Our brains are bombarded by new information every single day, all day long. It doesn’t matter if we are right in our living room or out on the town, the media is telling us all about the good, the bad and the ugly from numerous sources. As a result we don’t know what to believe anymore. It’s no wonder there is so much confusion about nutrition!
“Juice cleanses are healthy. But juice cleanses are too harsh. Eat tons of vegetables…except for cruciferous or nightshade veggies. Protein is good, carbs are bad. Except for when carbs are good for you and protein is bad. Take vitamin C. Too much vitamin C is not good. Eat paleo…because being a hunter-gatherer is the way to go…except in the summer when it’s fruit season. It’s important to eat whole grains for the fiber. Whole grains are bad and make you fat. Stand on your head and do a happy dance while eating a carrot. Except on the 4th day of every other month or on a full moon. Garcinia Cambogia is the cure for everything, except for when you need Ashwagandha…”
Are you confused yet? I am! We get fed so much from the media that comes from who knows where, it’s not surprising we have so many health issues in our country. So I am writing this blog to simplify things for you today. Here’s a short story you may be able to relate to…
Growing up, my family ate the standard American diet for the most part. We would have Cheerios for breakfast, drive-thru McDonald’s for lunch, enjoy some crispy chicken fingers and fries for dinner. We had the occasional ice cream for dessert, regular birthday cakes, pumpkin pie at holidays and you get the picture.
But it didn’t matter what I ate in a day. No matter what, there was always one common theme. In the words of Forrest Gump, “My momma always said, ‘as long as you eat your vegetables.’”
Even if you grew up eating the standard American diet like me, there was never a question as to whether fresh vegetables were a healthy option! Pretty much everyone I have ever talked to in my entire 35 years of living on this earth has said something like this at some point: “I need to start eating more vegetables.” Even the president of the American Candy Bars association (totally make believe organization, in case you didn’t grasp that humor…wait, is that a thing?) understands that eating your vegetables is beneficial.
So my point is, if there is ONE thing you can always count on to be true, just one teeny tiny little thing, it’s that fresh vegetables are healthy for the human body.
The other half of the equation though, is that fresh fruits are healthy for the human body as well, and they often get a bad rap. Fruits are criticized for being “too sugary.” I often hear phrases like, I don’t eat too much fruit, it’s too sugary; Don’t eat too much fruit, you’ll gain weight.
These two statements couldn’t be further from the truth. Fresh fruits have a beautiful balance of healthy sugar (the sugar our cells need to survive and thrive!), fatty acids (building blocks of fats), and amino acids (building blocks of protein). And to address the topic you may be perplexed about now, YES! Fruits have amino acids! Fruits are the whole package: vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fiber, healthy sugars, amino acids and fatty acids.
As for the weight gain topic, I have never known or seen anyone gain weight from fresh fruit. I know people who live solely off of fruit, and they are some of the most fit and healthy people I have met. Yes, you may gain some weight if you are eating too much canned fruit with added sugars. Or perhaps if you are eating fruit as a large portion of your diet but also other things remain in your diet like processed sugar, complex carbohydrates, fatty foods, etc. If you feel you may gain weight/are gaining weight from fruit, it may be good to examine not only what else remains in your diet, but also your state of health at that time. Are you struggling with hormone imbalance? Do you have a thyroid weakness? These are examples of things to explore.
If anything, I have seen people drop weight significantly when eating fruit as a large portion of their diet. This is due to the detoxification of the body. Fruits detoxify, tone, strengthen, and provide nutrition. What more could we want out of a food group?
So let’s wrap this up in the simplest way possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the most nutritious foods we can eat on this planet. Herbs are also at the top of the list for healing and strengthening. Everything else is pretty much secondary. If you’re questioning what to make for your next meal, load up on the veggies and fruits! The human body was designed to consume these. This is whole foods nutrition at its best, and my momma said so! Did yours?
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