OHbaby! nutritionist Anna Hansen serves up good news — food has the power to fight and prevent disease.
Food has been designed with the purpose of nourishing our bodies. It makes sense that food in its unaltered state is in the ideal position to do its job well. A good question to ask: is this food I’m eating as close to its natural form as possible? If the answer is yes, you're on track to good nutrition.
When we nourish ourselves with whole foods, we are also giving our bodies the best chance to function well and fight disease. I have had three babies, and each time I found the experience incredibly taxing on my body and mind, as well as my emotions. One thing we can do to care for ourselves as mums, is to get the most nutrients into our bodies as possible in order to stay well - physically, emotionally and mentally.
There are so many lifestyle diets out there: paleo, raw, vegan, low carb... Research tells us that the effectiveness of these eating plans simply comes down to the fact that they are based on whole foods, a high percentage of which come from plants. Any plant-based food will have a range of health-giving properties. There are no magical foods, just huge advantages to eating a host of different foods that work together to keep us healthy. There is even mounting evidence that food is one of the best tools we have to fight disease, including cancer. I could write a book on the goodness and benefits of ‘food fighters’ (especially plant foods), but here I’ll just touch on a few – many of which you probably already have in your kitchen.
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You are doing yourself a huge favour by minimising fried foods and char-grilled meats, and reducing animal foods in your diet. When it comes to red meat, small quality cuts are best, and not every day. There are a host of alternative quality protein foods, such as nuts, seeds, eggs, organic chicken and fish, that all offer protective elements against disease. When it comes to protein, our bodies need it at most meals and variety is key.
Anna Hansen (BSc, Human Nutrition and Psychology) is mum to three small kids and a nutritionist with a passion for showing women how easy it is to eat for health.