Spring is here in Ohio and so is spring cleaning!
Now is a great time to clean out the refrigerator and start fresh with nutritious foods. Giving our body good nutrition allows our body to do a little spring cleaning of its own. Including more raw whole food plants in our diet is one way we can help our body clear itself of toxins.
Raw foods are the opposite of the shelves of convenience foods that are full of additives, preservatives, fat, salt, and sugar. Instead, raw foods are full of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals our bodies need to be healthy.
The fiber in raw plant foods helps you feel full. You can eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want and feel full before you max out on calories. Not only that, raw foods can help our insides by improving our digestion, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
Raw whole plant foods are just as convenient. Fruits and vegetables come prepackaged in their own skin. Think of the bright colored packaging of an apple, orange peel, tomato, eggplant, or zucchini!
We eat with our eyes first and the beautiful colors of fruits and vegetables start to look even prettier when we begin to reach for them more. Anyone can add raw foods into their daily meals without taking anything else away. When fruits and vegetables are added in, suddenly that McDonald’s hamburger may not look as good.
One way to add more raw whole plant-based foods into your meal rotation is to try to incorporate a new fruit or vegetable every week. Pick something you have never eaten that is new to you or start with picking things you know you enjoy. A whole new world of tastes and textures will challenge your palate and hopefully you will discover that you like how they make you feel.
While there can be benefits to eating raw food, there is a misconception that fresh produce is always best. Keep in mind that how the produce is handled after harvest impacts its nutrient content. When handled poorly fresh produce can lose nutrient content. On the other hand, if produce is handled properly and frozen or canned quickly at appropriate temperatures, it can be just as nutritious as fresh fruits or vegetables.
Remember that nutrition is just one part of our life. Make sure you get some rest and focus on being active regularly too. So get out and go for a walk or bike ride, lift some weights, or do some calisthenics. Then treat yourself to some down time like a good book, meditation or prayer, stretching, or writing in a journal to reflect on your day’s experiences.
Pay attention to times when you feel wonderful. Enjoy those moments when your body feels strong, clean, and healthy!