By Mary Beth McCue, RD, CDN, IFNCP
Being conscious of choosing healthy lifestyle practices has probably never been as critical as it is today. Eating “clean” is commonly promoted in mainstream media; but what does this mean and why is it important?
Eating organically raised foods, free of contaminant’s and pharmaceuticals is foundational for “clean eating”. Based on the science published on sustainable farming, and on regenerative, holistic medicine; eating clean foods may be the most critical lifestyle choice for people to live their healthiest and most successful life.
Like integrative and functional medicine, the organics industry is mainly consumer driven and in rapid growth. Humans are literally at the verge of new life everyday, at every meal and every thought. How is this so ? Our choices determine the state of potential new life, renewed health, because our cells are constantly turning over and renewing. What we feed ourselves will determine “everything”.
No matter what personal health challenges or goals one has, eating clean needs to be part of the ongoing process. The most nutritionally dense, safe, toxin-free foods that support the lowering of inflammation and stress in the body PLUS support a healthy immune and digestive system come from clean foods.
These factors are all focal points for maintaining health, and vitality.and are critical to the recover from any chronic condition from losing weight (toxins store and hold in fat stores), to those with anxiety/depression, cardiovascular, immune, diabetes, GI conditions and more.
Sometimes facts are so simple, and yet, profound. Toxins in our environment, more importantly in food, negatively impact every cell and system in our body. This happens in unique ways for each individual. The process of eliminating toxins, is referred to as “detoxification”. Toxins in our environment have increased, especially since the World War II era.
There are many nutrition or metabolic “pathways” (reactions) in the body that keep the body “running, clean and healthy.” Nutritional compounds from foods support these pathways; and the detoxification pathways are critical. Every cell is always detoxifying, as are each of the main detoxification organ system: the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, liver and skin.
Choosing foods that are clean and organic includes food raised without toxic chemicals pesticides and herbicides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and antibiotics or hormones. Pharmaceuticals are used in methods to raise protein-based food sources such as meats and eggs because it is lower in costs, and quicker in production for the industry, but at the cost of health for consumers.
Organically raised foods are sustainable life-given foods for the earth and our bodies because they are grown and raised without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers, or bioengineered genes (GMOs) and result in foods much more dense in nutrients for from the organic soil used.
As a result, the plants are able to naturally developed a robust immune system, which directly supports our immune system when we eat them. More and more, people are learning the significance of the immune system which is mainly in the GI system.
Choose a better path for your body and your life. Achieve more balance by “collaborating” with the root source in natures balance. Nature allows us to tap into the magnificent potential of our bodies in multiple profound ways.
1. Choose regional organic foods at year-round farmers markets, Co-op Food Markets, and grocers that sell organic foods that have been harvested at the time the foods are ripened with high levels of flavor and nutrients. This high complex carbohydrate foods deliver the cleaning forms of antioxidants, phytonutrients and energy for all cells.
2. Consider joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm
3. Eat more real whole foods, and avoid processed.
4. Choose in the best way that you can to purchase healthier meats, poultry, eggs, fish, wild game and other protein rich foods that are antibiotic and hormone free, organic, and raised in their natural habitat. These can be found in different types of grocers and on local specialty farms. These foods provide the healthiest protein products that support the rebuilding, repairing and maintaining of our amazing human bodies.
5. Avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO) in foods, which is estimated to be in the majority of foods in conventional grocers. Most of these foods have been treated with the chemical Round-up.
6. Cook more home cooked meals from scratch.
7. If you eat out of your home, start to explore the business that practice a more “farm to table” system.
8. Start where you can with improving the way you eat. Enjoy food, and expand your horizons in variety. Have fun trying new foods and recipes.
9. Never seek perfection, especially when enhancing your lifestyle