April 29, 2017

Helpful Resources on Nutrition

With the start of a new year, a lot of us are trying to “revamp” our diets and start eating better. Perhaps you want to lose weight, or boost your metabolism, or maybe just take good care of your body. Maybe you need to improve your digestive system, or increase your intake of specific nutrients, or work on improving certain physical conditions or illnesses. Maybe you just want to figure out a way to boost your energy levels without downing six cups of coffee every day. Eating healthfully isn’t just about losing weight; it can provide all these benefits and then some. In fact, as I restructured my own dietary habits last year, I found a whole host of benefits: easier weight-loss, increased stamina and energy, better sense of well-being, increased concentration and mental acuity, decreased insomnia, decreased tinnitus, increased metabolic responses… need I go on?

However, if you are at all interested in improving your eating habits, it is absolutely crucial to research and study before making any major dietary changes. Fad diets, even high-protein diets, could be harmful depending on your personal situation. For instance, I discovered that eating a lot of protein actually increases inflammation (something I have to fight with my vasculitis), and can actually harm the kidneys if they are already susceptible to having problems (as mine are). So, no Atkins diet for me! However, my husband needs more protein than I do. He responds better to having a more meat on his plate. The point is, you really need to understand the basics of nutrition before you can modify the guidelines for your own needs. It also helps to talk with a trusted doctor or nutritionist, who understands not only the general needs of the human body, but your specific needs and goals as well. Because what works amazingly well for me could be the worst possible thing for you.

However, some of the resources I used could definitely work for you, or at least give you a place to start:

  • Consumer Report’s Guide to Diet, Health, and Fitness – kind of a Reader’s Digest version of nutrition basics; easy-to-understand; good starting point
  • Diet and Nutrition Sourcebook – more in-depth reading about nutrition; very helpful information for evaluating your own personal needs; includes reading lists for further study
  • Healing Foods for Dummies – guide to healing specific problems such as digestion, congestion, cramps, eczema, and surgery; written in an easy-to-follow style that is typical of the Dummies books
  • The Mediterranean Diet – lots of information about one of the most healthful ways of eating; includes recipes and guidelines for a more healthful “Mediterranean” lifestyle; very helpful resource in forming your own tailor-made eating plan
  • Whole Grains – why we should eat whole grains, what they are, and how to prepare them; excellent website to bookmark!
  • Seasonal Fruits & Veggies – what’s in season when, by region or by produce name; helps you save money, enjoy better flavor, and get more nutrients!

And be sure to check out my personalized food pyramid, created by combining  Mediterranean and anti-inflammatory dietary guidelines.

Disclaimer: I was not contacted by anyone in the promotion of these resources, nor am I receiving any sort of incentive for doing so.

Also shared with {Titus 2}sdays at Time-Warp Wife.