What you eat and what your body can do with it
When it comes to nutrition there are two important things to consider: what you eat and what your body can do with what you eat. Most of my clients are eating a fairly healthy diet when they start working with me but somehow they are still dealing with health complaints such as low energy levels, fatigue, weight gain, gas, bloating, constipation, IBS-like symptoms, or brain fog. What they often haven’t focused on is making sure that their digestive system is functioning optimally.
You see, both parts go hand in hand. You want to eat a healthy, diverse and nutrient dense diet and make sure that the vital nutrients are being broken down and absorbed efficiently. Digestive systems are often “battered and bruised” from lifelong exposure to undesirable foods, stress, toxins, medications and more. Considering that the digestive system is where food is broken down into vital nutrients that are then absorbed into our bloodstream it is fairly easy to see the importance of this healing step: if your digestive function is in any way compromised you are not receiving the vital nutrients that your cells need for optimal function.
This is what eventually leads to all kinds of symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, skin issues, immune problems, aches and pains and digestive complaints. Many people don’t make that connection between their gut health and their symptoms but even if there are no obvious digestive issues, there is a good chance that your digestive system is still compromised and playing a role in your frustrating health issues. Once you have put a digestive healing approach into place (and you can read more about that here), the next step is to boost the nutrient density of your diet so that you can flood your system with plenty of vital goodness and start to experience high levels of energy, good quality sleep, clarity,
focus and optimal health, naturally.
“…Boost the nutrient density of your diet so that you can flood your system with plenty of vital goodness and start to experience high levels of energy, good quality sleep, clarity, focus and optimal health, naturally.”
Here are three of the top nutrient dense food categories that are easy to include in your diet:
1 Rainbow coloured vegetables and fruits
Red tomatoes, orange pumpkin, purple eggplant, yellow bell pepper, white cauliflower, green broccoli, blueberries, and the list goes on. Aim for 9 to 13 servings of different plant foods on a daily basis. Every colour has its own unique set of nutrients and unique health benefits and a combination of colours therefore provides a wide spectrum of goodness. The best and most nutrient dense meals look like a rainbow. This Mexican salad is a great example of a colourful meal.
2 Glorious greens
Green leafy vegetables are often missing in our modern diets and they are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A,C, E and K. They are full of fibre, folate, chlorophyll and other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Some of the benefits of greens are blood purification, cancer prevention, improved circulation, improved immune system, healthy intestinal flora, clearing congestion and more. There are so many different greens to choose from: kale, watercress, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, bok choy, microgreens, to name a few so experiment and do check out local and seasonal greens.
3 Organ meat
Organ meats, also known as offal, include foods such as liver, kidney, and heart, sweetbread or tripe. These foods are very high in nutrients such as B vitamins, iron and zinc, which are difficult to obtain in sufficient amounts from other food sources.
“The best and most nutrient dense meals look like a rainbow.”
While this may seem like a less glamorous way of boosting the nutrient density of your diet to many people nowadays, studies have confirmed that traditional cultures highly valued these parts of the animal and naturally followed a “nose to tail” way of eating with a special emphasis on these nutrient dense organ meats. If it feels like a stretch to be eating organ meats start with chicken liver, which is easy to make at home preferably with organic, pasture raised chicken. Once you have developed a taste for this you can start to branch out into eating liver whole or experimenting with other organ meats.
Have fun experimenting with new ways to boost your nutrient intake. Be well!