The food and drink choices we make each day have significant effects on our health and wellbeing. When problems with mood, energy levels, focus, concentration, sleep and appetite arise, it is particularly important to carefully consider our nutritional status. Many factors, including dietary patterns, can contribute to poor metabolism, weight gain, poor energy, sensitivity to heat and cold, poor vitamin and nutrient absorption, mental “fogginess” and poor cardiovascular health.
Taking time to evaluate our diets and modify them to maximize our wellbeing is an important step to achieving and maintaining wellness. There is no “one size fits all” approach to nutrition and you should work with your health provider to develop a nutritional strategy that is customized to your needs.
There are however, some basic guidelines that most people should follow.
- Eating a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown organically or washed thoroughly and drinking at least 40-60 ounces of purified water daily can improve your overall wellbeing dramatically.
- Avoiding added sugar is challenging but will help regulate blood sugar levels and promote better overall cardiovascular health over time. Poor cardiovascular health is associated with greater risk for developing problems with memory, focus, concentration and higher rates of depression.
- Eliminating or limiting alcohol consumption helps reduce overall inflammation in the body, leading to a stronger immune system. Regular alcohol consumption, especially in the evening, often leads to sleep problems. Chronic sleep problems usually results in problems with mood, focus, concentration, memory, anxiety and weight gain.
- Limiting your consumption of meat, especially red meat (beef, veal, and pork) can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Here are some healthy recipes to try: