The Power of Clean Nutrition and Immunity
We’ve all heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” While we may not turn into a noops oatmilk pudding snack, no matter how much we may wish to, food does play one of the biggest roles in what our bodies become. Food is fuel. It is what allows us to do the million and one things we need to do each day. Protein feeds our cells, builds our bones, skin, and muscles as well as repairs damaged tissue. Carbohydrates give us glucose and in turn energy, giving a boost to our brains and bodies. Fat does both. It gives us energy, helps to grow new cells, protects our internal organs from damage, and regulates body heat. However, food is also medicine. While we need to keep our bodies powered up and functioning, we also want to keep them healthy and free of disease. This is the hidden superpower of a clean diet.
No matter how much energy we have, chronic diseases do not seem to care who they infect. That is why we must also choose our foods in relation to our physical health and immune system. This is probably not new information for most of us, yet so many people still struggle with prioritizing a diet and choosing foods for the physical benefits along with the taste. So we decided to share some highly motivating facts that help us stay focused each time we head to the grocery store.
It’s always best to start with the why. Is it really that big of a deal to focus on clean, plant-based nutrition when processed snacks and fast food are industry leaders in the American diet?
Chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70% of annual deaths are due to chronic disease with six out of ten adults living with one of these already. While this is truly a tragedy, what is even more difficult to hear is that the majority of chronic disease can be prevented and at times, even reversed. This is not hype, magic, or wishful thinking. It’s basic science and the power of good nutrition. According to Harvard research, we can all greatly reduce our risk of these diseases by choosing a healthy diet, regular exercise, and refraining from tobacco and the overconsumption of alcohol.
The last three we understand clearly. Get daily exercise. Don’t smoke. Drink responsibly. However, a healthy diet is widely misinterpreted and highly depends on who you ask. Of course, if you ask us, we believe we should focus on a plant-based diet with an emphasis on organic foods that are as close to their natural source as possible. This means they are not overly processed, don’t have added sugars, chemicals, colors, or artificial preservatives. You may be thinking that diets like that are time consuming, and it’s true they can be. However, there are incredibly delicious grab and go foods that follow these standards. Ahem… like a sweet and creamy noops pudding snack! We want to make healthy eating so accessible that all you have to do is open your fridge and grab flavors you love.
While a plant-based, all-natural, organic diet is ideal, it’s also true that we are all at different points in life and want or need different things and of course it is not always achievable and accessible. At noops, we believe that every bite is a choice. So with each meal or snack, we have another chance to give our bodies something that will protect it and keep it strong. It won’t be Every. Single. Bite. We are human. But we do our best. This philosophy allows us to let go of any harsh judgments about the candy bar we may have eaten or the deep desire we may still hold for a double melt patty and fries. A clean diet is like everything else in life. It takes time to master and must be done with patience.
With that in mind, let's look at a few things that can act as guideposts along the way.
Healthy eating has two primary functions: it prevents obesity which in turn greatly reduces the risk of illness and it supplies the body with necessary vitamins and nutrients to keep it free of disease.
Let’s start with obesity, even small changes can make a big difference. If you are not already plant-based or perhaps don’t have the desire to become so, begin by reducing your intake of fats and sugars. Focusing more on lean proteins and complex carbs can make a huge difference in the body. Think grilled fish and wild rice or be brave and try a tofu and quinoa Buddha bowl. How many calories we eat each day also plays a huge role, but simply changing what those calories are is a great start to disease prevention.
Another great way to rebalance your plate is to divide it like a pie chart. If you are building up to eating more plant foods, start with 25% plant foods on your plate, then 50%, then 75%, and one day you will find yourself easily choosing fully vegan or vegetarian meals. Another great way to make a positive nutrition change is to adopt one of the trendy challenges like Meatless Mondays. The value of good food is that each bite can make a difference.
The second benefit to all-natural diets and healthier eating is the huge variety of fresh vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is the most common immune booster. Bring on the bell peppers and broccoli! Vitamin B6, B12, and folate all help to protect us from coronary heart disease. This means leafy greens, avocados, and fortified plant-based milks and cereals. Fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Some studies show that vitamin E can help to protect against atherosclerotic disease. Did someone say red sweet peppers and turnip greens?
Plant foods are naturally rich in the vitamins and minerals the body needs most. You don’t need to look up what they each have to offer. There is a simple rule that will have your body dancing a nutritional jig in no time. Eat the rainbow! That’s right. Eat as many colors of foods that you can each day. Red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple. Try to get as many of each as you can. Did you know that bright foods like strawberries, butternut squash, and yellow peppers are loaded with carotenoids. These are like super antioxidants loaded with vitamin A and have shown to be powerful agents in the battle against cancer and heart disease!
With knowledge like this and simple guidelines for daily meals, creating a diet rich in disease fighting foods is not only relatively easy, it’s also beautiful and delicious. So give your body some love and choose to bring some plants to the table!
- Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
- Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.