What foods to eat to maintain optimum health
Making the right food choices for your health
Making the right food choices can have a profound impact on our health and longevity. So let's start gradually and work our way towards optimum health!
How to release toxins
Cleansing the body of built up toxins will promote health and prevent disease. The body needs a spring clean from time to time to clear out years of any unhealthy eating and drinking habits in order to repair the damage done in the past.
Having a sauna is a great way to promote toxic elimination through the skin. Sweating carries off impurities and dead skin cells as well as improving skin tone. A good sauna session also relieves stress, leaving the body refreshed and rejuvenated. Make sure you drink plenty of still water before and after the sauna.
What we need to eat to stay healthy
Health and disease originate at the cellular level and healthy cells create healthy bodies. The health of these cells is completely dependent on the foods we eat, whether they are toxins or nutrients. Raw vegetables and fruits supply your body with the raw materials it needs to repair and rebuild itself and cooking destroys some enzymes in plant food. The fastest way to nourish these cells is to ingest enough raw materials to cover all nutritional bases and therefore minimize the risk of mineral deficiencies.
We should use methods of cooking that best preserve nutrients. All plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, eaten in their natural state, raw, or only slightly cooked, is best. Frying foods should be avoided where possible and methods like boiling, steaming, grilling, roasting and baking are encouraged.
Try cooking vegetables in a tiny bit of cold pressed vegetable oil, adding a little water during cooking if needed. Cook vegetables to the crunchy stage so they look and taste best and retain more nutrients. Grilling is the best high-flavor and low-fat cooking method, grilled vegetables taste sweeter and grilled meats and seafood more succulent. Cooking vegetables correctly involves monitoring times and controlling the temperature, so be aware — you don’t want to not overcook them! A good tip is to cook vegetables (where possible) in their skins.
Tips on eating for optimum health
- Avoid toxic and processed food, salt, soft drinks and medications.
- Eliminate refined white flour and sugar, including white bread, cookies and cakes.
- Avoid all saturated fats, margarine and hydrogenated oils.
- Do not use aluminum utensils.
- Replace white rice with millet, quinoa, buckwheat or wholemeal rice.
- Use cold pressed flax, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin and olive oils for seasoning and cooking.
- Reduce tea and coffee and drink more herbal teas.
- Choose dark oily fish (salmon, sardine, mackerel, tuna, herring).
- Eat less meat and dairy products and eat more fish, vegetables, fruits, beans and grains.
- Poach eggs instead of frying.
- Use non-stick pans, they require little or no fat.
Healthy cooking hints and tips
- Replace the flavor lost when you cut down on fat and salt by adding more fresh herbs, spices and vegetables to casseroles and stews.
- Use shredded citrus peel to accent the flavor of fish and meat recipes.
- Add herbs, spices and fruit juice for taste to grilled meats and poultry or simple homemade salsas instead of salt.
- Cook fish and chicken wrapped in foil, with just a touch of oil for flavor.
- Instead of using oil when sautéing, cook in onions or garlic.
- Use plain low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream or mayonnaise.
- For crunchy salads, sprinkle toasted nuts or seeds over to add flavor and texture.
- Mix natural yogurt with fresh fruits for a quick, healthy dessert or use unprocessed honey.
- Eat a healthy, wholemeal breakfast with no added salt and sugar cereals.
- Quick and easy stir-frying requires relatively little oil; add small pieces of evenly cut vegetables.
- Corn on the cob and fruits are perfect mid-morning snacks.
- Start drinking more live vegetable/fruit juices and still water.
- Use a wide range of ingredients: organic meat, wild fish, seafood, free-range eggs, vegetables, beans, wild plants, game, raw seeds and fresh seasonings.
Finally, diet is only one lifestyle factor that needs to be considered in trying to optimize health; physical activity is equally important. The lifestyle for optimal health and wellness includes a diet based on a wide variety of nutritious foods and every day moderate exercise.