“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Michael Pollan, In Defence of Food.
There are a few basic rules for healthy eating. Try to consider one at a time and make gradual changes to your diet. Over time, your body will start craving these foods and you will notice the difference to your mental & physical health.
- Eat wholefoods. Brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa etc contain more fibre, vitamins, minerals and protein than white bread, pasta or white rice.
- Eat organic. Organic vegetables have been shown to contain more beneficial phytonutrients than non-organic vegetables, not to mention the absence of toxic pesticides, fertilisers, additives and genetic modification.
- Eat healthy fats. Fat is crucial for brain & nervous system function and omega-3 fats decrease inflammation in the body. Have organic dairy butter, avocado, nuts & seeds, olive oil & oily fish daily.
- Avoid refined sugar. Sugar suppresses the immune system, reduces absorption of important minerals in the body (eg. calcium & magnesium) and increases circulating levels of fat in the blood.
- Avoid processed food. These generally contain high levels of sugar and salt, as well as additives that are particularly toxic for some people.
- Eat only good quality meat, no more than once or twice a week. If you eat meat every day, cut down to once every two days, then once every three days… And always try to buy organic/grass-fed meat.
- Eat fresh, oily fish, but less deep-water fish like tuna and swordfish as these contain high levels of mercury. If you’re vegetarian, freshly ground flaxseed/linseed taken with live yoghurt is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Aim for 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This is the optimum amount for prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Increase your amount slowly, and have fun doing it!
- Drink water. Add lemon or lime juice if you don’t like plain water, or drink herbal teas if you prefer hot drinks. Water is important for energy, brain function, and weight control. Aim for at least 1 – 1.5l per day.
- Unless you have anxiety, poor sleep or high stress levels, black, unsweetened coffee is a good source of antioxidant phytonutrients and forms part of a healthy balanced diet (1-2 cups/day).