Recently i posted about Phytonutrients – plant based nutrients whose time has come. These nutrients are AMAZING in terms of their healing capacity. And plants are incredible sources for both the macro and micro nutrients we need. For me though, it is their healing capacity that is most important – as this is what I began seeking out after my 600km memorial cycle ride this year. As I mention in that post, the first four letters of HEALth are what is most important – the ability to recover, restore, rejuvenate, rebalance … return to full health capacity.
Plants enhance that healing capacity through their alkalizing effect: an alkaline environment in the body is what our physical bodies need to heal. Alkalizing is also pivotal for reversing and preventing all major chronic diseases!!! And embodying this change to a plant based diet can be an eye-opener in so many ways! And in this post I reveal whyFirst of all, again i’d love to emphasize the importance of getting your blood tested!! As i mentioned in that post, I needed ways to raise my red blood cell count and iron stores. So I began looking into all the things that could help me with this. And in my research, I found all the nutrients are abundantly available for this in plant foods like nuts and seeds and leafy green vegetables. I was astounded! After all, i had grown up to believe that meats like chicken, beef, and lamb were the best sources of nutrients for blood health as well as protein for muscles and immune health!
What i learnt however is that whilst it is true that nutrients are more bioavailable from animal products, with a little bit of care and attention, plant foods can yield their nutrients to us in equal and even more superior ways. For example in my post on iron i mention that iron absorption is increased when we have a vitamin C source and avoid tannin rich drinks like tea, coffee and red wine. So make sure you have a Vitamin C rich food such as Parsley or Orange with an Iron rich food such as Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach or Beet Greens. Added, soaking and sprouting beans, legumes and nuts will disarm protective plant mechanisms that lock nutrients out of reach of digestion – so check out my post about soaking and sprouting here!
What’s also fantastic about plant foods however is the host of other benefits they offer. For example there is the alkalizing, healing effects of those foods i mention above (which compares sharply with the acidifying effect of meat products). There also is the digestive fiber and its benefits on both digestive health and for so many other things – like blood sugar management and pulling toxins out of the body. And then there are the healing phytonutrients, a personal passion of mine as i reveal in this post.
Liver health and detoxing meanwhile is a central theme in functional medicine. It is one of the pilars that directly affects our immune health as well as our ability to assimilate nutrients for all other body functions, like energy production. Knowing this, i wrote a study paper about the liver that i have posted here and i’ve also posted some easy tips for loving you liver here. Supporting the liver is essentially a task of detoxing. And detoxing, in itself, is optimised by a plant based diet.
As I mention in my change post, I care deeply for the ecology of the planet too. And this is reaching a crisis point as i mention in my post about preserving the Amazon. So its a no-brainer that a plant based diet is best – both for the planet and natural environment and also for my own health. Its also, fundamentally and most importantly, the most sustainable.
So a plant based diet is what have adopted. Its not that i’m against meat eating or cattle rearing – after all, i spent my childhood helping my father on his beef and dairy farm. And like him, I know many ethical farmers who are acting as guardians and caretakers of their farms, animals and the environment. I believe in supporting them. However I also recognise and respect now what is best for both my health and that of the planet. I may occasionally eat meat products: but ONLY products that have been produced to high ethical standards.
So on this blog i’m going to focus on the benefits of these plant foods. So come back to this site for future posts on the nutritional benefits of legumes like beans and pulses that will partner with the posts on nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit and herbs that I have already posted about. I’ll also be posting about the importance of digestion as its not simply what we eat that is important – its what we absorb.
So here’s to your health, to our health, and to the health of every being on the planet and the planet herself. Let’s all take care of each other!