I ❤️ Water! If you do nothing else for your beautiful body at lease drink lots of pure water. Some ways that water helps us stay healthy are; detoxification; helps toxic substances leave the body via elimination pathways, after an injury water carries repair substances to the injury site via the bloodstream, helps with proper gut flora balance, as well as increase cognitive function and provides lubrication for joint mobility & function. The adult body is roughly 60% water and makes up the primary component of all bodily fluids - blood, lymph, digestive juices, urine, tears & sweat.
Some chronic health problems linked to dehydration include; adult-onset diabetes, arthritis, asthma, back pain, cataracts, chronic fatigue syndrome, colitis, depression, heartburn, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney stones, lupus, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy.
The amount of water needed for the average adult person is 12 cups a day, that being said water requirement vary greatly from person to person. The climate in which we live, our activity level and our diet all influence our individual need for water. Water can be obtained from; herbal teas, elixirs, kombucha, natural fruit & veggie juices well as the water that our food contains. In North America we tend to get 4-5 cups of water from the foods we eat so that leaves us with 7-8 cups of water for us to drink per day. Even 3-4 cups of pure water a day is enough to make a big impact on overall body function, mood and energy balance.
What doesn't count a water; coffee, black tea, soda, milk, processed fruit & veggie juice (anything ‘from concentrate’).
Getting lots of live, natural and good quality foods will increase the digestive tracts exposure and absorption of important nutrients.
- Live foods contain natural enzymes that make nutrients more bioavailable.
- Whole foods contain specific nutrients that often work synergistically allowing them to have a greater effect than a single nutrient.
- Good quality foods have little to no exposure to processing such as; refining, heat, fluorescent lights, pesticides, preservatives, toxins, synthetic food like substances. As a result these foods are much more nutrient dense and better absorbed and utilized by body systems.
Each day try to include; (1 serving = ½ cup)
- 7-8 glasses of pure water
- 1-3 servings of fresh fruit
- 4-7 servings vegetables: enjoying vegetables with each main meal is a nice place to start. Eating a variety of colours and textures will ensure a good range of nutrients
- 20-35% of your daily calorie intake coming from healthful dietary fats. Some good sources are; raw nuts/seeds, fatty fish, coconut oil/milk, avocado, hemp/chia seeds. Fat requirements and tolerances will vary from person to person, listen to your body and/or speak to a nutrition professional - you can always contact me 😊
Eating habits for healthy digestion;
- Avoid liquids around meal times (20 min before & 1 hour after), one cup is okay. Soup is fine.
- Follow food combining concepts. Eating faster digested foods first followed by the slower digesting ones. Avoid eating protein and starch in the same meal.
- Relax before eating, try not to eat while rushed or anxious.
- Chew thoroughly & express gratitude.
Other foods to consider;
Increase fibre intake to; remove toxic waste build up, increase surface area for nutrient absorption and encourage peristalsis. Fibre is best enjoyed in the form of chia/hemp seeds and other soft plant based fibres because these are gentle to the lining of the digestive tract and provide valuable fats, proteins and micronutrients.
Bone broth has high mineral content in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. It contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, that help to reduce inflammation, arthritis, joint pain and repair leaky gut.
Garlic, onions, free run eggs and cruciferous vegetables all contain sulfur which is necessary for calcium uptake, is a natural antibiotic, helps with colon repair, bone and connective tissue strength. Sulfur also aids in bile secretion, protects against toxic substances and slows down the aging process.
Include fermented foods as often as possible. The bacteria that live in our gut are essential. They help with digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Plus, they play a role in the function of our immune system. However there are ‘bad’ bacteria that also reside in the gut and the challenge is achieving the right balance between the two. When the balance is shifted in favour of the bad bacteria, symptoms may arise such as bloating, constipation or diarrhoea. This is termed ‘dysbiosis’ – the state in which the gut flora are out of balance.
Modern diets, high in refined sugars and busy, stressful lifestyles can contribute to dysbiosis by feeding the bad bacteria, enabling them to flourish. Eliminating refined, high sugar foods and including probiotic-rich fermented foods is thought to bring the gut back into balance and support the immune system.
Check out The Light Cellar for a great selection of fermented foods, fermentation equipment and medicinal mushrooms 🍄
...DID YOU KNOW: a total of one hundred trillion bacteria live together in our digestive system. Their total weight is about four pounds!
It is important to gently cleanse the liver and gallbladder allowing for better use of absorbed nutrients and preventing toxic buildup in the body. This can be done by introducing a morning liver cleansing tonic, 20 min before breakfast, to encourage the gallbladder to release stored bile into the duodenum softly cleansing the liver/gallbladder, stimulating the digestive tract and the production of HCl, as well as increasing metabolism.
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I use Santa Cruz - not from concentrate)
- 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger/turmeric juice
- 1/2 tbsp cranberry juice (no sugar added/not from concentrate)
- Pinch or more of cayenne, cinnamon, spirulina
- As much pure water as you'd like to dilute your tonic
You can do all or just one at a time or just lemon juice. Play with it and see how you feel. You know your body best.
There is obviously much more to the nutrition story, this is simply a foundational template to go back to if you're diet begins to confuse you or a great place to start!