…And how to avoid them!
When I was 21, I was given 3 years to live if I didn’t take cholesterol medication everyday for the rest of my life. Instead of drugs, I chose nutrition, and lifestyle changes.
And during my journey of figuring out how I could turn my health around for the better, I reached a point that I was, quite frankly, a bit stumped. I was literally hungry for information that could lead me to possible solutions for better health.
I learned that to be vibrantly healthy, I needed to have the best nutrients possible and eating as well as I could, every day. I was also doing a lot of research on supplementing the important nutrients in our diet – because so much of what I was reading showed that a ‘good diet’ wasn’t enough. And not just for me with my health challenges – for everyone.
You see I discovered that the food that we buy, even when it’s good quality, from health food stores, is often not very high in the important goodies we need for helping our bodies work at their best.
Now why is this? Because of a whole bunch of factors – from the poor quality of the soils, to the sprays used extensively as the plants are growing, to the harvest being picked too early so that the vitamins and phytochemicals don’t actually form properly in the crop.
Besides growing my own food, I had little control over the process – although I discovered we can have some influence over the nutrients that finally make it to our plates by how we store and prepare the ingredients.
And this is when I discovered what I call the two BIGGEST food-mistakes people are making – and how to avoid them. You might be surprised.
So, the two biggest mistakes in food prep are –
- Boiling, steaming, baking or microwaving – rather than simply rinsing, chopping and serving raw.
So how come there’s a difference? Well, When veggies and fruits are heated, several vitamins are leached away, many essential nutrients are destroyed, and the shape and structure of proteins, fats and fibre in our food are altered. This means there’s less available for us to absorb and use. For example, when you bring cabbage to the boil, you destroy 75% of its vitamin C content.
Fortunately there are many foods that we can rinse, chop and eat as-is, whilst saving time washing up, including –
– thin green beans, carrots, courgettes, celery, capsicum, tomatoes, baby broccoli heads – these are great as crudités with a yummy humus, or simply as a snack as they are.
- Eating seeds and nuts in their dried form – rather than pre-soaking them.
So why is this significant? Seeds and nuts, beans and legumes (like mung beans) are mini ‘treasure chests’ of energy – and when they’re soaked in water for several hours, they transform inside. They begin to break down the starch they’ve been storing into glucose and fructose, their proteins get spilt into smaller sections, it removes some of the toxins like tannins, their enzymes wake up and start to get busy, the vitamin levels rise and their saturated fats break down into more-easily used parts.
Plus pre-soaking nuts, seeds, beans and legumes has also been shown to minimize their gas, by removing the indigestible complex sugars (oligosaccharides) from the outer coating of the beans.
Another tip… add a piece of seaweed or kombu to the soaking water and this can help reduce the gas side-effect too.
The result? They provide a lot more goodies, they’re a lot easier to digest, have less toxins and taste even better.
Examples of nuts and seeds that are divine when pre-soaked for 3hours plus (a tip is to simply soak them overnight), and then carefully rinsed include –
- Brazils, almonds, macadamias, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Plus it’s a good idea to pre-soak chia and flaxseeds – although these will not need rinsing before you use them, as they become glue-like when they swell up.
Take away – If you’d like a recipe for ‘Yummy energy Boosters’, a delicious raw combo and perfect demo of the taste difference – email me directly for your copy. They’re your perfect, slow-release, healthy, energy snack for a mid-morning or afternoon, or even in kid’s lunch boxes.
Fi Jamieson-Folland D.O., I.N.H.C., is The LifeStyle Aligner, with over 27 years experience in Europe, Asia and New Zealand as a qualified Osteopath, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, educator, writer, certified raw vegan gluten-free chef, speaker, health mentor and Health Brand Ambassador.