Written by: Heidi Jennings, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
The right nutrition has the power to completely change the way we look, feel and show up in the world. The way most people are showing up in the world (sluggish, sad and sick) indicates that our nutritional habits are way off the mark and need some serious attention.
The fact is, the way our society is eating is leading us towards a slow death. You might think this sounds dramatic but of our 10 top causes of death, seven are directly related to nutrition. The rich and powerful food industry is often a minefield of corruption, contradiction and confusion and we are stuck smack bang in the middle of it.
There are things we definitely should not be eating, and things we definitely should be eating more of, but no one is very clear on what those things are. Instead, we are utterly confused because things have become over-complicated and we are constantly bombarded by ‘scientific studies’ that end up contradicting themselves time and time again.
Below are 10 food-related mistakes we make every single day.
1. Food Addiction – Processed and refined foods loaded with salt, fat, sugar and gluten are very addictive because they trigger neurons in the brain. They are devoid of any real nutrients and are designed to make us hungry, so we end up eating more than we should, fuelling the addiction, cravings and a loss of self-control.
2. Excess Sugar – sugar triggers dopamine in the brain, is highly addictive and its effect on the brain has been likened to cocaine. It weakens our immune system and creates the ideal environment for cancer growth, diabetes, obesity, mental illness, autoimmune conditions and heart disease.
3. Gluten – gluten is highly problematic in the human body because it contains toxic and damaging proteins. It is in almost every type of food, including those you least expect, such as gravy and chewing gum. Long term consumption of gluten damages the intestinal lining, weakens the bowel and hinders the absorption of food. There is also evidence to show that autoimmune dysfunction has its roots in gluten consumption.
4. Dairy Products – these contain high levels of fat and are extremely difficult for our intestines and liver to process. They are also highly inflammatory and provide an ideal food source for viral and pathogenic activity in the body. Casein in milk has been proven to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and lactose creates a food source for viruses and pathogens, leading to inflammation, allergies and mucus.
5. Meat – even lean cuts of meat are high in saturated fat and place a burden on the liver. Meat also strips the gut of hydrochloric acid, an essential stomach acid that helps to break down, digest and absorb nutrients. Long term studies on the intake of animal protein show detrimental effects to health and stress on the kidneys and bones.
6. Low Carbohydrate Diets – low carb diets have been a huge trend in recent years, but they simply don’t work. Carbs are normally the main source of sugar in the bloodstream and therefore our primary source of fuel. Things start to go haywire when we limit our intake. Adrenaline spikes to meet the demands of our busy schedule, and when this happens, we stop burning fat, become edgy, irritable, may not sleep well and eventually we’ll crave salty or sweet carb-dense foods.
7. Alcohol – this is a carcinogen that causes a wide range of health conditions and chronic diseases. It’s a neurotoxin that poisons our organs, disrupts our hormones and is strongly linked to liver disease, breast cancer, and a reduction in lifespan. It’s full of empty calories, and the more we drink, the fatter we get.
8. Coffee – coffee is the most popular drink in the world – and the most addictive. It’s very high in caffeine, extremely dehydrating to the body and strips away vital stores of Vitamin B, iron and zinc. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to activate the breakdown and release of liver glycogen, releasing it as blood sugar and giving us an instant shot of energy. The pancreas then excretes higher levels of insulin in an effort to bring blood sugar levels back to normal. The body then goes into survival mode and the body has to release more cortisol – the stress and alert hormone. Every hit of caffeine activates the same response in the body, resulting in adrenal glands that get exhausted and worn down over time. It’s also a liver loader, raises blood pressure and can lead to obesity because it stimulates cortisol, leading to deadly fat storage around the organs in the abdomen.
9. Fear of Fruit – recently there has been an incorrect, and damaging theory that fruit is bad for us. Fruit actually strengthens the immune system and supercharges the healing process. It is crucial for the brain, liver and other organs. Not eating fruit is a huge mistake and will have tragic consequences for our health.
10. Dehydration – lack of water intake is one of the biggest mistakes we can make, and one of the easiest to fix. A chronically dehydrated body can’t perform anywhere near its potential and can create serious health issues in the short and long term.
Take a look at this list and ask yourself how many of these apply to you. Now ask yourself if you feel in peak condition, physically, mentally and emotionally. If the answer is no, it’s likely that these 10 factors are adversely impacting your health and wellbeing.
The human body is incredibly smart and desperately wants to be well but is hindered every day by our nutrition mistakes. Remove them and watch in awe at the way you start to look, feel and show up in the world.
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Heidi Jennings, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Heidi Jennings is a Holistic Health Coach specializing in Plant-Based Nutrition. After a health crisis left her bedridden and disillusioned with conventional medicine, she embraced a holistic approach to help her heal. She now runs her business alongside her husband Steve, and together they deliver holistic coaching programs to their clients. They specialize in chronic pain, anxiety and depression, stubborn body fat, menopause symptoms, autoimmune dysfunction, and sleep issues by focusing on the five pillars of health; nutrition, exercise, gut health, sleep, and managing stress. Heidi is also a guest speaker and the Amazon #1 Best selling author of ‘From Living Hell to Living Well’. Her mission is to change the lives of 500,000 people around the world by empowering them to take control of their health and happiness.