Food can be the answer….
Take a look at things that impact your life and consider questions that you may be asking yourself. Examples of the questions that come up are often ones such as these..
What if I had more energy?
What if I didn’t get headaches?
What if this pain wasn’t causing me so much grief?
What if I could sleep better?
Why do I have such bad stomach aches?
Why am I constipated or have irregular bowel movements?
Do I have IBS?
Why don’t I feel better than I do?
These questions and the issues that pertain to them are critical to helping gain a better quality of life for many people.
The above issues are often symptoms. Symptoms are a sign that something in our bodies has a need not being met. Unless there is a dysfunction that we are born with or an injury that is the cause for lack of function, we can often correct many of the symptoms with tweaks in our day to day routines.
Often one of those tweaks is the foods we eat.
Consider that everything we eat breaks down into particles that are fuel or instructions for functions. A missing piece here or there can be detrimental.
Each area of our diets, from our 3 macronutrients, are critical. Proteins, fats, and carbs. We need a balance of each of these. Restricting any one creates a gap in what our bodies need. Many diets require reducing a certain area. Long term, these may not be as helpful as desired due to missing key components that our bodies need.
Low fat? Our brains and cells need fat. The better the quality the better our brain and cellular function, among other body needs. Fats help with mood, energy, skin, and so much more. Quality fats come from whole foods. Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, wild fish, and pasture raised meats and chicken and eggs.
Low carb? Our digestive system needs fibre, at least 40 grams a day, in order to help us have proper bowel movements, remove toxins, and feed our good gut bacteria. We can only get fibre from plants. Carbs are not just grains, they are a super huge family of plants. Beans/legumes, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, veggies, and fruit all have their own nutrients and benefits.
And proteins… There are 20 amino acids required by the body, and 9 are essential, where they cannot be made by the body, so we must get them through food. We need all 20 of these amino acids to be available in order to properly build and maintain our body structure and tissue as well as to synthesize hormones and neurotransmitters. We can get complete amino acids from animal sources such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy. We can also get all 9 essential amino acids also from soy, quinoa, and buckwheat. Other plant based foods contain most, but not all essential amino acids so they are not considered complete. Having a variety of plants will help to make sure all amino acids are covered. Example rice + beans = complete.
Now, even though we may have all areas covered by what we are eating, our ability to eat and digest these foods into their smallest components is key to absorbing them to make use of them in our bodies. Often if digestions is sluggish or impaired, then we won't get full benefit from eating these foods.
Paying attention to digestion is important. Chewing really well so that food is in a paste form before you swallow helps to make sure digestive juices can breakdown that food in the stomach. Checking bowel movements to ensure no undigested food shows is also a very helpful indicator. Yup! Take a look. How bowel movements look is a critical tool in assessing your digestion and really your health.
I will go over how foods can help to improve many areas of symptoms in the coming weeks here. As always, if you have symptoms that concern you, make sure to see your doctor or health care practitioner.
Have a great week!