Optimizing the nutrition in your diet

 

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Now that you are eating a cleaner more nutritious diet, you should be feeling the beneficial effects of your efforts. In theory, if you are eating a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, you should be able to get the majority of your nutrients from your diet. The problem is that many fruits and vegetables are grown in over-farmed soil devoid of vital nutrients.

In addition, the way food is cooked can denature or destroy nutrients found in food. For example a study published in 2009 in the Journal of Zhehiang University Science, was done which examined the effects of steaming, microwaving, boiling, stir-frying and stir-frying follow by boiling on broccoli in China. The study found that all types of cooking except steaming resulted in “significant losses of chlorophyll and vitamin C and significant decreases in total soluble proteins and soluble sugars”. The study goes on to say that “indole glucosinolate were significantly modified by all cooking treatments but not steaming”. Indole glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds that have been associated with a possible decrease in lung cancer and colorectal cancers.

Lilli Link and John Potter from the Mailman School of Public Health in Columbia University reviewed 9 years of medical studies and published an article in 2004. They found that consumption of vegetables (raw or cooked) was associated with a lower cancer risk, however 9 of the 11 studies reviewed showed an even lower risk with raw vegetables as opposed to cooked vegetables. They suggested that “cooking changes the availability of nutrients, destroying digestive enzymes and changes the structure and digestibility of food“. So it appears that consumption of vegetables in general is beneficial but consumption of raw vegetables may be even more beneficial to your overall health. That being said, make sure that you carefully wash and clean vegetables, because raw vegetables often contain bacteria which can be harmful. Furthermore, it is important to do your best to remove as much pesticides as possible from the surface of the vegetables.

Amino acids provide the building blocks for protein production in your body. Amino acids are divided up into three groups, Dispensable (our bodies can make these under almost all circumstances), Indispensible or Essential (can never be made by our body and must be consumed through diet or supplements) and Conditionally Indispensible (can be made by our body under many circumstances but not always).

Consuming foods such as fish, eggs, sea vegetables, salmon, brussel sprouts, broccoli, garilic onion, chicken legumes, dairy (occasionally) and soy will help to provide you indispensable amino acids. It appears that you do not need to eat these foods at every meal, but it is important to eat them over a period of several days to help maintain your body’s amino acid stores.

There are many nutrients which are helpful to add into your diet, possibly via supplements, such as Vitamin D3, Calcium, Magnesium, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Glutamine. In the following weeks articles, I will be addressing the importance of each of these supplements as valuable additions to our diet.

To summarize the above information, adding well cleaned, raw vegetables and fruits to your diet, and adding high quality proteins such as eggs, chicken, legumes and fish will increase the nutritional density in your diet and provide your body with important building blocks to function optimally.

Disclaimer. The information provided here is not intended to substitute for medical care and should not be used for treatment or diagnosis. If you have, or suspect you have a problem concerning your health please consult with a licensed healthcare professional.

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