Good dental health is part of good bodily health, and that depends on eating well. More, nutritional guidance and support is essential for proper detox and healing when it comes to dealing with dental conditions such as mercury toxicity, root canal infections and cavitations. Consequently, nutrition has always been a key part of our practice.
Sadly, many Americans are notoriously unhealthy eaters, which is one of the reasons why so many are so unhealthy. The standard American diet is loaded with sugars and highly processed carbs, often in combination with too much unhealthy fat. Such foods have been consistently shown to contribute to chronic diseases, many of them inflammatory in nature. Conventional medicine has been of little help, even as evidence continues to mount that eating well is one of the best things you can do to support good health. (A recent article in the New York Times laments the problem of physicians still receiving relatively little training in nutrition.)
One thing that sometimes gets lost in discussions about how we eat is the fact that the problem isn’t just that we eat foods that are unhealthy for us but that these foods take the place of better ones. We eat too many “bad” foods and not enough “good.” This is especially so with fruits and vegetables. According to data recently released by the CDC, less than 1/3 of Americans eat fruit at least twice a day or vegetables at least three times a day. Even then, we tend to eat from a very limited range. The most popular choices? Orange juice and potatoes.
Clearly, we need to do better – incorporating a broad range of produce into our daily diets and eating more of them. But how? Know Thy Health offers seven tips for getting more produce into your diet:
- Include a green garden salad with both lunch and dinner.
- Include a piece of fresh fruit with your breakfast each morning. And if you choose to have desserts with other meals, choose fruit.
- Consider your plate. Let any meat, starch and grain (potato, pasta, bread, rice or other cooked grains) fill no more than 1/3 of your plate. Let the rest be vegetables.
- Keep quick and easy snacks on hand by cutting up carrots, celery, jicima and other firm vegetables in advance. Store them in a bit of water in a container in the fridge.
- When you eat out, ask for more veg with your entree in lieu of potatoes, rice, pasta or other starch.
- Choose to have a vegetarian or vegan meal at least one night a week. Need recipe ideas? VegCooking.com is a great starting point. For global cuisine vegan recipes, visit the International Vegetarian Union.
- Widen your palate – and meal possibilities – by making a point to try out at least one new vegetable and fruit each time you go shopping. If you shop farmer’s markets, the growers may be able to give you some good ideas on how to use the food. Otherwise – or additionally – you can find tons of great recipes on sites like allrecipes.com and Recipezaar, which let you search by ingredient.
What are some of the things you do to make sure you eat enough fruit and veg in your diet? Let us know in the comments.
Update: Not long after we published this, the Consumer Reports Health Blog ran its piece on how to get more produce into your diet, which includes more great tips. Check it out.