Being the best you can be, and raising your children to be the best they can be, includes a diet that encourages brain health and gut health. It is easy with real foods! Those are foods made with ingredients that are grown or raised. It does not include foods developed in a lab somewhere. I recommend organic when possible. Those pesticides and fertilizers are made in labs and it is up to our children’s livers to deal with them. Let’s take that off of their plates.
I encourage a daily diet which includes the following;
Probiotics- Something cultured or fermented
Enzymes- Something raw at every meal
Fruits and Vegetables
Meat-based protein and fat
The Daily Treat
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that live in our intestines. There are over 400 different kinds! They help digest our food and make sure all of the nutrients from our food are getting into our blood stream.
We find probiotics in cultured or fermented foods. Many cultures around the world commonly include these foods in their diets. They include yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kim chee, kefir, kombucha and miso. Although they are pretty easy to make at home, they are also readily available in health food stores and well-stocked groceries. Look for fermented pickles and sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of the store. Their only ingredients will the vegetable and salt. The ones with vinegar do not contain probiotics.
Enzymes are needed to digest food. We make some of them ourselves. We even have some in our saliva so our digestion starts right away! After food leaves our stomach, our pancreas gives the food another shot of enzymes. Raw food contains all of the enzymes needed to break that food down into usable molecules. When we heat the food, those enzymes are deactivated and we rely on our body to produce the right kind and enough enzymes to do the job for us. By eating raw foods, we make sure those foods will be digested.The left-over enzymes will hang around and help digest the cooked and heated food, too!
Fruits and vegetables are the vitamin and mineral powerhouses! Never mind that they also are a delicious way to get in some other nutrients! Nut butters and celery, hummus and carrots, apples and almond butter, lettuce wraps… someone stop me….
Meat-based protein and fat because we’re all about the brain. Our brains need docosahexaenoic acid for optimum brain function. That’s DHA, for short. We can make some in our livers if they are in good shape, and we are eating plenty of medium chain fatty acids. However, we get the biggest bang for our buck with meat.
The Daily Treat because we all need a little yummy. What would life be if we couldn’t have that thing we love that is not on the list once in awhile? Food needs to be healthy and delicious, but we also need to go to birthday parties and eat at the neighbors without fear. Once day, pick a treat and enjoy it!
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