To a certain degree you are what you eat, of course that is true. Obviously if you are eating a lot of junk food, coffee and chips, that is going to be the only resource that you can make use of in your body – a sobering thought if that is your only source of nourishment.
In today’s Britain, by and large, we have enough calories but many of us are still mal-nourished. Processed food, tins of food, and pastry goods have calories a plenty but the very building blocks your body needs to fuel many of its vital biochemical reactions are severely compromised.
The body needs the nutrients in food to run the body’s systems e.g. digestion, brain function, and nearly every reaction in the body is dependent on a complex cascade of vital nutrients. Without the quality being excellent in the food we eat we risk these vital body systems breaking down and the net result being poor health. Some diseases that were thought to be in the past have re-emerged recently for example scurvy and rickets. An 8 year old child died from scurvy in Wales only two years ago. These deficiency diseases that many thought were consigned to the history books are on the up in Britain. We eat less fresh fruit and vegetables a day that the Americans do – is this something we should aspire to?
As working adults deficiency in nutrients can still effect us and our performance – e.g. low iron, which would cause extreme tiredness, low iodine or selenium which might affect the performance of the thyroid gland (again tiredness might be the result), low B12 which could lead to anaemia. Doctors have recently highlighted a general lack of Vitamin D (responsible for a healthy immune system and healthy bones, amongst a host of other functions).
Making sure that you take care of your body and invest in techniques that reduce stress is important. Make sure that if you are eating in the office that you are not eating at your keyboard. Digestions starts with the very thought of food, then the sight, the smell and finally the taste. Eating is not about just shoving any old rubbish into your body and hoping that will do! Quality and time are very closely allied. You must take time to eat. This investment will pay you back in spades.
How do we make sure we are getting the quality that will benefit our bodies and get food with a full nutrient punch?
1. Consider buying local food with not too many “food miles” – consider an organic box scheme. Buying at local markets – e.g. Borough if you are London based
2. Consider making sure that you are absorbing your food – Mindful Awareness is becoming a major candidate for top researched intervention in companies today. Using Mindfulness techniques to improve stress outcomes will help your body’s systems work better. If your digestive system works better you will absorb what you eat. If you are stressed the body’s digestive system “shuts down” , leading to low hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
3. Consider getting your vitamin D tested and on your doctor/nutritional therapists advice look into supplementation
4. If you are super tired, consider getting your iron status and/or your thyroid tested
5. When under stress your body will need more B vits. If you are under stress consider a B complex
So which of these effects you the most? Let me know in the comments below.