If you could bottle the answer to this question and sell it, you’d be a multi millionaire overnight. The search for a magical elixir that will deliver a long, healthy and vibrant life continues; strange considering we already have the answer!
All healthy people make time to eat real food.
And by that we mean the kind of food your great grandmother would have been proud to bring to the table, food that hasn’t been messed with, or added to, or enhanced, just real, honest food, that’s good for you.
If I had to sum up a healthy diet in just a few words I would borrow these from Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, ‘In Defense of Food’. In this brilliant read he says,
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Whilst nutrition is a vast and complex topic, and sometimes it takes more than just real food to keep our health on track, there is vast wisdom in these words. For as much as humankind has made advances in many areas, our food is one that has suffered in the last 50 years or so. It may well be possible to add preservatives to prolong the shelf / fridge / cupboard life of many foods but the health effects of doing so are questionable. Similarly, it might be possible to heat-treat freshly squeezed orange juice, evaporate all the water out of it, ship it hundreds of miles, add water back into it and sell it as orange juice (albeit somewhat different than the original), or to intensively grow crops in nutrient deficient soils with added fertilizer to produce much larger yields, or to add 9 teaspoons of sugar and lots of other ingredients that you’ve never heard of to water and produce a drink that kids will love and want to drink plenty of, but the health effects of doing all of these things and more are highly questionable.
A healthy diet lives at the core of optimal health
A healthy diet lives right at the core of optimal health and that starts with real food. From real food, our bodies can extract nutrients galore – the teeny tiny ingredients needed for our bodies to function at their optimal best. These nutrients are found in plentiful supply in organic wholegrains, fresh fruits and vegetables, free-range lean meat, fish and poultry, nuts, seeds, and plant sources of protein such as soy, chickpeas, beans and lentils. Provide your body with an optimal daily supply along these lines and it will have enough to deliver to all areas – if you are running short however, as is most often the case with a 21st century Western diet full of refined and processed convenience foods, your body will have to be selective about where it sends the nutrients. For example, your brain may get what it needs but you may be lacking in antioxidants to fight off health-damaging free radicals.
So, if you want to adopt the one simple habit that all healthy people share here’s a few easy tips to get you started:
✓ Buy organic and locally sourced
✓ Choose locally sourced free-range meat and poultry
✓ Buy more plant and less animal products (more beans, chickpeas, lentils, fruit, veg and wholegrains less meat, dairy and poultry)
✓ Drink fresh filtered water
✓ Cook from scratch
✓ Buy food without labels (eg. fruit and veg) or with just one ingredient on the label (eg. quinoa, oats)
✓ Get organized – plan ahead and take your lunch and snacks to work
✓ Start a veg patch
✓ Grow your own herbs
✓ Keep chickens and enjoy your own eggs
Put these tips into action and the health benefits will soon start to stack up.