Know your food’s history
These day’s food is rarely ‘out of season’. It is simply source from overseas, frozen, shipped, thawed and preserved before it hits our supermarket shelves. The downside to this convenience is that all these processes deplete the nutrient content of our food. Some processes and preserving method also include chemicals, which can be detrimental to our health, hormones and metabolism.
So before you make that purchase, ask yourself “do you really know where your food started it’s journey?”.
If not, find out. Ideally a vegetable garden in your backyard is the perfect place. If not in your own yard, visit farmers markets where you can speak directly to the grower. Alternatively ask your local fruit shop or butcher where they source their produce. Find out what’s local and fresh. These foods will be more nutrient dense, providing more antioxidants more vitamins and minerals for energy and be overall more satisfying for your body and your metabolism.
Avoid foods with a barcode
Ok, so that’s probably oversimplifying it, but the general message is to aim for whole foods. Reduce your intake of packaged, processed foods and increase your intake of food in its natural state. Whole foods come with the benefit of having all the nutrients as well as the cofactors to help ensure those nutrients are well absorbed. Plus the natural fibre and good fats to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Avoid the inside isles of the supermarket
Have you ever noticed that the inside isles of the supermarket are generally where all the ‘bad’ stuff lurks. Packaged cereals, lollies, soft drinks etc etc I’m sure you get the picture. Ideally avoid the supermarket all together and instead opt for your local farmers market, butcher and fruit and veg store. If you do head to the supermarket, stick where the ‘good stuff’ is. Around the outside isles is where you will find more whole foods, fruits and vegetables, dariy etc
Water is your best weapon against cravings and weight gain! Yet most of us aren’t consuming enough. These day’s we are so tuned in to hunger signals that we can often mistake thirst for hunger. Aim for at least 2 litres of fresh filtered water or spring water per day. Carry a drink bottle around with you and spread your intake over the day. If you are feeling hungry, drink first. Hunger signals can often be relieved with a glass of water. Wait 15 – 30 minutes, if you are still feeling hungry then opt for a healthy snack.
Lots of brightly coloured foods
Variety is the spice of life! Next time you are choosing a meal or snack, look at the colour variety. Is it all the one colour or do you have a good splash of colours in there (and by this I mean natural colours not a rainbow of artificial colours!). The more colourful foods like blueberries, red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, mangos, provide the most nutrition. Often referred to as superfoods these little powerhouses help to boost energy and increase satiety.
Take a prenatal multi – vitamin
In an ideal world, we would get all the nutrients we need from our foods. Taking all the above advice is a great start to doing that, but in reality, our nutrient intake fluctuates from day to day. Our body requires a consistent supply of essential nutrients, especially water soluble nutrients like the B vitamins, every day. Lack of essential nutrients can lead to increased cravings as your body attempts to get enough. A good way to help ensure you maintain a consistent supply of essential nutrients, is to take a multivitamin. Particularly if you are trying to conceive, nutrients like folate, choline and vitamin B12 are especially important to help optimise egg health and improve your chances of conceiving and carrying a healthy baby. Be sure to check with your trusted health care professional when choosing a multivitamin as not all multi’s are created equal.
Particularly nutrients such as folate are commonly only provided in the form of synthetic folic acid. Up to 50% of women have difficulty metabolizing folic acid into useable folate. Especially preconception, look of a prenatal multivitamin and mineral which provides folate in the form of folinic acid or calcium folinate as well as folic acid to optimize absorption. Plus look for a good dose of choline and B12 as well as iron in the form of iron amino acid chelate to avoid constipation.
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