Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS ● Nutritional Periodontist
October 10, 2014
In keeping with my emphasis on evolutionary lifestyles, these are the foods that were and still are critical for our bodies not only to survive but also to thrive.
Foods to Include (organic is best):
• Every time you eat – be it a meal or a snack – think of it as “a plate of food.” The types of food on that plate should be divided up as follows:
• • At least 1/2 should be non-starchy vegetables
• • Less than 1/4 should be a protein source with all of its healthy fats
• • Less than 1/4 could consist of deeply colored fruits and/or nuts and seeds and/or a starchy vegetable along with additional healthy fats
• Saturated fats that have been demonized are essential for many biological functions. We need to eat all forms of healthy fats, which also include many essential micronutrients. Healthy fats made up as much as 60% of calories of our primal ancestors’ diets. Healthy fats are found in avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, wild-caught oily fish like salmon, organ foods like liver and brain from pastured animals, butter from grass-fed cows, and fats from pastured animals. One of my favorite sources for healthy fats is salmon roe. Here is a source I use regularly.
• The micronutrients in non-starchy vegetables provide essential building blocks for our individual cells. These vegetables also provide necessary fibers for our gut and gut bacteria. A great way to “eat” your veggies is to “drink” some of them in a smoothie. Here is a link to my favorite green smoothie.
• Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, full-fat plain yogurt, full-fat plain kefir, other fermented vegetables, and kombucha (fermented tea) offer healthy bacteria that can support a healthy gut. Be sure they contain live cultures. Include these with your meals as often as you can. Here is a source for fermented vegetables. And, here is an article by Helen Sanders from Health Ambitions.
• Protein from grass-fed and grass-finished meats, wild caught fish (especially small varieties like sardines, herring, and anchovies) and shellfish, pastured chickens and their eggs, and pastured hogs contain essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that need to be included in your diet.
• Homemade bone broth offers unique nutrients for your body and especially your gut and joints. Here is my favorite recipe. If you are not going to make it on your own, here is a reliable source for pastured bone broths.
• Sea vegetables (seaweeds) are also unique because of their abundance of trace minerals. Examples are wakame, kelp, and dulse. Here is my favorite recipe for seaweed soup using bone broth as a base.
• Filtered water provides minimal toxins and necessary hydration. Recent evidence suggests that if you drink when you are thirsty, you will have sufficient water intake. Usually 6-8 cups a day should be adequate. Adding ? cup of fresh lemon juice, lime juice, or apple cider vinegar to your water during the course of a day can help prevent kidney stones. These work because their citric acid inhibits stone formation and breaks up small stones that are beginning to form.
• Nuts and seeds provide healthy nutrients, but they also contain anti-nutrients. It is best to soak all nuts and seeds overnight to remove the anti-nutrients, and then allow them to dry.
• Fruits are generally healthy, but they contain fructose and should be eaten in moderation. Their level of carbohydrates can be a concern especially if you are trying to lose weight. The best choices are all berries (like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries).
• Herbs and spices offer many nutrients even when used in small quantities. Not only do these make food tastier, they also are very healthy. Consider chili peppers, cocoa, sage, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, rosemary, turmeric, parsley, and oregano to name a few.
Tomorrow I will suggest some supplements that you may want to include in your diet. I do not believe in supplements usually because our bodies were designed to be nourished from nutrient-dense whole foods found in nature – not packaged substitutes. However, the ones I recommend are unlike the packaged nutritional supplements with which you may be familiar.
I DO NOT RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION FROM ANY OF THE COMPANIES I HAVE RECOMMENDED.