To sum up a few of the healthy food choices we can make for a healthier 2019, let’s review Fats/Oils, Beverages, and a few “specialty” foods to include this year as we look to our food choices for optimum health support.
The fats we get from pastured animals (not fed grain) are very healthy, and a great source of antimicrobial palmitoleic acids, which help protect us from illnesses. Extra virgin olive oil is a great source of omega-9 oils; it is best used on salads or in moderate temperature cooking. Sesame and peanut oils are good sources of Omega-6 fatty acids and are suitable for frying, as they can withstand higher heat without being damaged. Flax oil, a great plant based source of Omega-3 is to be kept refrigerated and only used on salads, spreads or in your smoothies.
Studies have shown that cold-water fish are the source of omega-3 fats most efficiently used in our bodies and include EPA and DHA that support cognition and inflammatory modulation. Tropical oils, such as organic virgin unrefined coconut oil, are a very stable choice for cooking or frying and are rich in lauric acid fatty acids, which are antimicrobial and antifungal. Lauric acid is one of the important ingredients in a mother’s milk that protects newborns from illness. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are also a great food source for quick energy.
We can also use coconut, sunflower and sesame oil to support daily detoxing with oil pulling. Managing harmful bacteria in the mouth will sweeten your breath and improve your health. In his research about oil pulling, Dr. Bruce Fife explains that our mouths are teaming with microorganisms and toxins, and act as their gateway into the bloodstream.
First thing after you awaken, put a tablespoon of unrefined organic coconut oil, sesame or sunflower oil in your mouth and swish it around, breathing through your nose and working or “pulling” it around your teeth for twenty minutes. Spit the oil in the trash (or compost) instead of your sink to avoid clogging your drains. After you spit out the oil, which will be thin and white colored, you should rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm salt water and brush your teeth. Never swallow the oil as it may be loaded with toxins.
Water should always be on the top of our beverage list. A critical pillar for optimal health, water is a most important nutrient in our bodies. Did you know that you could go as much as eight weeks without food, but only a few days without water? Water plays many important roles in our bodies, including oxygen delivery to cells, nutrient transport, cushioning our bones and joints and regulating our body’s temperature
In Michael Pollan’s book, “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” he shares his 64 top rules for healthy eating. In his Rule #26 he suggests that we, “Drink the spinach water, the water in which vegetables are cooked is rich in vitamins and other plant chemicals, save it for soup or add it to sauces.” Along with the nutritious vegetable water, I suggest we all explore the many varieties of antioxidant rich green, black and red teas. With all of the coffee roasters we have locally, we can also enjoy the available variety of organic, high octane or decaf coffee and benefit from antioxidant protection, as well as sugar balancing benefits of decaf.
The last group of Resolution Reset foods can be described as “Specialty Foods.” A great food available locally is Bee pollen, a nutritious balanced food loaded with vitamins, enzymes and amino acids. Many people avoid air borne allergy issues by eating local bee pollen, which may desensitize them to the pollens. We can add powdered cereal grasses such as barley and wheat grass to our smoothies, for a healthy breakfast or snack. Grass is a rich source of nutrients, antioxidants, chlorophyll and green foods from cereal grasses are among the healthiest foods for us.
Another specialty food to include this year is grass-fed, whey protein concentrate. Whey protein concentrate added to smoothies helps with weight loss and supports healthy muscle tone. Whey protein supports healthy immune and digestive function.
I hope you have started to incorporate some of these healthy choices into your diet. We all can have a healthier year — as the saying truly reminds us “we are what we eat.” Salud!
At Natural Grocers in Eugene, where I am the store’s Nutritional Health Coach, we offer free classes that include plenty of information about healthy eating choices, and free one-on-one health coaching sessions (call 541-345-3300). Please “like” our Natural Grocers-Eugene Facebook page. Find our store’s schedule of free classes at: https://www.naturalgrocers.com/store-location/eugene/.