Food Is Medicine
Nutritional Medicine uses specific nutrients found in our food and derived from Protein, Fat, Fibre, Carbohydrates, Minerals and Vitamins.
A variety of colours of fruits and vegetables provide different vitamins useful for different functions in the body. It is advisable to include 5 different colours of fruit and vegetables per day to help increase your nutrient intake.
Vit C: Red fruits and vegetables such as capsicum, gogi berries, beetroot contain high amounts of iron and vitamin C, essential for repair of all soft tissues of the body, facilitating the flexibility of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Vitamin C is also a vital vitamin for immune function.
Vit A & Beta Carotene: Carrots contain high levels of beta carotene, but sweet potato and leafy greens such as kale and silverbeet are also great sources. Beta Carotene is an antioxidant that can be converted to vitamin A, with the help of zinc to maintain all mucus membranes of the body including the stomach and gastrointestinal passage, nose & mouth, the genitalia, skin and eyes. Vitamin A is also essential for night vision. Vitamin A is available in high amounts in animal products such as liver and butter.
Bitter Greens: Vegetables such as chicory, endive, dandelion greens and radicchio lettuce help to stimulate bile production required to break down fats in food. Bile production helps the liver to detoxify and bitter greens are therefore very important to be consumed daily either in smoothies, salads, soups or pesto for example.
Good Oils: Omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory and therefore important to consume daily. Sources of Omega 3 are: sardines, ocean caught salmon and mackerel. Fish raised on farms are less likely to have a high omega 3 content because they are feed pellets which are high in omega 6. Omega 6 if consumed in high amounts can become inflammatory in our bodies, predisposing us to more arthritic pain, and histamine related allergic responses. Grass raised animals will have a higher omega 3 content in their meats due to eating grass rich in nutrients, so choose pasture raised animal products where possible.
Non-animal products high in omega 3 are: Chia Seeds, Flaxseeds/Linseeds, Walnuts and Macadamia nuts.
All fats including saturated fat are vital for our body, they provide protection against injury and cold, give us the shine in our hair, skin & eyes, provide fat soluble vitamins A,D,E & K, create our hormones and give us energy.
Most importantly, fats protect our cell membranes and brain from damage through those that are anti-inflammatory in nature.
Fibre: Found abundantly in fresh fruits and vegetables, fibre keeps our microbiome balanced, protecting our gut lining and optimising nutrient absorption. It helps promote good bacteria like Bifidobacteria, so we can break down carbohydrates. This is particularly important in those who suffer with Fructose Malabsorption or Fructose Intolerance.
A good balance of bacteria produced from fibre also gives us energy through the production of B3 an essential vitamin in the energy production cycles. Fibre also helps support our immune system by feeding good bacteria to battle against disease causing invaders.
Protein: Essential for growth and repair throughout the body, protein is a source of energy, supports the immune system and helps regulate digestion & metabolism. It provides material for muscles, all soft tissues and organs, tendons, enzymes, hormones, cells and hundreds of biochemical functions. We can obtain protein from meat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains and vegetables, fermented products such as cheese, yoghurt, kimchi, tempeh and tofu.
For more information about foods and nutrients please contact Carmen Clark for a nutrition consultation.