Every now and then, new trends in nutrition come up as we all pursue the road to good health. At the beginning of 2015, a lot have started their ascent to popularity, including this renewed drive to consume more ancient grains, other natural foods and those which are rich in protein. Right now, you may see such words on a product label and may be part of a company's marketing strategy, but they don't automatically spell benefits for you. If they replace a soda's artificial sweeteners with stevia, for example, it still doesn't mean the drink is now healthy. On the other hand, there are those products which have stayed true to their minimal ingredients and are full of nutritive value, and they very well deserve an "all natural" claim.
Not to lose weight, conform to a fad, or because I am depressed and need comfort. As Hippocrates wisely stated: "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." The reason we eat should be to keep us healthy - which makes us strong, beautiful, happy and confident. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy your food just because it's healthy, in fact, it makes it more enjoyable. Just look at some of the recipes on this blog and other whole foods blogs! I eat when I'm hungry, and stop when I'm satisfied. This means I eat whenever I want, and I eat however much I want. Since I am eating foods that my body loves, it's pretty hard to feel uncomfortably stuffed because my digestive system knows what to do with what I am feeding it. My smoothies regularly consist of at least 7 or more bananas. My dinners often include over 4 potatoes and 2 cups of rice. Keep it carbed! Keep it whole foods! I drink alkaline water throughout the day. Our bodies are 70% water, so we should replenish that water whenever we can, allowing it to wash out the toxins in our bodies and our cells hydrated. I filter my water with velaqua. That's about it! With these guidelines, my diet ends up being a diet of whole plant foods, a lot of them raw, and with a high-carb focus. Your diet will surely be different, maybe by a lot or just slightly; the important thing is that it works best for you.
It looks like all this attention given to ancient grains nowadays is related to the fact that most of them are gluten-free. As gluten-free diets continue to be hot, it shouldn't be surprising to witness this comeback. On top of that, most people aren't happy about eating genetically modified food, and these grains are just the complete opposite, being true to their nature. However, if you're convinced these ancient grains are worth trying, be wary of manufacturers that simply add ancient grains to their present products and sell them as "healthy." This is why you have to read the nutrition facts label carefully to know just what exactly you're consuming. Ancient Grains and a Comeback
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Unfortunately, most people are falling short of the recommended daily minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables. In fact, most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal—the brighter the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day. Try adding berries to breakfast cereals, eating fruit as a healthy dessert, and snacking on vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes instead of processed snack foods.
These days, quinoa seems to have taken the backseat to amaranth, chia, bulgar, teff, millet buckwheat, kamut and sorghum. These ancient grains are indeed making their comeback. Are they even familiar to you? These grains have been in existence for centuries upon centuries, some since as early as 6,000 BC. Most of them have high fiber content and are helpful in the prevention of certain cancers, hypertension and heart disease.
Pure and Natural
A lot of brands out there are quick to announce that they have rid their products of anything "artificial." They may claim, for example, that their products have no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, and can thus be rightfully called "all natural." A spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says these companies are cutting their ingredients based on what consumers demand. However, this is still not enough reason to use the label, "all natural," warns the Food and Drug Administration.
Fats are essential for many reasons: They are a provider of energy. They are involved in forming cell membranes. They are a vehicle for the provision of fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, E, D and K. They are involved in making hormones. They provide insulation; keeping us warm. They provide us with a shock absorbing, protective layer Fats are made from building blocks called fatty acids. There are three types of fatty acids - saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The fat in food contains a mixture of all three fatty acids, in different proportions in different foods.
Power Protein: Companies that manufacture yogurt, cereal, cottage cheese and crackers are happy to tell the world how much protein their products offer. Of course, we all need protein for a great variety of reasons. It builds and repairs our muscles, for example, and it helps satisfy our cravings, allowing us to manage our weight better. It's about snacking, and companies are adding this macro nutrient to practically every food product they make. If your hunger pangs are back thirty minutes from your last snack, it probably didn't come with enough protein.