Eating food, real, unprocessed food is a great start, but some foods are better than others and emphasizing plant foods, especially leaves, is a way to ensure you’re on a path to optimal health.
Studies have shown that people who eat more plant foods have lower rates of cancer, and that a diet high in vegetables and fruit reduces the risk of dying from Western diseases. Plants are full of all kinds of goodies – antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, omega 3 and more – but scientists are still unsure of what exactly makes plants such a beneficial food. The answer probably lies in the synergistic interaction of all these different elements, which is why it’s so important to eat whole foods, foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Meat is an incredibly nutritious (and delicious!) food, but most of us eat way too much of it. Traditional Chinese cooking does contain meat, but it is used as more of a compliment to the vegetables. Think stir fried vegetables with thin slices of meat. One important consideration when you’re eating meat is that what the animal has eaten is important too. The meat, milk and eggs of grass fed animals contain higher amounts of omega 3, (and less omega 6) so it’s worth paying the extra price they command. I find the cost helps to moderate the amount of meat our family eats; it’s just too expensive to eat huge amounts of meat every day. The same rule applies to plant foods too – plants grown in healthier soils have higher levels of antioxidants, flavonoids and vitamins, so try to source foods grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Try these tips:
~Buying meat in bulk and freezing it is a great way to eat well on a budget
~Add some new foods, and new species to your diet
~ Eat wild foods, especially wild greens when you can
~ Have a glass of wine with dinner – moderate drinkers live longer and have less heart disease. Keep it to 1 a day for women or 2 a day for men.