We tend to sit down for a meal when we are hungry, or at least that is what we say. There are several reasons people eat besides the growling of our stomachs. We may be hungry because there was no nutritional value in our previous meal. Or, we fill a plate to fill an emotional void, or we are just plain bored.
There is a purpose for food beyond the fact that it tastes good and provides a sensual pleasure for the palate. If we don't eat, our biological mechanisms will fail, so it is a basic matter of survival. It is a wonderful side-benefit that we have taste buds that can enjoy the survival experience! While searching for things that taste good, remember that the functions and mechanisms of our body thrive on whole food nutrition.
The foods we consume greatly impact our bodies. For example, you feel a little sluggish in the afternoon, so you grab a candy bar. Your energy spikes and for a while you feel great, but then comes the inevitable crash when your blood sugar levels drop again, leaving you to feel worse than when you started!
Mind and body are directly affected by our daily and cumulative food choices. The reason that whole foods are a much better choice than processed foods is because processing removes nutrients - the very reason we are wired to eat in the first place! You will see foods labeled “enriched" and “fortified", which means artificial nutrients have been added back in.
Has “artificial" ever been better than the wholesome original?
In order to regulate your mood, your immune functions, and your nerve and muscle responses, choose the route of whole foods. To help fulfill the purpose of your plate, you can't go wrong with food in its natural form. Food out of a laboratory is about as appealing nutrition-wise as airplane or hospital meals!
There are balanced, nutritionally sound ways to keep your body feeling on course, which can also please the palate. If you are coming from a daily nutritional regimen that has included fast foods choices, frozen dinners, and bags of snacks, you may relate to what happens to a lot of people: you crave “home-cooked meals", and are tired and bored with going out to eat.
Some people fear that in switching over to a whole foods-based diet, it won't taste good. While there may be an adjustment period for your palate, you will soon find that when you taste food in its natural state, you won't want to go back. Have you ever reduced sodium in your diet? After a few weeks, if you grab a bag of chips, it will taste incredibly salty to you, and it overwhelms your taste buds. In whole foods, there is no need to overwhelm – your palate is quite capable of enjoying the subtlety and richness of natural-state foods!
Remember the purpose of food, and base your daily dietary decisions on nutritional common sense.
Debra Augur has studied holistic nutrition for years, put that knowledge into practice, and has a passion to share that knowledge with others who are seeking their own best health. If we are what we eat, are we denatured, devitalized, deficient and potentially toxic? Visit http://www.eat-well-to-be-well.com to learn more, and begin acquiring your healthiest self.