Food Matters will be an ongoing blog category that will present and discuss information and ideas around many topics that pertain to food and nutrition, including the ecological and ethical dimensions of our food choices. I will also periodically post yummy, easy and healthy recipes for you to try. For now, here are some general thoughts for consideration.
The importance of proper nutrition and appropriate food choices cannot be overstated if one is interested in being as healthy as possible.
In fact, one cannot have optimal health without consuming nutritious ‘real’ food as opposed to fast food, junk food, sweets or sodas. People may crave these foods, but they do not support health, and are in fact counter to health.
When we consider all of the things that influence our health such as genetic predisposition, socio‐economics, lifestyle, stress, etc., there is no one thing that has a greater impact on our overall well‐being than what we eat.
Together with sleep, the food we consume is how our bodies restore and regenerate.
The reason that food is so critical to good health is because it is the source of our daily energy, and supports all metabolic functions. Just like the cars we drive, our bodies not only require fuel, but the proper fuel. Every person has a different genetic background and metabolism. Food that is good for some is not necessarily good for others. Learn which foods your body needs and thrives on, and which foods do not serve your optimal health.
Eat whole, organic and/or local foods. What does that mean?
Whole foods doesn’t mean you need to eat your food whole, or that you only eat food from Whole Foods Market! What the term means is food that still looks as it did growing in nature, or very close to it. Basically, whole food is food that has not been processed, or only minimally so (think vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, etc). The human body thrives most efficiently on food that is in its natural form.
Organic foods are not genetically modified, and are not grown with pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. They are not only better for us, but are better for our environment.
Local foods are often fresher, more nutritious and support local farmers.
We are very fortunate in the Portland area to have a multitude of seasonal farmers markets where we can find whole, organic and locally grown foods. Find the farmer’s markets that work for you by viewing a full list of all the farmers markets in our area, and the days and times that they are open, at the Portland Farmers Market website, as well as the City of Portland’s website.
So get out there and get some veggies! In the now famous words of the food journalist and author, Michael Pollan:
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”