Food choices and healthy weight

‘Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.’

By Deb Dittner

fruits VEGETABLESDuring recent months while being isolated at home, we have all been tested in a variety of ways including the foods we eat, how we sleep, exercise regimen, stress reduction, self-care and more.

Now more than ever is the time to look at these factors and begin anew in order to promote the best of health possible.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” He also said, “All disease begins in the gut,” so how you digest the foods you eat and how you absorb those nutrients affects your entire well-being. Making healthy decisions of eating whole nutrient-dense foods will improve metabolism, increase digestion and promote a healthy weight.

What a better time than now to do just that? If you need to lose some weight or just need to maintain, incorporating these healthy foods and spices will make the process easier to swallow (no pun intended). However, if you need healthier versions of jams, you have have a peek at this website – ravensoriginal.com/collections/jams

— Hydration is important and what better way than to add tea to your daily regimen? Tea, either black or green, will boost energy, boost metabolism, aid in the prevention of heart-related conditions, detoxify the liver and assist in weight loss. Rooibos tea is a tasty herbal tea packed with vitamin C, and perfect to ice during the heat of summer.

Another of my favorites is Tulsi tea, also good iced. I make a pitcher at a time and leave it in the fridge for a quick pick me up.

— Eat cruciferous and a rainbow of veggies chock full of antioxidants and boosts metabolism. Summer is the time to enjoy these as they become more abundant at farmers markets. Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, salad greens, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Bok Choy, arugula, Swiss chard and cauliflower detoxify and support the liver, provide fiber, and help to decrease inflammatory markers.

Raw, steamed, or grilled can be a staple on your summer dining table. Aim for a minimum of three to five servings daily.

Rainbow of richness

— Eating a rainbow of antioxidant rich fruits aid against metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Summer produces the sweetest blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries. Citrus fruits and apples are soaking up the summer sun ready for picking come fall.

— Omega-3 fats are a necessary component for weight lose, brain health, and preventing cognitive decline and depression.  Eating small fatty fish such as sardines, anchovies, and wild-caught salmon also benefit autoimmune conditions.

Monounsaturated fats consist of avocado (my favorite), olive oil, and a variety of nuts. Vegetarian sources are flax seeds (also good for blood pressure), chia seeds, and hemp seeds (the most digestible protein).

— To balance the gut, it’s important to add probiotics into the diet. Probiotics aid in weight management and play an important role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients from whole nutrient-dense foods. Include fermented veggies such as sauerkraut, pickled beets, cucumbers, and plain, probiotic-rich yogurt.

— Now, let’s spice things up! A variety of herbs and spices will aid in nutrition, proper digestion, anti-inflammatory properties, and boosting the immune system. If you haven’t already, experiment with any or all of the following: curcumin, parsley, garlic, ginger, oregano, cilantro, cinnamon, thyme, chili powder, and fenugreek. Herbs that aid in digestion are chia seeds and licorice.

• Deborah Dittner is a family nurse practitioner and health consultant. Her mission is to transform as many individuals as possible through nutrition and lifestyle changes. For more information, check out her website at www.debdittner.com or contact her at 518-596-8565.