Foods were earlier categorized as high sugar, high fat, high sodium, low fiber, gluten free, vegan and so on. But now foods are differentiated as being dead or alive. Isn’t it surprising? What exactly are dead or alive foods and why should you choose to eat only alive foods?
Dead Foods: Are These Really Dead?
Any food that can sit on supermarket shelves for weeks together without getting spoilt are dead foods. Any food that is processed, highly refined, synthetic and have little-to-no nutritional value can be called a ‘dead’ food. Frozen meals, dessert, your ever-loving French fries, cheeseburgers, white pasta, chips and almost any foods that most of us love to nibble upon can be categorized under the ‘dead’ foods category.
Ironically, these processed, chemical-rich foods have flooded the markets and our homes too. We are, as a nation, obese and eating these foods constantly due to lack of time to prepare healthy foods has led our nation to become a top-rated one in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many other diseases too.
Science has finally recognized the downside of these processed foods. Linked with increased inflammation in the body, a diet predominantly filled with these foods can lead to chronic inflammation, which in turn can result in weight gain, increased blood pressure and blood sugar levels and arthritis. Our body is not designed to withstand so much stress (poor nutrition) and this stress manifests in the form of pains, aches, brain fog, poor sleep and hormonal imbalance as a response to these inflammatory foods.
Despite all these invasions, we can regain good health by staying away from ‘dead’ foods and embracing ‘alive’ foods.
Bring Alive Good Health with Alive Foods
Any food close to its natural form is said to be alive. Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry and whole grains are covered in this category. Rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, these foods also produce enzymes needed for all chemical reactions and hormone production in the body. Foods such as kefir, miso, bananas, asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes are also said to be alive foods as these are rich in prebiotics and probiotics (they help promote healthy bacteria in the gut needed for immunity). Prebiotics and probiotics, commonly known as the dynamic duo, are indispensable for a healthy life as elaborated at www.firsteatright.com.
There is a simple way to choose alive foods. At the farmer’s market or local supermarket, buy rainbow-colored produce. Try to choose seasonal fruits and veggies that are local to your region. These are the fresh ones. Secondly, pick protein-rich foods such as eggs, organic poultry and omega-3-rich fish. Be careful while choosing dairy products as many of these contain artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. Choose plain yogurts and skimmed milk. Finally, choose whole-grains such as quinoa, brown rice, oats, nuts, nut butters, beans and seeds.
Reading labels is yet another way to choose alive foods. Any food that contains ingredients that are hard to pronounce must be placed back on the shelves. These hard-to-read names might be chemicals or preservatives added to increase shelf life. The rule of thumb is that, any food that has a quick expiration date is without additives and is alive. Also, foods that come in packages, bags or boxes have some preservative or the other to increase shelf life and most of the alive foods discussed above don’t come in any packages. Whole grains are packaged ‘alive’ foods that are good for health.
A comparison of the alive vs dead form of the same food will give a clear idea:
|Potato||French fries, chips|
|Oats||Instant oatmeal (flavored with added sugars)|
Although removing all dead foods at one go from your pantry and stocking your cabinets with alive foods is an easier job, it is not so easy for the taste buds. Start slowly, replace one food after the other and finally ditch all dead foods and replace them with alive foods. This revs up your nutritional quotient by improving health, decreasing inflammation and helping you glow from within.