I know you can’t remember ever being asked questions about nutrition at your doctor appointments. If you asked any questions about diet you got referred to a nutritionist/dietician. Having fun nutrition tips at their fingertips isn’t something that doctors are trained to offer.
Frankly, the only salient fun nutrition tips from them are don’t eat junk food and limit the sugary drinks! Excuse me, but you already know this. How about nutrition tips that tell you what to do to actually improve your health or help you to lose unwanted weight?
Fun nutrition tips should point you towards better choices in what you eat based on your tolerances, your level of health and your current weight. What do you need to heal? Are you battling chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension/ heart disease, or irritable bowel? Are you currently healthy but wish to support and maintain your aging body at it’s most optimal level?
Let’s start with 5 fun nutrition tips that are excellent to use to decrease inflammation and to promote shedding those unwanted pounds:
Preloading your mealsStarting a half hour before a meal with foods containing 100 calories per cup or less can result in fewer total calories consumed for the day: fruits, vegetables, soup, salads, or drinking a simple 8 oz glass of water.
Add some heat with Chili peppersThey contain the compound capsaicin which increases metabolic rate up to 30% after eating it! Burn calories burn!
Go heavy on the SpicesIn addition to the potent anti-inflammatory action of spices, they can also decrease hunger, cholesterol, and blood sugar. The top anti-inflammatory spices are turmeric, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, rosemary, sage, and thyme. (Think Indian curries, savory stews, and soups Yummy!)
A word of caution about cinnamon since most store brands are made from the Chinese cassia cinnamon which is loaded with coumarins or blood thinners. Eating a little is no big deal, but if you are taking Coumadin or one of the newer blood thinners, you need to limit or avoid cassia. There is a real cinnamon called Ceylon cinnamon and McCormicks makes a ground version that you can liberally sprinkle on your morning oatmeal or sweet potatoes with cottage cheese.
Go green with Green TeaGreen tea has 5x more catechins or antioxidants than black teas. Green, white, or oolong teas help to increase your metabolic rate without increasing your heart rate. You can burn up to 10% more calories within an hour of drinking a single cup of tea!
Eat more GreensThe darker the color green the better (lacinato kale or collards greens) they are for you. Leafy greens slow fat and calorie absorption which helps to increase satiety signals that will decrease your appetite so you eat less during the meal.
Spinach, beet greens, and swiss chard are also noted to delay absorption and decrease appetite but they need to be boiled to decrease the high oxalate content that is associated with forming kidney stones.
Be careful eating greens if:
- you’ve had a history of kidney stones
- are taking mega doses of Vitamin C
- have a history of recent use of broad-spectrum antibiotics
- had a gastric Rous-en Y bypass procedure.
Fun nutrition tips should guide you towards lowering your daily quantity of foods eaten as well as direct you to making specific food choices that target pathways to decrease inflammation in your body. An apple a day really does keep the doctors away!!
The concept that food is medicine is not taught in medical schools. Yet it will prove to be the new direction we need to take in order to tackle the twin epidemics of obesity and chronic diseases in this country.
I’m Dr. Sy Powell a board-certified OBGYN gone rogue! I now practice from a holistic functional medicine perspective. I know that a functional medicine approach can completely change your life for the better. It’s done so for me. For a FREE e-book about taking back control of your health, visit this page. And to learn more about my work, visit my services page. Yours In Health