Before your next meal, try thinking about food from another perspective: Food is a powerful medicine that plays a major role in so many aspects of health, wellness and the body's ability to function. Food is the body's fuel, so it makes sense that the food choices we make will affect the way our body functions.
Many chronic diseases are connected with poor nutritional habits including overeating, while a healthy diet promotes healing and can slow the ageing process.
Healthy eating is more than just choosing the right foods; it's equally important to eat a wide variety to give the body all the nutrients it needs, and to prevent the body from a harmful reaction that can be triggered by too narrow a diet.
For optimal health and wellness and to slow the ageing process, your diet should regularly include these 10 food categories:
Our body needs plenty of protein for healing, for weight control, to build muscle mass and keep the immune system strong. Deep sea fish, including salmon, tuna and sardines are very good sources of protein and are best prepared without deep fried oil.
2. Healthy oils
Flax seed, olive, canola and fish oils are high in omega 3, and some also contain omega 6. These oils can reduce inflammation which helps undo the damage done by less healthy oils; inflammation is a root cause of many health problems, including cardiovascular disease, headaches, migraines and obesity. Look for the highest quality healthy oils you can find; they should be processed by cold-press method, stored in a cool place and kept away from heat.
Everyone knows they're supposed to eat plenty of vegetables, but it's equally important to eat a wide variety to ensure you're getting the full range of antioxidants. For instance, the antioxidants contained in broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage help guard against breast cancer, while lycopene from tomatoes is great for protecting men against prostate cancer.
Chinese medicine holds mushrooms in high regard. They help strengthen the immune system, suppress some tumours and are packed with antioxidants. Choose good quality, clean mushrooms cleanliness is critical for those with compromised immunity such as cancer patients or opt for a supplement.
Nuts are full of all sorts of nutritional goodness, including magnesium, selenium, vitamin B-12 and folic acid. Nuts are great for snacking between meals. While cashew nuts and macadamia nuts are high in cholesterol, they are also full of minerals and cancer-fighting properties. The walnut is a particular favourite in Chinese medicine; it not only looks like a brain, but it's believed to improve brain function, thanks to its high concentration of B-12 and folic acid.
If you eat a lot of Asian food, you're probably eating plenty of herbs. Thai cuisine includes basil, ginger, lemongrass and others, all of which have healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic is good for cardiovascular function as it helps thin the blood, especially garlic eaten fresh within 15 minutes of chopping, when the active components are most potent.
Drinking two to three litres of water a day is essential for good health. Water is used in every bodily process, especially for waste elimination and excretion. Water should always be your first drink of choice when constipated, and it's best served at room temperature or slightly warm to be in harmony with your body temperature.
One cup of tea a day can be very beneficial, particularly green tea, which is hugely popular in Chinese medicine for a number of benefits as a great source of antioxidants, for detoxification and cancer prevention, to combat bad breath and to lower blood pressure. Even a cup of coffee can be beneficial for brain function in moderation.
9. Red wine
Red wine is perhaps the most surprising item on the list, but one or two glasses every now and then is healthy.
Red wine contains polyphenols, which are believed to guard against cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer. Like most things, moderation is the key; too much alcohol is damaging to health.
10. Less sugar
Be careful not to take sugar excessively. It can cause inflammation which leads to numerous ailments. Simple carbohydrates the kind found in foods like pasta, pizza and white rice can also be harmful since the body converts them into sugar. Complex carbohydrates (found in brown rice, grains and oatmeal) are a healthier alternative as they not only release energy more steadily, but also help control insulin insensitivity.
Disclaimer: This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regime, it is advisible to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.