Every day we are bombarded with information about what we should and should not be eating and the decisions we should and should not be taking with our lives. It can be difficult and overwhelming to navigate our way through all this, especially when the information seems to be conflicting. I find it hard, and it’s my job to understand all this stuff!
So it’s a real relief when you come across a concept that is genuinely simple to understand – the simple premise that ‘natural is best’.
Our bodies are wonderfully subtle and complex bio-organisms that have been designed to be self-regulating and self-calibrating. Each minute of every day, your body is working hard to return you to optimum health. And the tools it uses to do this, are the foods that you eat. The foods you eat today become the blood, brain and skin cells that determine how you feel tomorrow.
Right now, you are creating skin cells in your epidermis that are being constructed from the raw materials in the food you have eaten. In three weeks’ time, those skin cells will be on the surface of your skin and they will be glowing with health, or sickly and sallow, depending on the quality of that food. In the time it takes you to read this article you will have created approximately 1 million new red blood cells, and how efficient they are at carrying oxygen and minerals around our bodies, depends, you guessed it, on what you have been eating.
The building blocks our bodies need to do this incredible dance of constant renewal and regeneration are the minerals, phyto-nutrients and vitamins found in natural foods – the sort of foods your great-granny would recognise. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, fresh vegetables and the occasional treat of animal protein. Nature provides these nutrients in a way that is completely bio-available, i.e. in a package that our body totally understands and knows what to do with. This isn’t always the case with supplements, which can wrap up the nutrients so that it is difficult for the body to access them (which explains why your wee can be a funny colour when you take some multi-vitamins – a lot of the nutrients are just being flushed straight through because your body doesn’t understand exactly how to make best use of them).
The body needs natural foods like the organic dried fruit and seeds found in Dr Gaye Super-Spoonful.
But give the body the nutrients as they are found in a cabbage, or a beetroot, or a handful of nuts. And it knows exactly what to do to extract maximum benefits from those foods.
And this is why ‘natural is best’ is such a good rule of thumb to apply to all your food.
To work out if a food is natural, you need to ask yourself four simple questions:
- How close is it to its original state – does it look the same as when it was picked or harvested? A fresh tomato is obviously a natural product and will come to you with its phyto-nutrients and minerals pretty much complete, but once it’s been messed around with and turned into tomato ketchup, the chances are its nutritional qualities will have been considerably depleted. The more processes a food goes through before you eat it, the less and less likely it is to have any nutrition.
- How much packaging does it have? Most foods need to come in some sort of packaging as they have to be divided into smaller quantities and shipped around. But if a food has inner packaging, and outer packaging and is then wrapped in more plastic, it is more than likely to have moved a long way from its natural state. A good case in point here would be a packet of biscuits that are individually wrapped and then sit in plastic trays inside a box, inside cellophane – there are an awful lot of processes between the original grains as they grew in the ground and the biscuit you eventually get to eat.
- Do you understand the ingredients list? If you don’t recognise the ingredients and understand what they are, chances are your body won’t recognise or understand them either. My guiding principle is to avoid anything with a complicated chemically sounding name – either it’s something that has the potential to do you harm (like butylated hydroxytoluene) or the manufacture is trying to disguise something (like sugar) as something else (like malto-dextrin)
- Would your great-grandmother have eaten it in her time? Fresh meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds that had been milled? Yes, she would have eaten those things. Chicken nuggets, marshmallow fluff, pop-tarts? No way.
If your food doesn’t look like this it’s probably gone through some processes.
But eating natural food can be hard work. It is heavy to carry home, and needs to be carried home more frequently. It has to be prepared and cooked from scratch and thought needs to be given to managing left-overs and avoiding waste. Not very convenient; and in a world that has been taught that convenience and cheapness is everything, natural food gets a poor showing.
So when somebody comes along and presents natural, honest food in a way that a) makes it easy to digest and b) makes it easy to prepare, then that has got to be good news. And this is one of the (many!) reasons I love Dr Gaye.
Dr Gaye Superfoods are everything a Nutrition Coach like me longs for because they just make it so easy for people to make positive choices. You can be confident that you are getting quality, food-grade nutrients (the sort your body knows exactly what to do with) and all that delivered in a way that is easy to prepare and delicious to eat. Dr Gaye’s superfoods and superfood blends are natural, raw, organic and without allergens. On top of all that, they are fantastic value for money – nothing wasted, and in the case of the Super-Shake you get up to 20 servings from each pack and that works out at only £1.35 per meal.
Having a Dr Gaye Super-Shake for breakfast, or their delicious Super-Porridge, or any of their other wonderful products, ensures you get all the minerals necessary to ensure your body has the building blocks it needs to do the only job it wants to do – to look after you. When you are nourished and properly mineralised by natural foods, cravings evaporate, it becomes second nature to regulate your appetite and your metabolism returns to factory settings. What wouldn’t you pay for that?
Fran McElwaine is an integrative Nutrition Coach and founder of the Prϋv Emporium, an online resource for the healthy foodie.