It might seem obvious that food and healthy living should be considered as one. However, this was not always the case. Several developments in how we consume nutrients, farm food, and protect our planet have influenced the interplay between how we eat and what dictates our attitudes towards health.
Health is a multifaceted thing. Your health can be bodily, mental, or social. Therefore, food and eating bring all three of these things together. We try and keep the recipes that we make as healthy as possible, and there are lots of things we consider when putting together a new dish.
Here are some key ways that food and healthy eating have come together over the years. Some are historic developments and others are paradigm shifts in terms of how we view nutrition, health, and the planet.
Superfoods are not just a recent fad. Although you cannot get all your nutritional needs through eating one type of food, some foods are indeed ‘super’. Far from being a miracle substance, a superfood is simply a food that contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals.
According to Harvard Medical School, superfoods can be consumed to boost your mineral and vitamin intake within a healthy and regular eating pattern.
Examples of superfoods are:
- Oily Fish – Oily fish contains protein and omega-3 acids. Eating oily fish regularly can help prevent heart disease.
- Berries – Berries are high in fibre and rich in antioxidants. Eating berries can aid in digestion.
- Leafy Greens – Leafy greens such as spinach or chard contain vitamins A and C, calcium, and phytochemicals.
- Nuts – Nuts contain monosaturated fats which can help your body prevent heart disease. They are also a great source of protein for those who do not eat meat.
- Cruciferous Vegetables – The cruciferous vegetable group includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, and turnips. These versatile vegetables contain thiocyanates, nitriles, and indoles, which are all phytochemicals that can help prevent disease.
Of course, just eating superfoods all day won’t keep you healthy. They need to be paired with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle in order to truly have an effect.
Vegetarianism and Veganism
Although vegetarianism and veganism are rooted in compassion for animals and the earth, there is also a healthy living element to the practice of abstaining from animal products. The truth is that balance is key. Vegetarian and vegan diets have the potential to be extremely healthy if they’re done correctly. Cutting out the excessive fat and iron in meat means that vegetarians are less likely to suffer from ischemic heart disease. A vegetarian diet also contains healthier fats and acids if proteins are gained through eating superfoods regularly.
A vegetarian or vegan diet can be problematic, however. If too many refined carbohydrates and saturated fats replace meat and cheese, then you’ll find yourself just as unhealthy as you were before. If you plan your food healthily though, vegetarianism and veganism is a way to help the planet and yourself at the same time.
One way that attitudes have changed towards food and nutrition is through the ‘medicalization’ of personal health. Whereas the only way to get vitamins and minerals before the 1940s was through the food itself, people can now directly ingest pure synthesized vitamins in pill form. Since the identification of the ‘vital amine’ or vitamin in 1912, lots of research and development has gone into finding and isolating specific vitamins that can aid in the health of the body and mind.
The vitamin and wellness supplement industry is now absolutely huge. For example, companies like Myvitamins offer a huge range of products tailored to many needs. Myvitamins UK have honed in on markets from sports recovery to mental clarity, and the process behind the manufacture of these products is largely scientifically sound. It is worth remembering that snake oil salesmen still exist. Always do your research if you are planning on starting a program of supplements. Don’t necessarily trust everybody that is trying to hawk a bottle of pills!
The Wellness Recipe Revolution
It goes without saying that we are all part of a new health revolution – albeit a very small part. Food, as we all know, is not all about health. It is about pleasure, it is about social connections, and it is about mental well-being. A good healthy eating recipe author understands this and is usually able to concoct recipes that bring both happiness and health simultaneously.
A huge part of the wellness revolution is the integration of healthy living into people’s lives naturally, without forcing extreme change or dangerous abstinence. You don’t have to suffer to be well. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! If you are looking for some new ways to cook healthily and happily, take a look at the rest of my website and see if anything takes your fancy.
Agriculture has always been developing. In recent decades, farming has taken on an industrial structure. Genetically modified crops are doused with tons of damaging pesticides, harming biodiverse environments, and creating food less rich in nutrition. Industrial agriculture does have some benefits, though: arguably it exists in response to the increasing population of the globe.
However, the negative aspects of industrial genetically modified farming have not escaped everybody’s eyes. Since the 1950s there has been a growing movement to farm organically. Until the 1970s, very few people – less than 0.1% in Britain, for example – purchased organic foods.
This all changed during the 1970s. The 1960s had brought about a new environmental and wellness movement and the roots of a huge industry were planted. The 1970s saw groups of farmers start profitable companies farming organically, even though they had experienced counterculture in previous years.
The organic food movement promotes healthy living and sustainable growth. It is a movement concerned with both the health of the individual and the health of the planet. Today, two-thirds of food consumers in the UK and Germany, for example, regularly purchase organic foods.
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