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By Aeon Mapa

There is no shortage of opinion when it comes to diet. Everywhere you look we see different advice on what to eat. Fitness diets, religious diets, organic, natural, raw, paleo, vegetarian, piscetarian, vegan, the list seems to go on and on. It is difficult given so many choices, to really understand what it is that is best for your body. I would like to offer you some simple guidelines for choosing your food. We need to begin by changing how we think about food.

We need to remember that food serves as our fuel and also the building blocks for our body. The quality of food that we consume have direct effects on the functions of our systems. We need to think of food in this way, as an investment in our most important earthly possession, our bodies. Yes there are times when we like to indulge in certain flavors or foods! In general however we should eat for health. If we think in this way, it becomes easier to decide how we choose to nourish ourselves.

Choose Food in it’s Natural State & Stay Away From Processed Foods

This cannot be overstated. The further away produce is from it’s natural state the less benefits it offers to your body. In fact even simple cooking processes like boiling and steaming already reduce the levels of certain vitamins in your food. This effect is further increased in the creation of processed foods. The produce is goes through a range of processes and rarely makes it into the product in it’s natural state. Additionally, the production of Processed foods requires many synthetic chemicals. Some of these like artificial flavors and colors have been made out of fossil fuels!2

Also, do try and eat more fruits and vegetables. If you are not ready for a vegetarian diet, it will still be of great benefit to your health if you consume less meat and more raw, fresh food. Fruits and vegetables are terrific for your health and also provide prebiotics for your good bacteria to eat. When you do eat meat, choose organic! It’s been proven to contain more omega fatty acids and is also hormone, antibiotic and stress-hormone free.

Think Sustainable & Eat Local or Grow Your Own

Sustainability is much more than the system in which the farm is grown. When looking at a product, try and think of it’s carbon footprint as well! Did this food have to fly across the world to get to you? Or was it harvested from the farm across town?

Choosing food that is grown locally ensures that food is fresh and did not require excess energy to make it to you. You also support the hard-working organic farmers who grow your food. Every conscious decision we make when purchasing food contributes to mitigation of climate change.

Finally, do try and grow your own food. Space need not be a concern as there are ways of growing food even in an city condiminium. There is nothing more exhilerating than the feeling of your first harvest, and many say that there is no food sweeter than the food you had grown yourself.

All of These Support Immunity

The less chemicals you consume, the stronger your immune system is. Organic food is not only chemical-free, it also boosts your immune response. Diverse diets support your gut microbiome, a key to a good immune system, and protecting the environment makes everyone healthier.

Possibly, these little suggestions resonate with you, and stick with you next time you decide what to eat. Remember:

Choose Fresh, Natural Food

Choose Organic Food

Diversify

Think Sustainably

Do your part, for the earth and for your own health. If you live in Metro Manila, you can contact The Center For Bayanihan Economics (CBE), Bulacan or Kai Farms, Cavite, to to have organic vegetables delivered to your doorstep. If you live in Cebu, visit Cebu Farmer’s Market.

Just click the links to get started!

If you live outside the range of these services, send us an email at: essustainableagriculture@protonmail.com. Thanks to ESSA’s extensive network of farmers & stakeholders we may be able to help you find organic food in your area.



Footnotes

  1. https://www.betalabservices.com/natural-products/fragrances.html[/efn_note] These chemicals are very damaging to our health and have been associated with the rise of many diseases.

    So cut the chemicals, keep the nutrients! Not to mention processed food contributes to pollution due to it’s production and packaging.

    Choose Organic Food

    I’ll not go too far into detail here. You can find many articles on the multitude of benefits that organic food can offer us. These include higher nutrient levels, increased gut microbiome health, significantly more antioxidants, lower environmental impact and of course you are safe from exposure to toxic agricultural chemicals.

    Make sure when you are choosing organic you know the difference between various labels. Food labelled natural is most often NOT organic. Look for the organic label. Better yet, choose fresh organic food.

    Diversify, Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

    The more diverse our diet is, the bigger range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients we get. Taking supplements is nowhere near as effective as a well-balanced diet. Try and consume at least 10 -20 different foods in a day. Aside from nutrition, it also provides our gut microbiome with diverse foods. In fact, the longest lived people in the world were those with the most diverse diets. 1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6366966/

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