The impact of COVID-19 in the past year has awakened a growing interest in many people concerning how to support both their physical and mental well-being.
The father of medicine, Hippocrates once said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” We can’t help to feel that the essence of this statement rings true in what we eat and drink.
As we find ourselves at the start of 2021, many of us want to do what we can to nourish the bodies we have been given, in the hope to fight disease in the best possible way.
Let us first look at some of the health trends that came out of 2020!
- Preparing your own food: returning to our kitchens has been a worthwhile journey during lockdown. Home baked Banana bread and home-made pasta has been the two top trends of 2020.
- Growing our own food: returning to the soil has been such a rewarding experience for many! From apartment-size herb gardens to back yard vegetable patches. The action of planting some of your own food has brought new insights in having more control over where your food comes from, with the added value of being pesticide and toxin free.
- Popular/Fad diets: since the dawn of the industrial revolution, we were all under pressure to look and feel in a certain way. This led to the obsessive following of the next best way to eat & live, which may include expensive products, unnecessary eliminations and extreme restrictions. Slowly but surely people are starting to see through the fog, opting for real food that will benefit their health.
Here are some important health actions to consider:
* Locally produced foods – we all know that ‘local is lekker’, but why? Supporting circular economy in your area and country can only be good! Buying food that has been locally grown makes it possible to eat seasonally, buying better quality ingredients and food that is better compatible in supporting your health.
* Eating seasonally – consuming produce during its intended growing seasons is much higher in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. They are also more affordable when bought in season. Follow this link for a South African seasonal fruit & vegetable chart: https://www.foodandhome.co.za/how-to/seasonal-fruit-and-vegetable-chart-for-south-africa
* Prioritize micronutrients over macronutrients – the mega-food industry has placed protein, carbohydrates and fats (macronutrients) as the ruling kings & queens of our food intake. The prediction is, that 2021 will finally be the year where people will pay sufficient attention to micronutrients. Micronutrients include vitamins & minerals, and are vital for bodily functions such as: energy production, immune function, blood clotting, fluid balance, normal growth and other processes. Micronutrients are found in products such as: beans, pulses, herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables.
I will leave you with the remarks above for now, and invite you to start with only one health action, as a first step towards true health. More than often the answer lies in the simple way of doing things!