Body of Health believes that it is just as important to take care of the inside of your body as much as the outside of your body. Your nutrition and personal care play a big role in your overall health. We want to help you find ways to improve your nutrition and feel good about your choices.
Test your nutrition knowledge in our “Did you know?” section…
- So why are Americans so unhealthy when our medical community is considered “cutting edge”? Basically it is the confused approach to nutrition and personal care. It is the lack of exercise, poor food choices, lack of water consumed in a day, stressful lifestyles,and sleep deprivation. Our society has the approach to medicine at treatment instead of prevention.
- The U.S. government has spent billions and decades trying to find a cure for cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases. Their conclusion is that nutrition and personal care as a course of prevention is easier than treatment.
- The U.S. government recommends 7-13 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. The problem is it is difficult to obtain it with our busy lifestyles and availability of produce.
The latest dietary guidelines and clinical research consistently emphasize that people need to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve their chances of living long and healthy lives. And scientists learn more every day about the nutritional power packed into every tomato, cranberry, and piece of broccoli. Antioxidants. Phytonutrients. Vitamins. Fiber. And more.
If you’re like me, grocery shopping is not at the top of my “favorite things to do” list. I want to get in and out of a grocery store as fast as I can. Planning, shopping, and cooking can become a real chore! So, who has time to read labels and why is it so important?
What could be more important than knowing what we are putting into our bodies? When we eat, we are feeding our cells, not just filling our bellies. Our bodies have to recognize and process what we put into them. Food additives and preservatives can be harmful over long periods of time, so it is important to take the time to read labels and make the best food choices.
According to the Time Use Institute, the average time spent in the grocery store is 41 minutes. That tells me that people are not taking the time to look at what is in their food. Just think if you spent just an extra 10 minutes to look at a label how much healthier your food cart would be!
Food manufacturers are the best marketers on the planet. They use catch phrases like “natural” or “low fat” to make the item seem healthy. Do not be tricked by the front of the packaging. Always look at what the product has in it, not what the marketing tells you.
Here are a few simple tips to help you scan labels to make the process much easier. Look at the ingredients section, not just the facts table on the side or back of the box. If it has high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oil, bleached flour, aspartame, MSG (mono sodium glutamate), dyes or chemicals (things you can’t pronounce or anything with a number), put it back on the shelf. The list of ingredients should be relatively short. If it is lengthy, then it probably has too many fillers and is not good for you.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. There, you’ll find less processed foods. Familiarize yourself with the healthy food section and try a new item each week. Remember, just because something is “gluten free” does not mean it is healthy. It may very well have dyes and additives that give it texture and flavor. Sugar is in everything. Four grams equals one teaspoon of sugar. Instead of counting calories, count the nutrients in the product.
If you begin reading labels and build a diet of whole foods for meals and snacks, you will reap the rewards in short order!
Why Alkaline vs Acidity Matters
A subject that seems to be confusing to most people is alkaline versus acidity in the body. Why does this matter and how can we balance this important ratio? Acidity in the body is the underlying, number one cause of most disease (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, etc.). Why is this so?
When the body is too acidic, it causes inflammation. This is not inflammation you can see or feel most of the time. When you experience chronic inflammation your immune function is impaired, toxins are trapped, nutrients are blocked, cells degenerate, and much more. This creates an environment that is extremely acidic and one that disease can thrive and live.
Your body’s alkaline and acid balance, also known as pH, can affect your overall wellbeing. What affects body pH? All foods have the ability to change your body’s normal pH. The fluids and tissues do not stay in these fluctuating states of “too acidic” or “too alkaline” because the body is always striving toward balance. However, imbalance and disease can set in when the body is daily dealing with too many acid-forming foods and too much stress.
Water has a neutral pH of 7. Blood has a pH of 7.35 to 7.45, slightly alkaline. Your body fights hard to neutralize acids and maintain the proper pH in organs, tissues and body fluids. But it can only do that for so long before a condition known as acidosis occurs. You have to give the body what it needs, in the form of alkalizing fruits and vegetables, so that it can properly maintain the delicate acid base balance.
Maintaining a balance of 75 percent alkaline foods and 25 percent acidic foods is ideal. An easy way to accomplish this is to make fruits and vegetables the main part of each meal. Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline in nature. Some fruits, such as citrus, have an acidic pH outside of the body, but when consumed, leave an alkaline residue in the body after being metabolized. It is a good idea to look up alkalizing foods on the internet and try to eat something every day that is on that list. Reduce processed foods and increase your water and you will be well on your way to balancing your pH.
S.E.E.D of Wellness
Sometimes it seems as if the word “Wellness” is a buzz word and people do not truly understand what it means. I looked it up and found the following as a definition of wellness: noun: the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. Learn more…