HomeFoodHealthy Eating

The Key to Longevity Is at the End of Your Fork

The Key to Longevity Is at the End of Your Fork

The Chef’s Table | Recipe
Max Restaurant Group Pulls Out All the Stops at “Dinner on the River” on July 21st
Challenging Our Modern Food Systems

Our bodies are designed to be resilient! Our immune system is our number-one defense to help protect us from disease. Developing a powerful immune system involves a complete lifestyle strategy, including detoxification, super foods, super herbs, and healthy lifestyle choices. Leaning on the traditional medical system to “fix” you after you have been “broken” is a backward approach. We need to be educated on what we can do to be proactive to support our own body’s ability to heal, become stronger, and live longer.

The Basic 7

  1. Sleep
  2. Hydrate
  3. Nourish
  4. Exercise
  5. Manage Stress
  6. Self-Detox
  7. Mindfulness Practice

These are seven things you can do daily that, over time, will make a huge impact on your health. Although all these areas are important to focus on to help improve your health, when it comes to what is on your plate, improving your overall health can be fun—and delicious! The following are some functional foods to optimize your health, become more resilient, and nourish with the most function out of your food.

Sea Vegetables
If you think a kale salad is the healthiest of the green vegetables, you may be missing out on the veggies of the sea! From algae, kelp, dulse, and nori to spirulina, wakame, chlorella, kombu, sea greens are bursting with nutrients that land vegetables can’t compare to. Think about it: These veggies are being nourished from the rich sea minerals, compared to the mineral depleted soils and dirty reclaimed water that is sprayed on the fields—they don’t spray crops of sea greens with pesticides and chemicals like they do our fields.

These sea veggies help support detoxification from heavy metals and other toxins we breathe and eat. They are a great source of iodine, which is critical for thyroid health, and are abundant in antioxidants, which protect the DNA from damage as well as protecting against free radical damage (the aging process). Because they contain more fiber and prebiotics than most fruits and vegetables, they support and feed the gut microbiome. Not only that, but they are also rich in vitamins and minerals—in fact, sea greens are higher in copper and iron than spinach! If you are looking for plant-based omega-3s, look for sea algae. After all, that is what the fish are eating that makes them rich in omega-3s.

From sea to table…how do we eat more sea greens? Thankfully, they are available in flakes, powders, or tablets that can easily be sprinkled on a salad, added to soups and smoothies, or taken as a supplement. However, because they are naturally absorbent and can pick up contaminants and
heavy metals, it is important to source organic
sea vegetables.

Broccoli Sprouts
We know that broccoli is one of those beneficial cruciferous vegetables we should eat daily, but did you know that the baby sprouts that bud from the seed are bursting with nutrition? This delicate stem contains a concentrated amount of sulforaphane, a cancer-battling compound that helps reduce inflammation, detoxifies the body, and fights free radicals. One cup of broccoli sprouts has double the fiber as the same cup of fully grown broccoli, plus contains 60% of your immune-building vitamin C.

Broccoli sprouts can easily be grown on a windowsill, and they bloom in a matter of days. You can also find them at your local farmer’s markets or grocery; however, they are best eaten the same day they are picked to maximize the nutrients. It is easy to sprinkle them over a salad or add to a wrap, and they make the most beautiful garnish on top of any dish! They are also available in supplement form.

The miracle of mushrooms! These fungi are one of the most important gateway foods for ultimate health. The mycelium makes up the mushroom and this is where the enormous number of enzymes, antimicrobial agents, antiviral compounds are found. The web of mycelium that reaches far beneath the earth is the cellular foundation to creating rich soils—so mushrooms are not only nourishing our body but are nourishing Mother Earth as well.

Mushrooms are composed of vitamin D and polysaccharides that are rich in B-glucans, which are anti-tumor, immuno-modulating, microbiome building, brain building, mood balancing, and gut healing, among many other properties. There are many varieties of mushrooms, and mushroom farming has become a new industry. Some of the favorites are reishi, turkey tail, lion’s mane, shiitake, and chaga, but there are over 1,020 edible mushroom species out there, not to mention the psychedelic varieties that are becoming famous for their mental health benefits. And best of all, mushrooms add a delicious, savory flavor to any dish.

Betsy is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian as well as a Certified Diabetes Educator, Integrative and Functional Medicine Nutrition Therapist, and owns 4 Elements Yoga Naples. She specializes in nutrigenomics, gut health, food sensitivities, detoxing, inflammatory diseases, and longevity living. She also understands the importance of living a mindful life and incorporates her background of mindfulness and yoga teaching to her practice. Betsy is a professional speaker and advocate for healthy living and is available for individual consultations, group programs, and speaking engagements.

To learn more, visit: www.healthyconceptsconsulting.com, www.yoga4elements.com, email: betsy@healthyconceptsconsulting.com or call 239.297.8844.