Cracking Your Code: Nutrition part 2

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Limiting carbohydrates (or even eliminating them) is the first step in optimizing your nutritional state.  This is a broad guideline, and I believe we all need to find the eating regimen that fits our lifestyles. This is especially true for those who have allergies and intolerances and can’t stomach certain foods.  Therefore find your balance by choosing natural foods composed of proteins, fats and (some) carbohydrates.

Vegetables have Nutrient Power

Vegetables contain many  nutrients and they should be consumed as the staple food instead of bread. Magnesium is one of the nutrients found in vegetables that is beneficial for your health. I recommend it to patients with hypertension since it acts as a smooth muscle relaxant and helps lower blood pressure.

green leafy vegetables

Magnesium is also involved in the synthesis of serotonin and it is thought to improve mood in person with depression.  There is also evidence that consumption of magnesium improves blood glucose levels.[1]

Most people are deficient in magnesium because it is depleted in the soil and thus most crops have low amounts. Combining the consumption of vegetables with low magnesium levels with the large intake of caffeinated beverages that induce diuresis (medical term for increased urine output) leads to magnesium depletion in the body. This depletion can be corrected by eating green leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach and kale.

Vegetables have Fiber Power

Another added benefit of consuming vegetables is the fiber they contain which allows more water content in digestion and contributes to less strain on the bowels. This leads to less diverticulosis, a condition where the bowel wall becomes weakened and may develop “pockets”. These pockets are dangerous since they can trap indigestible contents like nuts and seeds which can cause inflammation and a potentially serious condition called divertculitis.

Vegetables Prevent Diseases

Both vegetables and fruits lower the incidence of heart disease and stroke. The largest study which had 110,000 participants,  called the Harvard-based nurses health study and Health Professionals follow-up study. This study followed people for 14 years[2] and found there was a 30% decrease in coronary heart disease and stroke in persons who ate 8 or more servings per day.

In these same studies, consumption of fruits and vegetables was also found to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

To learn more about vegetables I highly recommend you read an article on Dr. Mercola’a website entitled, “Surprising Health Benefits of Vegetables” and watch the video.

I could list all of the vegetables that are good for you and the recommended amounts but there are plenty of websites listing them.

cracking your code nutrition

What I want you to keep in mind is to first LEARN how changing your dietary habits can improve your life and then TRY eating in a different way especially if you are not happy with your energy levels or your weight.

Go to the supermarket and farmer’s markets and look for all kinds of vegetables.  If possible, buy those which are organically grown since they have more nutrients and no chemicals or pesticides.

Know that the most important thing is to find the right vegetables, fruits (and other foods) to consume and the right amount for you.  That’s what “cracking the code” means.

This is an individual process since everybody has different goals of how they want to feel. There isn’t one particular amount that is “right” for everyone.  However, what I can tell you from my own experience of going through a change in my own habits is that you’ll go through trial and error,  but if you stick to it, you’ll find the correct code for you.

Click here to read Cracking Your Code: Nutrition part 1

Please comment, email or respond via Twitter or LinkedIn to let me know your thoughts.  Thank you.

[1] http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2013/09/23/dc13-1397.short

[2]http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/#ref11

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