Tips from ChicagoHealers.com Practitioner Dr. Helen Lee
In an ideal world, we would like to get as many nutrients from the foods that we eat. However, with Americans spending over $140 billion a year on nutrient-poor and potentially damaging fast food, this can be very hard to do. To get the most out of what we eat and make your food work harder, ChicagoHealers.com practitioner Dr. Helen Lee, DC offers the following tips:
Prepare your body for mealtime: There are 2 parts of the nervous system- the Sympathetic or work mode, and the Parasympathetic, which is responsible for rest, digestion, and cleansing part of the nervous system. By simply putting your attention on your meal (instead of multi-tasking), and doing some belly/abdominal breathing you can prepare your body to shift into parasympathetic mode which will engage optimal digestion.
Choose FRESH: Foods that have the least amount of processing, seasonings, curing, frying, sauces, etc. will offer more nutrients to the body. The more you can identify the protein, vegetable or fruit that you are eating the better! Over-cooking tends to decrease nutritional value of the food.
Choose Variety: Switch up what you eat since each food will provide only certain nutrients. For example: avocados contain good fats, Vitamin E, potassium, orange vegetables like carrots and orange peppers provide beta carotene which is great for eyes, skin and hair, Greens like kale, swiss chard, spinach provides calcium, vitamin K and A which is great for immune system and overall healthy pH; Fruits such as blueberries and pomegranates provides antioxidants. So mix it up and have fun!
Slow Down & Practice Moderation: Eat slowly and chew your foods well. The more you chew and breakdown your food the more nutrients your body will be able to access as it moves through your digestion. Eating slower will also allow your body to communicate when it is full. Research has shown that it takes up to 20 minutes for your hormones to let you know that you are full and therefore it lead to overeating. Overeating also creates more demand on our digestive system and can slow down or “overwhelm” it so that it is
unable to access nutrients.
Drink Water Through the Day: Water is crucial for just about every aspect of your body including the digestive, muscular, and nervous systems. Make sure you drink water all through the day to keep your body hydrated and ready to work for you.