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KEY POINTS:

1. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll outline the 7 keys to Eating Smarter. Here are the first 4 keys.

2. Key 1: Hydrate. Water consumption is the easiest way to improve your health. It helps boosts energy production in the body, prevents headaches, improves elimination of toxins, and supports the skin, bowels, eyes, and brain.

3. Key 2: Eat Mostly Plants. Plants have vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that have important anti-oxidant properties (oxidative stress affects the structure and function of important biomolecules, such as a fatty acids, DNA, or proteins). 

4. Key 3: Consume More Nutrients, Fewer Calories. Health = Nutrients per Calorie consumed (H=N/C). Choose nutrient-dense foods as apposed to calorie-dense foods.

5. Key 4: Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods. Poor nutrition causes chronic inflammation, which leads to abdominal bloating, arthritic joints, heartburn, heart disease, and oxidative stress. Five groups of food that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects are spices, fruits and vegetables, small cold-water fish, probiotic foods, and raw nuts and seeds.

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Eating smarter can help us in all aspects of our life. The solution lies in each of us building a lifestyle that helps us to be healthy, happy, and to be our best. The foundation needs to be built on great foods that help us be better. We just need to eat the right foods at the right time, and we can have amazing health and perform at any level we need to any time we need to. If we add good sleep and exercise to the mix, we can amplify our health and potential. Here are the first 4 keys to eating smarter.

Key #1: Hydrate

There is not a single cell in your body that does not rely on water. Water helps transport the carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your cells need to make energy. When your body works, functions, or moves it does so because water helped transport the necessary fuel or energy-building components. Think of your veins and arteries as your city’s roads and highways. These roads are used to bring goods into the city but also to transport unwanted materials out. If this transportation is slowed, the result is a city that is starving for goods and overflowing with garbage.

One of the most fascinating things about water is its effect on the brain. 60 percent of your body weight is made up of water but incredibly it makes up almost 90 percent of your brain. Water lubricates and cushions the brain. It also helps you to think, concentrate, problem solve, and remember. With water those important cognitive functions… well, they function. Without water they stop functioning properly, or worse. With a fluid loss of only 2% (3lbs in a 150lb adult), concentration and thinking will become impaired. This 2% loss is incredibly common in a typical day at the office with back-to-back meetings.

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Key #2: Eat Mostly Plants

The primary benefit of eating a diet based mostly on plants is to increase the amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your diet. These have anti-oxidant properties that help to keep you healthy. In technical terms anti-oxidant are substances that prevent the oxidation of important biomolecules, such as a fatty acids, DNA, or proteins. Excessive oxidation of molecules in the body can affect their structure and function (oxidative stress). Anti-oxidants slow and minimize this process in our bodies.

Plant-based foods are our best defence against oxidative stress in our bodies. Fruits, vegetables, teas, coffee, spices, and herbs are all great sources of anti-oxidants, and all of these have been related to lower risk of most chronic diseases and a lower risk of mortality. Research has shown a clear inverse relationship between increasing your fruit and vegetable intake and lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma, COPD, dementia, osteoporosis, certain eye diseases, and weight gain. If you want to live a long, healthy life, eat mostly plants.

INTERESTED IN EATING MORE PLANT-BASED MEALS? CHECK OUT RICH ROLL’S COOKBOOK THE PLANT POWERED WAY FOR SOME TERRIFIC RECIPES. HTTPS://WWW.RICHROLL.COM/THE-PLANTPOWER-WAY/

ANOTHER GO-TO COOKBOOK IN OUR FAMILY IS OH SHE GLOWS BY ANGELA LIDDON. HTTP://OHSHEGLOWS.COM/THE-BOOK/

Key #3: Consume More Nutrients, Fewer Calories

I want to give you an easy-to-follow criteria for choosing foods that will give you the most health and performance benefit while helping you avoid the various preservatives, pesticides, genetically-modified ingredients, and nutrient-poor crops out there. To get the biggest bang for your calorie buck, you need to optimize your nutrient-to-calorie ratio.

Consider this formula: H=N/C, which means that health = nutrients per calorie consumed. 

To speed you on your way to eating more in line with the H=N/C principle I want you to add Superfoods to your diet wherever possible. Superfoods are foods with very high vitamin, mineral, nutrient, and anti-oxidant levels that are also low in calories (think vegetables), or if not low in calories then powerfully health enhancing (such as fruit, nuts, avocado, and coconut). Examples of Superfoods include leafy greens, small fatty fish, legumes, berries, root vegetables, sprouts, chia seeds, spirulina, pomegranate seeds, and turmeric.  

Key #4: Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Whether it’s abdominal bloating, arthritic joints, heartburn, or heart disease, inflammation causes wear and tear and interferes with you being the best version of yourself. Researchers are now discovering that chronic inflammation is a result of the diet that we eat in the west, along with our inactive lifestyle. It is extremely damaging to our health and our ability to take part in the activities that will lead us to achieving our dreams.

Chronic inflammation also appears to cause problems in the cells that line your endothelia, the lining of your blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and other tissues in your body. These problems result in your blood vessels becoming stiff when they need to remain flexible to function. Problems with endothelial cells also lead to oxidative stress.

Five groups of foods that have shown promising anti-inflammatory effects in research settings are spices, fruits and vegetables, small cold-water fish, probiotic foods, and raw nuts and seeds.

When you have a diet full of healthy whole foods and lots of vegetables and other anti-inflammatory foods, you will take in a high density of nutrients that could help reduce your inflammation to help you feel more clear headed and keep your memory sharp.

Today's Habit: Prep your snacks!

Hopefully last week you made a list of healthy snack foods to bring to work with you. Did you try some of them out?

This week, we’re going to continue with the same habit so if you didn’t get around to it last week you can try it this week.

Remember, if you prevent yourself from getting to the point of extreme hunger, you will be less likely to reach for that unhealthy snack. Make sure you pack healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates to help get you through the day. If you need some advice on what you can bring, don’t hesitate to contact us. Keep up the good work!