Saturday, February 8, 2014

You are What You Eat… The Importance of Rethinking Your Food Purchases

To get a clue of what’s in your body, take a look in your refrigerator and pantry. If what you see is not as healthy as you’d like, it’s up to you to fix it. There is no way you are going to be healthy with nothing but chips and cheese dips living in your pantry.
Preferably, shop at the farmers market. The produce is fresher, which also means it’s healthier and tastier, especially if it’s grown locally.
At the supermarket, shop the perimeters for your food. That’s where you’ll find “real” food, such as fruits, veggies, dairy, baked goods, and meats (opt for lean cuts).
If fruits and vegetables are foreign to your diet, try a new one each week until you’re familiar with them. Be sure to include dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and arugula. If you’re like me and have a hard time getting used to eating fruits, try making them into a smoothie. Combine berries, pineapple and bananas with ice and a little bit of yogurt. A delicious and nutritious way to start the day while boosting your immune system!
For your pantry, stock up on dry beans; they are nutritious and will stay fresh in your pantry for months. Adding these high-fiber legumes to your diet will help prevent constipation. Cook them up in a pressure cooker and eat them as a side dish with eggs, inside a burrito, or just eat them with rice. White albacore tuna is another nutritious pantry item, and according to experts it has the lowest amount of mercury among tuna species.
Finally, look at the ingredient labels; artificial flavors and preservatives are rampant nowadays. These chemicals pile up in our body and many believe contribute to the development of certain types of cancer. I also try to follow food activist Michael Pollan’s advice and stay away from foods that tote their health claims such as “added vitamin D” and “extra fiber”. As Pollan says, “the healthiest foods have no voice”. To put it simply, a carrot doesn’t announce that it’s rich in carotene and other numerous vitamins and minerals. It simply is.
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