You Are What You Eat: Superfoods & Phytochemicals

You are What You Eat phytochemicals

If you’ve had any interactions with me about health, nutrition, or general well-being, you’ve likely heard the phrase “food as medicine.”  Our diet – the foods and beverages we take in – can help or harm our health.  Incorporating more phytochemicals and superfoods as meal and snack sources benefits your body – and often, your mood.

What are phytochemicals? Awesomely powerful, non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective and disease-preventing properties. Not only do most phytochemicals have antioxidant properties that can even reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, but also, they can help turn on healthy genes and turn off unhealthy genes. Herbs and culinary spices like turmeric,  and mint, and common foods like pinto beans, alfalfa and broccoli sprouts, fresh berries, and green tea – are all sources of powerful phytochemical compounds.

Superfoods are foods that are “super” high in phytochemicals. Because they’re extraordinarily high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and essential nutrients, they’re recognized for their disease-fighting properties. Coconut oil, spirulina, matcha, and even fava beans – are all examples of superfoods. Super grains like chia and quinoa are also great nutritive food sources. Quinoa is also a complete protein and an easy way to replace meat and still receive the protein you need. It's heart-healthy and can help when transitioning to a plant-based way of eating.

One of the things I like most about Ayurvedic nutrition is that there isn't one way of eating for everyone. Nutrition is based on your specific body type, needs for your lifestyle, and focused on where you need to come into balance right now. Using Superfoods in cooking consistently and changing those superfoods each season is an easy way to continue to stay in balance and strengthen your immunity.

Food As Medicine

Think of the adage: “You are what you eat.” It’s a modern simplified version of Hippocrates’ instruction, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Internalize either of those sayings, and you’re on your way to resetting how you think about food and overall well-being.

When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.   --- Ancient Proverb

Next to breathing, eating is our most vital bodily function.  From a holistic standpoint, we nourish ourselves by converting the energy and information of our environment into the biological intelligence of our body. Ayurveda teaches that to create and maintain a healthy overall physiology:

  • Our food must be nourishing.
  • Our digestive power strong.
  • Our elimination efficient.

Much of the illness and dis-ease we experience is due to internal inflammation of some kind.

Increasing beneficial phytochemicals and superfoods helps prevent and even reverse inflammation.

Ideal nutrition results from consuming a variety of foods deliciously prepared and eaten with mindful awareness.

Embrace the Rainbow!

Eating a multi-colored “rainbow” diet is an excellent way to get a broad spectrum of nutrients. Think of eating the colors of the rainbow. Plant foods with deep pigments are dense with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Not only that, but a colorful plate also appeals to us visually, encouraging hunger and meal appreciation. A whole spectrum of colors is represented here, for example, Beets, raspberries, carrots, oranges, broccoli, asparagus, blueberries, plums, cauliflower, and pears.

Are you ready to transform your relationship with food and move into an optimal healthy lifestyle? Let’s talk about what will work best for your specific needs and daily living.

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Geneviève Nedder

About the Owner

Geneviève Nedder is the director and founder of Body Fundamentals, Inc., a Pilates & Wellness business founded in 1996. She is a Master Pilates Educator and Mentor and a certified Perfect Health Lifestyle Teacher. Trained by Dr. Deepak Chopra and his team at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, she is also an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and Certified Health Coach. She specializes in the mind-body connection.