It’s Healthy Nutrition Month and Dr. Markus Ploesser, Open Mind Health Psychiatrist who is certified in Integrative Medicine and an anti-aging expert, offers twelve tips for healthier nutrition. As a leader in the field, he brings understanding and truth to the familiar adage, “we are what we eat.” He implements the Walsh Institute’s advanced nutrient therapy methods to improve overall health. So, take it from the doctor and apply these best practices to optimize your mind-body connection.
1. Stop drinking sweets
Regular sodas are full of calories; diet sodas have zero calories. And while “zero calories” sounds like music to our ears, they can still be a culprit for weight gain. Our hormones may explain why people still gain weight when they switch to diet soda. Teasing your taste buds with artificial sweeteners triggers the body to expect a shot of sugar. Drinking diet soda before eating primes the pancreas to release a lot of the fat-storing hormone insulin.
2. Calories in vs. calories out — nope, doesn’t work
Lock the fridge at night! Gaining weight is, in part, about the fat-storing hormone insulin. Have a good fast overnight — don’t eat anything after 6 pm and nothing before 10 am is all you need to do. For starters, take it slow. Then work your way up to having at least 12 hours of fasting including overnight.
3. Low-fat diets make you what? Fat.
It’s simple: a low-fat diet restricts fat and cholesterol. There are many reasons why low-fat diets may not work, including the possibility that the low-fat dieter may exchange fats for sugars and high glycemic index carbohydrates, which your body then processes into belly fat.
Your body needs cholesterol to perform important jobs, such as making your sex hormones and building brain cells. More important than a restriction of fat is to monitor the type of fat you eat. Healthy fats are healthy for you. You can find them in nuts, cold water fish such as salmon or mackerel, and avocados. For instance, most of the healthy fat in avocados is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that helps to lower cardiovascular inflammation. Avocados also contain beta-sitosterol, the plant version of cholesterol. Did you know that walnuts have more healthy omega-3 fats than any other common nut? And, what about algae oil for cooking? Algae oil contains the highest level of monounsaturated fat – the good fat.
4. Eat the colors of the rainbow
They’re all excellent. When humans eat plant foods, we take in nutrients with potent anti-cancer and anti-heart disease effects. Each different color provides different micronutrients with distinct health benefits and it’s for this reason that eating across the colors of the rainbow is important. For example:
Red is rich in lycopene, which protects against prostate cancer. Tomatoes also have lots of lycopene, but to absorb it they must be cooked.
Orange and yellow foods contain beta cryptothanxin, which helps our body’s cells communicate.
Blue and purple have powerful anthocyanins, believed to have anti-aging properties. Blueberries also have Pterostilbene, an anti-aging compound and other chemicals believed to lower your blood pressure.
White onions contain allicin, which has anti-cancer properties.
Don’t forget the spices — and, yes, also of varied colors.