By: Westford Resident, Cheryl A Major, CNWC
You probably know that eating healthy, whole foods is the best way to get the nutrients…vitamins and minerals…your body needs.
The shift from relying on supplements back to food-focused nutrition is great because it benefits your health in so many ways that simply taking a vitamin cannot. There are, however, some steps you can take to maximize the nutrients from your food.
Eating Plants with Meat
Have you heard about plant sterols? When they’re eaten in the form of fruits and vegetables, they can help reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost your HDL (good) cholesterol. For those of you who eat meat, when you eat vegetables with your meat, the sterols actually help prevent the LDL cholesterol in meat from entering your blood stream. (By the way, if you find it difficult to remember which cholesterol is the “bad” one, just remember LDL stands for lousy!)
This is one of the critical reasons why it is so important to eat vegetables with your meals. Additionally, the fat in meats helps your body digest and absorb the nutrients in vegetables and whole grains. It’s a win/win situation. Of course, you don’t have to eat meat to help your body digest many fat soluble vitamins found in vegetables. You can consume healthy oils like olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil to facilitate the process.
Cook Your Veggies or Eat Them Raw?
Did you know that some vegetables have more nutrients when they’re cooked? Others have more nutrients when they’re raw. You can maximize the nutrition by knowing when to cook them.
Here’s a short list:
- Asparagus – Cooked
- Beets – Raw
- Broccoli – Raw
- Mushrooms – Cooked
- Peppers – Raw
- Spinach – Cooked
- Tomatoes – Cooked
- Sweet Potatoes – Cooked
- Cauliflower and Cabbage – Cooked
- Lettuce – Raw
- Garlic and Onions – Raw
- Squash – Cooked
- Cucumber – Raw
- Kale – Cooked
Add Vegetables and Some Fruit to Every Meal and Snack
If you’re not accustomed to eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables, you may notice digestive disturbances for a short time until your body get accustomed to “real food”. The key is to start slowly and add a bit of vegetable to every meal and snack to allow your body to get used to processing them. If, after a few weeks of increasing your vegetable consumption, you’re still having issues, try to determine which vegetables are causing the problems.
Additionally, analyze what you’re eating with your vegetables. For example, if you’re eating cauliflower with a dinner roll, you may not be getting the fat your body needs to fully digest and absorb the nutrients. This malabsorption can cause stomach problems like gas, diarrhea, and bloating.
There are simple steps you can take to maximize your nutrition. Pay attention to the foods you eat and how you eat them. Consider combining your vegetables with healthy fats and prepare them in the most nutritionally optimal manner for the best results. A little drizzle of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil over your cauliflower is delicious and a great way to get healthy fat in your diet!
This article was originally published on https://ThinStrongHealthy.com
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Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health guru, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of creating a healthier menu and wellness plan for yourself, please check out my signature program The Anti-Diet Solution. Learn how to lose weight without dieting. You may lose a whole lot more…like depression, which is exactly what happened to me!
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