Whole Foods for Whole Health

There is so much to overthink and over-complicate these days with food and diet. There are diets for weight loss, for brain function, for immune support, for hormone health, for clear skin, for sleep, for energy, etc. What if I told you there was one "diet" for all of these and more?


Is there any other species on the plant that thinks this hard about what to eat? It can be overwhelming and you have enough on your plate to also navigate the right or wrong way of eating. Consider for a moment the human body simply thrives on whole, real food. A wide range and variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, spices, fish and meats. Yes, there are circumstances in which certain foods are not optimal for some individuals with autoimmune conditions or food sensitivities. That is when the food journey gets specific based on the person. However, bottom-line, we all function optimally with a whole foods diet.


Perhaps easier said than done because if it was that simple, we would all be doing it and feeling our best. It's not that the work comes from eating this way, it comes from shifting habits, creating a new perspective, taking time to listen to your body and allowing space for learning.


Your body knows what to do with the molecules and nutrients in the most minimally processed foods, ideally one to five ingredients. Vitamins and minerals assimilate in to your bloodstream with ease and are shuttled to the tissues and systems that need them. Your gut, the hub of your health is happy when well-nourished. Your intestinal lining is strong, intact and functions like a well-oiled machine only allowing the "good stuff" in and eliminating waste. Your microbial ecosystem is thriving on nutrients you feed it, in turn supporting your metabolism, immune health, your brain, hormones, skin, skeletal system, cardiovascular system and more.


Eating whole foods and supporting the gut truly is the ONE diet we need to thrive. A healthy adult gut is home to a community of micobes that influence nearly all aspects of human biology 🤯! Consider the gut contains approximately 400 - 1,500 different species of microorganisms, which includes bacteria, archaea and fungi. In fact to further blow your mind, it is estimated that there are 3 to 10 times more microorganisms living in our guts than there are total cells in the entire human body!


Feed you gut, fuel your health. Below is a list of nutrient dense foods that support your gut and whole body. This list is clearly not all inclusive but a solid starting point:

NUTRIENTS FOR GUT HEALTH

Vitamin A

This is not the same as beta-carotene, which is a Vitamin A precursor, not Vitamin A itself, and is important for bone growth, vision, skin health, immune function and tooth remineralization.



In the retinol form, it is only found in animal foods like liver, eggs, seafood (salmon, shrimp, tuna and sardines) and quality dairy products.

Vitamin D

Important for bone health, assists in calcium absorption and bone development, D is vital to neuromuscular function and the reduction of inflammation. It’s called the sunshine vitamin because it can be produced when the sun’s UV rays hit our skin and triggers the vitamin D synthesis. It’s found only in a few foods.



Oily fish (salmon, tuna and mackerel), mushrooms, fish roe, liver and eggs.


Zinc

Important for almost every cellular function - from protein and carbohydrate metabolism to cell division and growth - it is a vital nutrient to the immune system and plays a key role in the epithelial barrier function by improving tight junction formations in the gut.



Oysters, red meat, sesame seeds, poultry, nuts and seeds and legumes.


DHA & EPA

These are the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, benefit cardiovascular health and influence the fluidity, flexibility and permeability of cell membranes beneficial to the health and function of every cell.

Fish (wild-caught salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, trout, mackerel, cod, haddock, hake, halibut, flounder, perch and sole), shellfish (oysters, clams, scallops and mussels) and crustaceans (shrimp, lobster and crab).

Glutamine

An amino acid that can help improve intestinal barrier function and reduce intestinal permeability, treat mood disorders, prevent disease-related weight loss and reduce risk of infection.

Fish, meat, poultry, dairy, legumes, spinach, beets and parsley.

Soluble & Insoluble Fiber

Serves as a food source for our gut micorbiome, supporting metabolism regulation and the health of our intestinal lining. Regulates peristalsis (gut motility), hunger-hormones and detoxification.

All plant food, examples: flax, bananas, berries, leafy greens, apples, citrus fruits, legumes, nuts, chicory, onions, Jerusalem artichoke, mushrooms, whole grains, potatoes (all root vegetables), celery, broccoli, peppers, cabbage, etc!

To get you started I wanted to share one of my favorite buddha bowls. I love making these bowls because they are not perfect. If you don't have an ingredient, find another vegetable to supplement either roasted or raw. Get creative by sprinkling on flax, chia, hemp, sunflower seeds or slivered almonds. You c