BY DR. WENDY HENRICHS
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutrition Counselor
Healthy eating should not be about deprivation. Healthy eating is about feeling great, having abundant energy and stamina, and waking up ready to seize each day. It is about adding foods and some supplements to boost nutrition and energy. Food is our fuel. It’s what runs our engine. If you put a lower octane fuel into a car that requires high-octane fuel it will still run, but not very well. The same is true of our bodies.
In past articles, I’ve talked about the core components to healthy eating. Those components are eating clean and organic foods, whole plant-based foods, good quality protein, good fats, and limiting added sugar. Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store will be a great start at healthy eating. This article will focus on super foods. These powerhouses can add nutrients and energy to our healthy diet.
Probiotics: These are the good bacteria that we need in our gut to keep it working properly, and boost immunity. You can get these from a good quality probiotic supplement, or from fermented foods. Fermented foods have natural probiotics. The three K’s-Kefir, Kombucha, and Kimchi are readily available in stores or you can make your own. If you are purchasing these, read the label for added sugar. When purchasing probiotic supplement look in the refrigerated section as not all supplements are created equal.
Phytonutrients: These are found in the pigments of fruits and vegetables. In general, they help boost our cellular health. About 10,000 have been identified thus far. Try to eat the six different colors each day (red, orange, yellow, green, blue-purple, and tan-white).
Coconut oil: It is anti-inflammatory, boosts your metabolism, balances hormones and is antimicrobial. Use this for sautéing, or in lieu of butter or olive oil. It is also an excellent topical treatment for hair, skin and nails.
Chia Seeds: These little seeds are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, and are an excellent source of fiber and micronutrients. Remember, omega 3 fatty acids make up your brain and nervous system as well as your cell membranes. Try sprinkling these on salads, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, or over your steamed veggies. A two-tablespoon serving is packed with antioxidants, protein, minerals, healthy fat, and they fill you up.
Curcumin: This is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, and is one of the most powerful spices for your health. It has been called a health superstar, thanks to over 50 healing actions. Curcumin is an antioxidant that binds to heavy metals in the body, fights inflammation from toxins which controls pain, and increases the production of enzymes responsible for detoxification. Turmeric can be incorporated into your meals in a myriad of ways. Make a vegetable curry using curry powder and coconut milk, sprinkle turmeric in your salad dressing or on stir-fries, or cook it with your soups, stews or eggs in the morning. You can also take this in supplement form. As with all supplements, look for the label certification that it has been tested for quality and content.
Glutamine: This is a “super” amino acid as it helps to build muscle, supports our immune system and our gastrointestinal health. You can take this in capsule form. I prefer using the powdered form in smoothies. Try adding this for more energy and vitality.
If you are interested in having more energy, feeling great and experiencing less pain, add some or all these super foods to your core healthy diet.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.