Why Nutrition Is So Important
By Marcela Owen
I have gone through various stages in my life regarding nutrition. I grew up eating a diet rich in meats, pastas, pastries, breads, fruits and vegetables. As I grew older I tried different approaches to modify my diet. I’ve experimented with becoming vegan, then vegetarian and then followed a vegetarian diet but incorporated fish to satisfy my protein cravings. After 10 years of eating a vegetarian diet, I went back to my roots and started eating meat. But most recently, as I’ve educated myself about where our food comes from, how it’s treated before it reaches our homes and the impact on people and the environment, I have been rethinking how I eat and how I feed my family. In the last few years I have dedicated a lot of time and energy researching the organic market. I also investigated the best sources and ways to bring organic food to my family’s table.
My Take On Personal Nutrition
Nutrition is one of my favorite subjects to talk about. Even though I’m not an expert on this front nor have certifications or accolades, I still can offer information from a consumer point of view. As a consumer, I’m interested in feeding my family pure, clean, organic food. In addition, I’m simply extremely passionate about this topic. I truly believe that nutrition affects all aspects of my life. Nutrition affects, of course, my body but also my mind, my emotional state and my attitude toward others. Let me expand on that and explain what I mean. It’s evident to me that it is all interconnected because food affects my mood and the quality of food I consume affects my body. If food affects my mood then my family and friends could be positively or negatively affected as well. If I eat junk food, anything from a doughnut, to a candy bar or a soda, my mood will change. I may go through highs and lows since the mixture of caffeine, sugar and artificial flavors and additives affect my body so strongly. Caffeine for example makes me shaky and gives me heart palpitations, and at times when I consume caffeine, I feel dizzy. My physical reaction to caffeine could definitely affect other people that I interact with in my life. When I consume caffeine, I may become irritated because I’m uncomfortable. I may snap at my loved ones and friends because this substance affects my brain in such an unnatural manner. I learned to stay away from caffeine and to opt for other healthy options. I believe that my nutritional choices have an essential impact on every aspect of my life. So instead of caffeine, I’ll have herbal tea, water with lemon, or fresh squeezed organic fruit juice.
Why is it important to pay attention to nutrition? Why bother? Well, many reasons come to mind, but I want to focus on three main reasons:
- Eat Organic – Nutrition is all about food. And food is our fuel. Our bodies need fuel to operate and function for ourselves and for everyone else around us that depend on us, who are essentially connected to us. My goal is to fuel my body with the best quality of food available. And the best quality of food around is organic food, meats and produce. I encourage everyone to eat organic as much as possible to avoid ingesting pesticides, herbicides, chemicals and potential genetically modified food.
- Eat Healthfully – Avoid foods that have zero nutritional value. Avoid junk food at all cost. I make major efforts to stay away from junk food. I particularly spend my energy avoiding processed sugar and flour. These two ingredients keep my body from functioning at its optimal level. On and off for years I’ve tried to incorporate these ingredients back into my diet, but it never fails, my body changes and I feel sluggish anytime I consume sugar and/or flour. There are far better options to consider.
- Eat to Heal – You’ve heard the saying: “You are what you eat” well you also “Are not, what you don’t eat” You are not as healthy as you can be if you don’t eat organic, nutritious, non-genetically engineered foods. Experts say that certain foods have healing capabilities. It’s important to consider eating healing super foods that are available at your local farmer’s market, health food store or that you could grow in your own back yard.
As mentioned, what we put in our bodies affects our health. If we are conscious of what we eat, we can take advantage of health benefits related to several conditions. Health benefits from eating healthy foods range from assisting the body recover from fatigue, to improving skin and hair conditions, to avoiding constipation to affecting our energy levels. Considering a nutritious diet is also great for the digestive system, and reducing cholesterol. Recent studies suggest that certain foods prevent many health conditions. I encourage everyone to consult with your nutritionist for a program that it suited for you. I speak about my experiences and my success in adopting an organic diet rich in vegetables and fruits, I’m confident that the way I eat is helping me live a long and healthy life free of medical issues.
The side effect of eating organic and healthy is looking younger than your age. I’m proud to say that I use nutrition as an anti-aging tool. Foods like olive oil, fresh berries and organic chocolate are foods full of anti-oxidants that affect my aging process. I eat obscene amounts of extra virgin olive oil, seriously, I drizzle it on everything! I even carry a bottle with me if I fear that olive oil may be inaccessible anywhere I go. Ok, so I have a little bit of an obsession with olive oil, but it is good for you and simply delicious. The results of constantly consuming olive oil that I notice the most, is my ultra-smooth skin since it is a moisturizer due to its linoleic acid component. Extra virgin olive oil is a magical food with unbelievable benefits. I recommend everyone out there to get your own bottle now, and make sure it is organic!