Striking the balance between foods that nourish us and the flavors we love can be challenging. Thankfully, if you make the effort to learn which foods promote overall wellness, there’s room for both.
There are a few ingredients that have major star power, like yogurt and turmeric. Not only is a great breakfast food, using yogurt in place of heavy, high fat ingredients, like sour cream and buttermilk, is a game changer! Not only is it a great way to cut fat and calories, but it imparts a creaminess and tang to everything from baked goods to salad dressings and dips. Yogurt is also packed with protein and vitamins, and is a wonderful immunity booster.
Arguably one of the world’s healthiest ingredients, turmeric is a powerful spice, known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. A staple in Indian and South Asian cuisine, the slightly warm and peppery flavor of turmeric makes it a wonderful addition to savory dishes.
Ancient grains are full of flavor and offer many health benefits. Quinoa is a protein-rich ingredient that is high in fiber content and shown to lower blood pressure. Enjoy it hot, cold, as a salad or in a dessert. Your body will thank you for incorporating it into your diet.
There are a few ingredients that have major star power, like yogurt and turmeric
CULPRITS OF INFLAMMATION
Many foods contain ingredients that can cause or worsen inflammation. High on this list are sugary and processed foods, while fresh, whole foods are less likely to have this effect. Evidence suggests that diets high in gluten and carbohydrates can lead to inflammation but one should work closely with a nutritionist to find out what their individual triggers are as well as undergo testing for nutrient deficiencies.
Symptoms of poor gut health include unexplained nausea, fatigue, and acne. An anti-inflammatory diet can significantly improve gut health. This diet promotes whole foods, omega-3 fatty acids, lean protein, spices and healthy fats like olive oil. It also discourages the consumption of processed foods, red meat, and alcohol. Antioxidants are also key to reducing inflammation. Many plant-based foods are good sources of these, among them blueberries, raspberries, artichokes, cabbage and beets. In the herb family, look to ginger, cinnamon and turmeric, for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Symptoms of poor gut health include unexplained nausea, fatigue, and acne
THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION
Many people only associate mental health with the head when, in reality, it manifests throughout the entire body. Furthermore, there is a direct correlation between nutrition and mental health. Sometimes referred to as the “gut-brain connection,” scientists have identified a “second brain,” in the digestive tract, called the enteric nervous system (ENS) that communicates with our brains.
A healthy diet can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Aim to pack your plates with colourful, whole foods that are high in fiber and nutrient-packed carbs like whole grains and beans. Whenever possible, buy foods that are in season. These are sure to be the freshest and most nutritious! Conversely, avoid excess sugar and saturated fats.
*Note This article is purely informational. Anyone who is thinking of altering their diet should consult a medical professional.