So why does eating and enjoying real food matter?
By real food I mean food that has been minimally processed and comes directly from nature – vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, herbs, spices, unprocessed oils like olive oil, wild and grass-fed meats, eggs and so on. Pretty simple.
Why do you focus on these? Whilst I appreciate you came to this series for reaching a healthier weight, food is about so much more than this. I have already covered in principle 13 about reconnecting with real food, where it comes from, the people that made it and the people you can share it with but in this video, I want to talk more about the effects on your biology and psychology.
To keep it basic let’s think of our body as a car for a moment. To run a car we need energy called petrol, but we also need oil for the engine, fluid for the radiator, the air in the tires and so on. Food and the human body is similar in some ways. Yes, we need energy, like calories, but we also need a range of other things like vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants and so on to make the engine run well. So the difference between processed food and real food is that processed food only has lots of energy but very little vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and other necessary things. If you don’t have these important things then eventually without a doubt that engine will be destroyed and the same is true for your body.
It’s ironic to me that often people spend so much time worrying about what oil they use in their car and keeping it all running smoothly but have no problem putting crap into their bodies. So it is time to give our body what it needs.
The other important points to make about real food is that they have a raft of direct effects on your body. For example, real food supports the immune system and has anti-inflammation effects meaning you are stronger, heal better, feel happier and fight infections more easily and so on. For example, we know that eating a healthy diet can reverse moderate to severe depression, improve asthma and reverse heart disease and diabetes. Specific foods also have specific medicinal effects. For example, we know that ginger can be effective for migraines, flaxseed can reduce blood pressure and kiwifruit can reduce the length and severity of colds.
Foods high in fibre also go into our large intestines and feed the 100 trillion good bacteria in there that go on to produce a range of good things for us like anti-inflammatory chemicals, hormone and immune boosters, vitamins and minerals and so on.
So real food is good but also highly processed and fake food is bad. We know that many refined sugars, soft drinks, grain fed meat, processed meat and so on causes inflammation and increases our risk of all kinds of diseases, we know it negatively affects the bacteria in our guts and starves the body and brain of what it needs to run well and heal itself.
There is lots of detail here that I could explain but I won’t because this video would last hours. Instead, I will make the overall point that real food has profound positive effects on our body and minds. These effects of real food go way beyond just simple calories or energy and if we want to be overall healthier and happier then we have to create a new way of life that incorporates this rich and tasty diversity.