When it comes to our health, diet and nutrition, it sometimes seems like an impossible mission. Yes, I want to eat better, feel better and look better. But the information out there is so confusing!

Fat is bad – no it’s good! Coffee is bad for you – but it has all these antioxidants that are so good for you! You definitely have to cut down your sugar consumption – but dried fruits, for example, are full of so many vitamins and minerals! Grains are hard to digest – but they contain all important fibres!

Shall I go on? it seems that every day we hear about something that is good for us, only to read an article the next day about the dangers of that same thing – red wine anyone?

So, where to start? The answer in one word is bio-individuality. We are all biologically unique. Even two members of the same family can have a very different experience when it comes to food.
Still, certain rules can apply to us all: processed foods, refined sugars and carbohydrates are harmful to the body. WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR BODY WILL EITHER HELP OR HARM YOU.  So we want to stick with properly prepared, nutrient dense whole foods that will strengthen the building blocks of our bodies.

Are these foods good or bad for our bodies?

Lets discuss a few of the most common foods with the most contradictory information:

6 Common Foods:  are they good or bad?

Coffee

Coffee contains several important nutrients, including Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin. These are all beneficial to our body and can help keep us healthy and fight disease. Coffee also has caffeine, that is a stimulant. Caffeine can feel good, especially in the morning, and give a boost to the body and brain to start the day. However, people that already have even mild stresses in their lives and also consume sugars and carbohydrates on a regular basis, people that suffer from high blood pressure, anxiety or are sensitive to caffeine might find even 1 cup of coffee harmful.

Wine

Anthocyanin is an antioxidant found in grape skins used to make red wine. It is known to prevent disease-causing cell damage. New research shows that white wine may be as heart-healthy as red. Grape flesh — used to make both red and white wine — contains antioxidants that are just as powerful as those in grape skins. We all know the risks of drinking too much alcohol. But alcohol is a naturally occurring substance that even animals consume sometimes in nature (Animals in Africa get drunk by eating ripe Marula fruits ). However people with a compromised digestive system or blood sugar management issues, which is the majority of us today, find alcohol to be yet another burden on the system. For example, the liver is constantly at work assimilating all the nutrients we consume and getting rid of toxins. One portion (unit or glass) of alcohol can set the liver’s normal function back by 8 hours!

Wheat

Wheat is rich in vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, folate, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. Vitamin E and K are also present in smaller, but still significant amounts. That’s a lot of great nutrients (we’re talking whole grain here of course). Grains, in general, are not very easy to digest and traditionally they were properly prepared and soaked, as fermentation partially digests the grain and helps our digestion of it. When freshly ground and properly soaked and baked, wheat’s many nutrients can be beneficial to people who are not grain or gluten (a protein in the grain) sensitive. Unfortunately, due to so many years of eating processed, refined and chemically enhanced wheat products, many people have developed wheat and gluten sensitivity and some don’t even know it. Consuming foods that you’re sensitive to can greatly compromise your health, especially the gut, immune system and brain function.

Fats

This is a subject of much debate and a lot of information is involved. To keep it short – fat is one of the most important building blocks in our body. Most of the brain is made of it and every cell membrane in the body. Consuming fat is essential. However the quality of the fat is crucial! consuming processed fats – hydrogenated and trans fats (most of our take away, crisps, ready made meals and a lot of home vegetable cooking oils contains them) actually causes damage to the cell membranes in our body. Consuming healthy, natural, traditional fats is essential to health: butter, lard, goose fat as saturated fats, olive oil, avocado, and omega 3 rich vegetable oils like hemp, flaxseed, walnut and fish oils. Oils go a long way in terms of quantity and a small amount in every meal should suffice.

Fish

Fish are a great source of Omega-3 oil that can boost your mood, improve brain function, help fight inflammation and has many other benefits. It is recommended to eat two to three servings of fish a week. However, here, quality matters too. The amount of toxins in the sea that are absorbed by the fish and sea foods, especially mercury, is worrying. It is best to research where the fish comes from and try to stick to fresh water and (non-farmed) wild fish, such as salmon.

Dairy

Milk and dairy foods are healthy and considered nutrient-rich because they serve as good sources of calcium and vitamin D as well as protein and other essential nutrients. They provide phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B12, and riboflavin. People who are not sensitive to dairy (sometimes you don’t even know that you are until you stop eating it for a while) can benefit from this great super food. However, modern day pasteurisation and processes of making dairy low in fat can take away the benefits of a lot of these nutrients. You should at least try to eat full fat products, but we now know that consuming organic unpasteurised dairy is easier to digest and full of good bacteria and good nutrients.

Do you see a pattern here?

Going back to more traditionally ways of cooking and eating can benefit our health.

We are all different and need to find our own individual way of eating that suits our physical state.

The good news is that food sensitivities and health conditions are not necessarily a life sentence.
By healing the gut we can improve and sometimes reverse many allergies, sensitivities and health conditions (even diabetes), and after a healing time, go back to eating foods that we missed for a long time!

If you would like to learn more about nutrition, what to eat or not to eat, book a consultation with one of our specialists TODAY!