Part VD: The Chemistry of Nutrition
We are winding down to the end of this series on The Chemistry of Aging and how to slow down the aging process. As I have said before, the same principles that decelerate the aging process are also the keys to health: What keeps us healthy also keeps us youthful!
A final note about the 80/20 rule: It is not uncommon for my new clients to think that they are eating plenty of vegetables; most people think that if they eat vegetables daily, then they are doing good… but many of these people are only consuming 4-6 servings of vegetables in a six-day period, when the optimum range is 5-7 servings PER DAY, for a total of 35-42 servings in a six-day period! These are usually the same people who are not having adequate bowel movements and are experiencing a host of health issues related to a toxic bowel: constipation, skin conditions, headaches, respiratory and sinus issues, etc. With adequate fiber, these issues frequently resolve themselves. I recommend that my clients start the day with vegetables:
Eggs on a bed of mixed greens or spinach
Green smoothies with kale, chard, spinach, and limited fruit
Veggie omelets or eggs blended with vegetables in the blender to “hide the chunks” if that is an issue, especially with kids
Anything you would normally serve with pasta or rice, put over a bed of steamed vegetables or greens
Vegetables for breakfast? I know it seems weird—it was to me at first too. In fact, I was first introduced to salad at breakfast in Japan. I have talked before about some of the seemingly “strange, superstitious” dietary practices that we encountered on our visits to Japan. But once again, through my nutritional training, I see the wisdom in this practice. We must adjust our thinking about what is “food,” and more specifically, what is “breakfast food.”
Click Hereto download a FREE eResource about Incorporating More Vegetables into Your Diet.
The fourth and final dietary principle that I ask all of my clients to apply is:
Shoot for the 60/40 ratio of raw vs. cooked foods in your diet
Dr. Bernard Jensen and many other respectable holistic healthcare practitioners agree that raw foods are important to the diet—these foods are whole and unadulterated, with enzymes left intact. However, depending on your digestive fitness, the ratio of raw to cooked foods may vary. The ability to digest food is the second factor that determines the pH of foods in the body. Undigested foods produce acid: Remember fromThe Chemistry of Digestion: Part IVA: “Any food that is not properly digested produces acid waste which leads to cellular inflammation,” and “You can eat the best food on the planet and have an overly acid pH if you are lacking digestive enzymes.” (Source: “Sunshine Sharing,” Vol. 13, No.2, Steve Horne & Lacreshia Laningham). Just as we do not feed babies or the very elderly all raw foods, those with compromised digestion cannot handle raw foods as well as those with properly functioning digestion. Additionally, digestive enzymes decline with age, hence the increased use of Prilosec, so supplementing with digestive enzymes is important. If foods ARE cooked, Dr. Jensen recommends that they are LIGHTLY cooked at very LOW temperatures for LONGER periods of time, thus preventing the destruction of natural enzymes and other healthful components in foods. For instance, although egg yolks contain cholesterol, they are also rich in lecithin which balances cholesterol; however, lecithin is delicate and easily destroyed through heat. Poaching eggs, or cooking at very low temperatures will prevent the destruction of the lecithin so that you can receive the full benefit of “the incredible, edible egg!”
Along with eating nutrient-rich foods in their purest form, consuming foods high in anti-oxidants is a vital health practice. We will discuss the importance of antioxidant-rich foods and more about The Chemistry of Nutrition in the next and final installment of this blog. Stay tuned!