Earlier we reviewed the first six principles that will help you make better food choices to add years to life and life to years. Here are the remaining six:
7. Upgrade the quality of your protein
Choose plant-based proteins as a default. Some good options as noted in Part 1 include nuts and seeds, sprouts, nutritional yeast, blue-green algae, miso, and mushrooms.
Animals raised conventionally, on feedlots or in fish farms, are fed large amounts of grains or processed nitrogen waste. During conventional processing, contaminants in the grains become concentrated in the meat, fowl, fish and milk produced.
For meat, always choose grass-fed and humanely slaughtered. Animals in the wild eat grass and not grains. Conventional livestock are also kept in overcrowded conditions. “Kosher” or “halal” designation on the label will indicate that an animal was killed in a humane manner. Also choose organic. For things entering your body, you want to choose proteins as close to nature as possible. You’ll want to avoid sausages, hot dogs, and lunch meats, even if they are grass-fed and/or kosher. They have been manipulated with fat, salt, and sugar to be addictive and then chemically modified to last a long time on the shelf.
For eggs, choose duck, goose, or quail eggs, or organic/biodynamic chicken eggs. They are all nutritious and delicious. The more conventional chicken eggs contain detectable levels of arsenic, as well as other biocides and pesticides that have been applied to the grains that chickens are fed.
For fish, eat only fish that has been line caught, never frozen. When shopping for fish, look for eyes that are clear, as when you freeze fish the eyes get cloudy. Farmed fish are better avoided, as farmed fish typically eat the nitrogen-rich waste of water treatment plants, contaminated with many chemicals you don’t want in your body. Fatty, deep-water fish are still an important source of omega-3 fats. Get these essential fats from a fish oil supplement that has been distilled under nitrogen to remove toxic minerals and pesticide contaminants.
8. Select grasses rather than grains
Grains in our grandparents’ time were the staff of life. Every locale used to have a slightly different strain of wheat or soy or corn or rye. Over the last 100 years, the food agribusiness industry has consolidated their seeds into a few strains that have been manipulated to have more sugar and less protein. These single-strain seeds are full of anti-nutrients, including glyphosate and toxic metals thanks to pesticides and chemical fertilizers, all of which makes them easier to process, but harder to digest. If you can find bread that’s been made with organic or biodynamic heritage wheat using a traditional method, that would be acceptable.
Rice today is almost always contaminated with arsenic, a slow-killing toxic mineral. In addition, it also contains increasing amounts of non-biodegradable hormone-disrupting plastic that harms digestion and life in general. You can buy organic, relatively uncontaminated basmati rice that is grown at higher altitudes. While true that you pay a premium for uncontaminated, certified food, it is an investment wholly worth making.
Better yet, avoid grains as much as possible. In their place, add more grasses to your diet. Grasses do not contain hard-to-digest gluten or gliadin, have been much less manipulated to change their basic composition (with the exception of corn), and are easy to digest. They are a good source of complex carbs (dietary fiber) to slow sugar uptake as well.
Technically corn is a grass. Sadly, the corn you find in your local market has been genetically manipulated to make it more palatable, and it is harder to digest. It has twice the fructose sugar, half the protein, and is genetically modified and loaded with glyphosate.
Other grasses include millet, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and wild rice. Most of us don’t eat many grasses, so it may take your palate some time to acclimate and your culinary skills some time to adapt to creating healthier, grass-containing meals. Your improvement in digestion, assimilation, elimination, mood, and productivity are worth the effort it takes to swap grains for grasses. When eating grasses, organic and biodynamic are always healthier, more nutritious, more delicious, and less likely to be contaminated.
9. Add probiotic and fermented (cultured) foods and drinks to your diet
Make a habit of consuming a wide range of probiotic (cultured or fermented) foods and drinks. The term probiotic means promoting life. A healthy gastrointestinal tract is home to a plentiful variety of beneficial (probiotic) bacteria responsible for keeping our bodies and immune systems in balance. Poor diet, stress, illness, and antibiotics can deplete these beneficial bacteria, giving pathogens free rein to proliferate. We consume probiotics to colonize the gut with beneficial bacteria. Consuming probiotics in food or drink form is ideal, since this provides the highest levels and variety of probiotics.
Some Probiotic-rich Foods and Drinks (choose organic/biodynamic)
* Kombucha (fermented tea)
* Kefir (fermented milk)
* Yogurt (dairy or nondairy, with live cultures)
* Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
* Kimchi (a spicy fermented cabbage common in the Korean diet)
* Tempeh (fermented soybeans)
* Microalgae (freeze dried)
* Hatcho Miso soup
* Natto (a fermented soybean)
10. Eat lower on the food chain
Plants are the basis for lifelong health. Of the wide array of plant-based foods available, you want to make sure they are whole, and as much as possible, organic and/or biodynamic.
Berries are high in carotenoid and polyphenolic phytonutrients. The darker, the better, including raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, marionberries, arctic (hardy) kiwi, and blackberries.
Sprouts are a highly concentrated source of nourishment; they are easily digested and a good source of fiber. Brassica (broccoli) sprouts are particularly recommended.
Sea vegetables, such as seaweed, are excellent sources of iodine and trace minerals. They are also high in fiber and help you get more of the bad stuff out of your system and improve the health of your digestion and your microbiome, as long as they come from a clean source. Quality sea vegetables are harvested in pristine water, far away from urban runoff and contamination.
Seeds and nuts offer concentrated nourishment in a tasty, portable package. Eat a wide variety of nuts and seeds in rotation so that you don’t eat any to excess. It is crucial that you buy organic or biodynamic nuts and seeds to avoid harmful fungicides and contaminants.
Herbs and spices are wonderful nutrient delivery systems. They also make the food you prepare even more delicious. Most commercial herbs are contaminated, and all are produced to have a pretty color and a long shelf life; they are to be avoided unless they are organic or biodynamic. A far better choice is to grow your own herbs in your garden or in a container on your windowsill. Shortening the amount of time between when the herb is harvested and when you eat it is a really good idea, as all plants contain delicate components that start to dissipate as soon as they are picked.
Sulfur-rich natural detoxifiers. These are the GGOBE foods: garlic, ginger, onions, brassica sprouts (such as broccoli sprouts), and pastured chicken, duck, or quail eggs, all of which help to bind toxins so that they can be ushered out of your body.
Mushrooms are unique sources of immune-, neurochemical-, and digestion-boosting compounds. Eating more edible mushrooms helps your gut and your central nervous system remove toxic metal from your intestines, brain and body.
11. Consume plenty of fiber and water
Americans, as a whole, consume far too little water and food fiber. Traditional cultures that remain free of Western degenerative diseases consume 40-100 grams of dietary fiber daily from whole, lively foods. By contrast, Americans typically consume 10 grams.
We recommend a daily fiber intake of at least 40 grams. The beneficial “roughage” from fiber makes the stool bulky and soft and helps to maintain a shorter transit time—the time from food consumption to waste elimination. Adequate fiber encourages wastes to be eliminated easily and comfortably on a regular basis. Keeping your body clean and clear means it is less likely that toxic waste matter will be reabsorbed back into circulation.
A healthy transit time ranges from 12–18 hours. This reduces the opportunity for unhealthy bacteria and yeast to dominate in the body.
Plentiful water intake is key to health—especially when consuming a high-fiber diet. Water helps fiber do its job of efficiently moving wastes through the body, and every system of the body depends on water to function. We recommend consuming at least one 8-ounce glass of purified water 8 times daily. For every 5-8 ounces of caffeinated beverages, add a glass of water. Take a rest from drinking water 20-30 minutes before and after meals to assist the body’s digestive process. If you must drink at these times, make it small amounts of room temperature or hot water (or healthy tea) — cold water can really slow down digestion. Fresh lemon juice, lime juice, and/or ginger act as digestive aids and alkaline enhancers while enhancing the taste of water.
12. Detox periodically
By participating in a detoxification program, you can actively assist and support the body in its own natural cleansing actions and help it to eliminate toxic substances. A functional detox program helps to strengthen all of the organs involved in detoxification, including the liver, lungs, kidneys, skin, and lymphatic system. Among the valuable benefits of a successful detoxification program are:
- Increased energy
- Clearer skin
- Stronger immune system
- Greater mental clarity
- Improved digestion
- Weight loss (if desired)
A successful detox includes drinking plenty of water, getting sufficient exercise, choosing the right foods, removing toxic substances such as caffeine and alcohol, eliminating processed foods, and limiting intake of sugars, salts, and saturated fats. A multi-system detox supplement program is also recommended.
Contact us at email@example.com or contact your healthcare practitioner for detailed recommendations on how to complete a successful detox.