A Healthier Diet is Simpler Than You Think!

By Dr. Michael J. FunicelloWoman on the fruit marketWhen it comes to living a healthier life, the first thing that comes to mind is either exercising or eating right.  The only problem is, what does it actually mean to eat a healthier diet?  For that matter, the same could be said for exercising more.  However, these are important points that are readily accessible to a great majority, so we can start with these.  Specifically, let’s talk about diet.

What Does A Healthy Diet Look Like?

What I invite the patients in my practice to explore more fully is the way that they look at foods.  In other words, it isn’t just a matter of eating more fruits and vegetables, although this is part of it.  The way that we look at foods is what helps determine what we’ll eat and if we will stick to any diet that we adopt.

By diet, we’re not talking about a short-term, fad-like approach, but rather the term that reflects the foods we choose to put in our body.  One of my favorite bits of advice is to counsel people on choosing foods that are best in line with their personal tastes.  That is to say, you will stick to a healthier way of eating if you actually enjoy or do better with the foods you and your family are consuming.

Sometimes, it can be hard to know whether your body is doing better or you are healthier, in general.  So, it is important to keep your awareness about various aspects of health in mind.  These could be things like:  your energy levels, your sleep patterns, your weight, skin tone or appearance, strength and endurance just to name a few.  In children, diet can also affect moods, behavior with school and energy levels, too.

There are specific types of diets that advocate a certain way of eating.  Some of the ones that instantly come to mind are the Paleo diet and the Eat Right for Your Blood Type diet. These appeal to certain ways of eating. Some have more specific science that they use to support them.  Others started with a more personal idea that led to further study and have spawned large followings.

Where I like to spend the majority of time with people is helping them to understand the benefits of a simple diet.  How I define a ‘simple diet’ is one that is based around foods that are eaten as close to the Earth as possible.  Eat foods that are not processed.  The more times man gets in the way of the food getting to your table, the more likely it is to have something added to (or taken away from) it.

Every time that our foods are ‘interfered with’ in this way, it can affect not only stuff that may be added to them, but also take away from the nutrition that we get from them.  So, while it is important to eat more fruits and vegetables, it is also important to understand that the way in which foods are grown and processed can affect the nutrition that they provide us.

Where To Get Your Foods

For this reason, I also emphasize the importance of eating both organic and locally-grown.  It is very common today to be able to find many of your favorite fresh foods at your local farmer’s market.  Many cities now have a weekly market where you can buy fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables.  There are also other craft items and healthy products often sold.

Many of these local growers do so organically.  Why is organic so important?  It is important to buy and eat organic foods because our bodies can utilize foods that are not tainted by chemical additives.  And, contrary to popular public campaigns by large producers, many organic foods DO taste better.

So, if you want to live healthier, start with this simple step of finding foods that are grown locally and organically.  Shop for and consume foods that come from as close to the Earth as possible; the fewer the processing, the better.  Just following simple tips like these can quickly turn around how you feel and how healthy you are.

Dr. Michael J. Funicello is a chiropractor specializing in Network Chiropractic.  His office, Infinite Healing Arts Center, has been serving the communities of the Phoenix-Metro area since 1998.  He has helped many people to live more healthy and enjoyable lives from following simple tips just like these.