Literally, you are what you eat. I didn’t realize how literal this statement was until I visited to the Gray Fossil Museum a few weeks ago. The paleontologist leaded the tour was telling us about the giant mastodon that was found on the dig site. He said that they could tell what the animal ate with the chemical make-up of its large tooth. Not only could they tell that the animal was a vegetarian, they could tell that he ate plants from trees as opposed to grass and plants that grow on the ground. Think about that, thousands or millions of years have passed (regardless of what you believe the age of the earth to be it was a long time ago), they can find out what this animal ate, in detail, by its teeth. If someone tested your teeth thousands of years from now what would they find? Think about what you’re putting in your body every day. I talk a lot about eating food for energy and feeling well, but now I know its not just about a feeling, it’s the physical aspect of building a strong, healthy vehicle. I guess I knew that in a way but this explanation of the mastodon really put it into a tactical meaning.
If someone were to find our fossils thousands of years from now would there be anything left? Are we putting food in our bodies to build strength and sustainability?
Every time you put fast food, processed food or any kind of food not ideal for your unique body’s make-up, you are depriving your most important vehicle from essential mineral, nutrients and vitamins. Even if you have created a weak foundation, our bodies are built to be resilient. They are always repairing themselves and adapting to their environment. You have the opportunity at any moment to start building a strong foundation.
Here are a few vegetables you should be eating everyday:
Dark leafy greens. Sometimes you’ll see mixed greens in a package. These are perfect! These are best in a salad as opposed to romaine lettuce, which is mostly water, but if that’s what you need to start with and if you’re eating it with a tons of other veggies, by all means eat the romaine. Spinach and kale, especially, are high in fiber, which enhances digestion and contributes to cardiovascular health. These are also super important for your brain. Really any green vegetables are a good source of magnesium which contributes to brain health. A study recently published in Neurology finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens. Max Lugavere also talks about a study in his book, Genius Foods, showing that people who ate just two servings of dark leafy greens a day had brains that looked eleven years younger on scans.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (cabbages, radishes, brussel sprouts, arugula, bok choy): improves digestion because of its fiber content which serves as a natural detox component. It’s a good carb that maintains low blood sugar and reduces over eating. It’s also a great source of vitamin C which creates natural collagen to keep you looking young!
Bell Peppers. They are packed with nutrients and vitamins. Vitamin C. These also have quite a bit of Vitamin C. Other than keeping your youthful complexion, Vitamin C creates neurotransmitters that can affect your mood and memory. Red bell pepper contains over eight times the amount of vitamin A than a green bell pepper. They can help you lose weight, reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, supports healthy eyes, boosts immunity and your mood, while giving you a healthy glow.
Carrots. Carrots are packed with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene and are linked to lower cholesterol levels and promote healthy eyes. As many of their vegetable counter-parts, they can reduce the risk of cancer and promote weight loss. They can also help clean your teeth and gums, flush out toxins, and give you glowing skin. Carrots are a no-brainer for quick snacks and salad components.
Garlic. Especially this time of year when the common cold and the flu are rampant, stock up on eating your garlic. In my opinion, its immune boosting qualities are its greatest quality. The cloves also come packed with other beneficial properties like reducing blood pressure, lower the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol levels. Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. Studies have shown that it may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, increase bone health and detoxify heavy metals in the body. All of this in those tiny cloves! I love to mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, pepper for a quick, simple and tasty salad dressing!
Eating real food, getting sleep, hydrating and moving your body are foundational functions that will set you on the plan to a healthy lifestyle. For in depth blog posts on these subjects go to www.coachlesliej.com.
To Your Health,
Coach Leslie J.