Friday, July 14, 2017

What part does food play in our wellbeing?

As we explore the world of health and wellbeing, we must not overlook the whole picture of what health provides for us. What is the whole picture? Good question to ask, but there truly is no one good answer. 

Wellbeing encompasses so many moving parts starting with our surrounding environment, how we nourish (or don't nourish) ourselves, how we challenge ourselves through a healthy mental eagerness to learn, how satisfied we are in our social circles and let's not forget personal accomplishment and fulfillment. 

We tend to focus on food, right? Why not, food is something that we need not only to survive, but to nourish us as well. But think of all of the delicious and nutritious foods that we have available to us. For those of us fortunate enough to live in well-populated areas with good working infra-structures, we even have more choices in the foods we eat. How about variety? Variety in fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains is essential, so then why focus merely on what the media tells us? The media talks about 'superfoods', but you simply don't hear to much about the importance of nutritional variety, do you? 

It is good to reflect on the foods we eat on a daily basis, not just to eat when we are hungry (or not), but how will that food that we are about to eat benefit our wellbeing? We come full circle to variety again, why not switch up our diets to add a variety of fruits and vegetables, grains and proteins, but let's remember portion size too. 

Why not have a glass of red wine with dinner or a small piece of dark chocolate for dessert? Why should that be off limits to us -- unless of course your doctor restricts that from your diet for some health reason. Have you known of a healthy and nutritious food that you haven't had in your diet for awhile? Is it because there is so much hype about the health benefits of chia seeds or avocados or cauliflower? 

While those foods are excellent, why not add a food you haven't had in your diet for awhile -- like maybe radishes, or watermelon, or watercress or mustard greens? All of those foods just mentioned have loads of vitamins and minerals that lead to better health. Below is a list of some foods that you don't hear too much about in the media, but are vitally important to providing us with essential nutrients. It is after all healthy variety that optimizes our wellbeing. Isn't that what we want?
Just as those foods mentioned above may or may not have been in your diet lately, why not start making healthy variety part of the way we look at life? Yes, routines are important, but it is also healthy to liven up our lives a bit and challenge ourselves to do different things. Take up a new hobby, drive to work on a different route, get up 10 minutes earlier than usual to simply sit quietly, bike ride to the grocery store or take kayaking classes at your local YMCA. It is all about optimizing our wellbeing and that is what we should want for ourselves and our loved ones, don't you think? 

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