Welcome to the second half of the year. Summer brings longer days, warmer weather- except for us coastsiders where the fog has set in- and maybe a chance to slow down and reflect on the year so far. I am taking advantage of this calendar moment to look back at some of the highlights in health and nutrition that I’ve been focused on this year:
- The pattern of your diet matters more than the specific meals you eat. Letting go of striving for perfection may be the secret to successful long term change. Focus on seeking health as your goal instead of eating the perfectly balanced nutritional meal. This is a way to change your mentality about food instead of following the latest diet trend. Keep it simple, reduce your food stress and embrace food as nourishment instead of entertainment. Studies illuminate how cooking, sharing meals, and social connections will all help you along this path.
- Our reductionist approach to nutrition has led us to evaluate individual nutrients and categorize them as good or evil, when in reality food is more complicated. Instead, embracing a whole food approach and making the majority of your meals healthy will create lasting health and longer lives. There are many well established approaches to creating these healthy patterns, I’ve written about a number of them this year:
- Research continues to illuminate the impact of food on our health, uncovering ways nutrition can support the healthy function of our guts, brains, lungs, and livers. In general these studies highlight the way our bodies absorb nutrients from unprocessed foods, providing the fuel and raw materials for all our organ systems. Amongst their many health benefits, these nutrients support the immune system to decrease risk of cancer. Some foods show specific promise when eaten regularly- the G-BOMBS, leafy greens and bitter flavors, as well as fruits and high potassium vegetables.
Happy eating in the second half of the year –