Surprisingly, I like Wikipedia’s definition of nutrition: “the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary (in the form of food) to support life”. These provisions are really macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) and micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, fatty acids, etc) that come from our diet. Ultimately the foods in our diet are broken down into a simple unit of measured energy called a calorie.
You’ve probably heard calories referred to as “empty” in certain circumstances – I often use the term “nutrient-dense” as a counter term, but these words are actually describing the micro-nutrient load per calorie, not the calorie itself. Often times, nutrition is linked solely to caloric numbers, with little to no emphasis on the quality or micro-nutrient density associated with it. I can’t emphasize enough how unhealthy and even life-threatening a diet like this can be. Yes, our bodies need an appropriate number of calories every day to function, but true nourishment comes from the naturally occurring micro-nutrients that are in un-processed whole foods. This is what I consider good nutrition, or the “materials necessary to support life”, if you will.
If you’re ready to make some nutritious changes to your diet, I suggest eating some whole, un-processed food with every meal – preferably a raw vegetable or fruit or sprouted whole-grains. As Dr. Villanueva said in one of her latest radio interviews, it’s important to eat a rainbow of colors from your fruits and vegetables every day. Every meal should have some natural vibrant color in it because the pigments in our fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and other micronutrients that are essential to having a healthy body. The old adage, “you are what you eat” is truer than you think – so eat healthy if you want to be healthy!
– Ashley Howell, CHC