Food For Life: The Best Way To Feed Your Body

What you choose to feed your body is one of the most important things that you do to it every day. Are you consistently choosing the right foods to keep your body running happily and healthily? The benefits of a healthy diet are far reaching throughout the body as the old adage says, you are what you eat. The food that you regularly feed your body can affect your organs, immune system, lifespan and your risk of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Feed Your Microbes Right

You may have heard about the microbes (microorganisms) in your gut and how a balance of good bacteria can counteract the bad bacteria. Our gut microbes control the amounts of fat and nutrients that are processed from our food and eventually absorbed into the body. A recent study has revealed that ultra-processed foods such as lollies and chips feed the bad bacteria in our gut and encourage them to take over the population, pushing the good bacteria out of a home.

A healthy diet involves a range of fibre sources to feed your gut bacteria and provide you with the full range of nutrients that your body requires. So you will need to make sure you consume different foods with different types of fibre including vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts.

Ultra processed foods are defined as containing at least one ingredient that isn’t normally used in a regular kitchen. These extra ingredients are often emulsifiers and flavour enhancers that are added to increase palatability of the food. Ultra processed foods have low nutritional value, are less filling and have been designed to have a better mouth-feel and flavour than the competition on the shelves. This makes you eat more and buy more because your body won’t feel satisfied with just one square of chocolate or one Pringle. Once you pop…

Not only are ultra processed foods designed to make you eat more but they help to feed the bad bacteria in your gut. When you feed your body a range of different foods you introduce both soluble and insoluble fibre into your gut. Both forms of fibre are considered to be good but they affect the population of human gut bacteria differently. More research is required on how they each affect the gut, but what we do know is that a diet low in fibre produces an inflammatory response in the gut. This is because good bacteria break the fibre molecules into short-chain fatty acids which provide an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. When you aren’t eating enough fibre, your gut isn’t protected from inflammation which can kill off the good bacteria. That’s when the bad bacteria can take over. Now you’re in trouble, the bad bacteria don’t produce anti-inflammatory compounds and can make your gut even more inflamed. Over time the low level inflammation causes health issues throughout the body including reducing the strength of your immune system and increasing your risk of chronic inflammatory illness in the gut.

The Healthy Eating Pyramid as of July 2021 https://nutritionaustralia.org/fact-sheets/healthy-eating-pyramid/

Let’s Get Nutritional

As omnivores, humans require a certain percentage of protein to keep our body running. Therefore the body will feel hungry until you feed it the right portion of protein. Protein is relatively expensive so ultra processed foods are often low in protein and instead are filled with high levels of fats, carbohydrates sugars and salt. When we eat a diet consisting of a mainly processed foods we wind up eating more because the body will feel hungrier despite the large number of calories consumed.

A diet high in ultra processed foods is a diet that is low in nutritional value and eventually leads to low quality health. Be aware that these processed foods are “high GI” or have a High Glycemic Index. When you induce a high glycemic response in the body, over and over again, you overwork the organs and cells that are responsible for balancing the sugar levels in the blood. Eventually they stop working as well as they should and this leads to pre-diabetes, then if you let it go further out of control the disease can develop into diabetes. Diabetes is a serious chronic illness that, although common, does require specific care to ensure quality of life.

Due to the lack of nutritional value in packaged junk foods and ready meals, as well as the ultra processed ingredients, people who consume too much can become obese and malnourished. The best way to feed your body is to provide a large variety of food types, sticking to the ratios outlined in the Food Pyramid. Basically the idea is to have everything in moderation but eat mostly plants.

Everything in moderation but eat mostly plants

A diet that contains various sources of fibre is the ideal option for your organs and therefore your overall health.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Please follow this blog and subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more health knowledge based in science.

Posture Matters

Posture check! Are you hunching over your screen or keyboard right now? When you bend your head, like when you use your phone, your neck muscles are working to hold the weight of your head. All of this extra stress on your neck and shoulders can cause headaches, back and neck pain and a permanent curve of your spine such as a hunch.

Another surprising link to bad posture is acid reflux! When you sit hunched over you constrict the flow of digestive juices through your digestive system. This can cause the acids in your gut to be pushed back up, causing that feeling of acid reflux and indigestion.

Studies have shown that good posture has an affect on the mind as well as the body. When you walk into job interview with your head up and your back straight you not only give a good impression on the people around you but you also feel more powerful. Compare this with a shy stance, shoulders rounded and face pointed towards the ground – this gives the impression of a lack of confidence.

While the emotional effects of good posture are important, maybe you’re looking to improve your physical health when performing day to day tasks.

When your neck muscles are straining to hold up your head and your shoulders are rounded over, that extra load on the muscles will cause them to fatigue. You’ll notice pain in your neck and shoulders after sitting at your work desk for hours without a break. Headaches become more common as these muscles are knotted and tensed up.

Note: No one really knows what the knots in our muscles are but they can be alleviated by stretching and massage.

The mayoclinic.org website has this handy advice for using your phone in an ergonomic way to prevent back and neck pain:

Avoid looking down at your phone

Looking down at a smartphone can cause you to flex your neck and strain your cervical spine (A). When standing and looking at your phone, maintain good posture and aim to hold your phone close to eye level (B). When sitting and looking at your phone, sit upright and use armrests — or alternatively a desk or pillow — to support your arms.

Source: mayoclinic.org

There are more ergonomic tips for sitting at a computer or desk. These include making sure your feet are flat on the ground and your spine has a natural arch, without the shoulders hunched forwards.

Source: mayoclinic.org

So remember to hold your chin up. Look the world in the eye. I hope this was interesting and useful information. Thanks for reading!

Visit http://www.youtube.com/queeenvk for more Full Cup Wellness health tips. For some silliness and little handy life tips my tiktok is queeenvk (don’t forget those 3 e’s).