Here’s the first topic of our article series, Food as Medicine. Learn more about what you eat and turn your body into your strongest ally!
In order to respond to everyday demands, your body needs fuel, but above all, it needs to be well maintained, just like your car. So just say no to empty calories and focus on nutritious calories instead. Let me explain: when you have a soda, hamburger and fries at a fast food restaurant, you already know that your meal is high in calories (and perhaps really tasty, for some people). But these foods contain little to no micronutrients: you only consume calories, so to speak. Conversely, vegetables, whole grain products or legumes, for example, give you calories, but also and above all, micronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and trace elements. But in order to turn energy from a food into cellular energy (ATP), thousands of enzymatic reactions occur in your body, each needing vitamins and trace elements to function. Micronutrient deficiencies will also put you in a state of chronic fatigue, no matter how many calories you consume. On the contrary, eating too many calories tires your body more than it needs to be. So instead of getting a boost from coffee, get a boost from your diet instead!
Likewise, in order to do their job and communicate effectively, cells need a flexible membrane that’s made up of compounds derived straight from dietary fats, called fatty acids. So-called saturated fat stabilizes the membrane while so-called unsaturated fat (omega-3) give it the flexibility it needs. As a society, we eat too many omega-6 fatty acids, and too few omega-3 fatty acids. The ratio your body needs in order to stay healthy is actually 1 g of omega-3 for 3 to 5 g of omega-6, similar to what the first early modern humans ate. The ratio of our diet today is about 1 g of omega-3 for 10 to 15 g of omega 6! In other words, we’re putting ourselves at risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, degenerative diseases and mood disorders.
Have 2 tablespoons a day of rapeseed oil or 1 tablespoon of extra virgin walnut or flaxseed (aka linseed) oil (to be kept in the fridge), used in a vinaigrette as a dressing or to give more flavor to your food. Use extra virgin olive for cooking (at least 1 tablespoon a day).
Conversely, limit your servings of the following foods (but don’t eliminate them from your diet completely):
After getting an energy boost, check back soon for our next topic: “Your Intestines, the Foundation of Your Immune System”. Stay tuned!