If you think this article would be useful for someone you know, we welcome you to share it. We aim to share knowledge, joy and inspire a healthy life.