This week I'm tackling a topic that is so much larger than us - the potential of food to PREVENT disease. In reality, it's difficult to narrow down specific foods which have been scientifically proven to "be good for us". This is mainly because science is always advancing, and nutrition science is always evolving. With new evidence these said foods change, so it's much easier and simpler to look at some foods that have a multitude of benefits.
Let's break it down, shall we?
But First... Did you know we have two "brains"?
New research is showing us strong evidence in a bi-directional connection between our brain and gut.
This means that if we are stressed, our gut will suffer - and vice versa - if our gut is suffering, our emotions will be impacted, making our gut a big control centre. By being mindful of this connection, we can make sure to take the steps necessary for our best health. For example:
- partaking in self-care activities where we can give more love, empathy and compassion to ourselves, will reduce our stress, and therefore improve our gut health
- eating whole foods that have anti-inflammatory benefits will help our gut but also our emotional and mental wellness
One of my lovely volunteers, Sabrina S., worded it beautifully: " For me I see cooking and eating food that I enjoy as an act of self-love. Taking time out of my day to nourish my body makes me feel more confident and happy. It is also a medium to connect with my loved ones since the aromas, textures and tastes of specific dishes all are associated with the most pleasant memories."
HOW COOL IS THAT?
In this blog post, we'll focus on anti-inflammatory foods that may help to prevent and fight disease both physiological illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and IBS and mental health conditions.
I also have a surprise freebie for you, so keep reading to get yours! ;)
Introducing the Mediterranean Diet
You might have heard of this approach before, and it's one that has always been supported by scientific research.
There used to be SO many recommendations for various stages of heart disease based on blood work and blood pressure... but now that's all changed. It's been boiled down and simplified to only focus on the Mediterranean diet guideline as the main prevention recommendation for heart disease.
- Whole Grains
- Vegetables & Fruits
- Nuts, Beans, Legumes, & Seeds
- Fish & Seafood
- Olives & Olive Oil
- Herbs & Spices
Some meal ideas for inspiration for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner:
- Breakfast Smoothie: milk of choice, frozen fruit (mangos or berries), banana, chia seeds (and/or hemp seeds & flax seeds), 1 scoop of choice of protein powder (unflavored), vanilla extract, & sweetener of choice
- Buddha Bowls: integrate whole grains (wild rice, quinoa, millet), shredded veggies (cabbage, carrot, zucchini, cucumber, beets) and choice of protein (tofu, shrimp, chickpeas) with a tahini dressing (sesame seed paste, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper) or avocado dressing
- Protein Pasta: use a bean pasta (edamame, chickpea or lentil pasta), with pesto (herb-base + nuts + olive oil), and top with asparagus or green beans & pea shoots or arugula and some nuts for additional crunch
I know you may have a lot of ideas to incorporate most of these foods, and usually I hear a lot of people asking for recipes to use more legumes and beans. AND I'VE GOT YOUR BACK!
If you want 15-more plant-based recipes that use a variety of legumes & beans, enter your email below to receive the recipe booklet straight into your inbox!
Recipes in this booklet cover breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner and desserts. Some recipes included are:
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Dietitians of Canada: Nutrition Month 2018