Food is Love: A Mindful Diet to Nourish the Mind, Body, and Spirit
Food is love. That’s why it’s important to eat mindfully; so that our bodies will be healthy and full of the energy we need. What we feed it determines how it treats us. We need our bodies to be in optimum health because they are the vehicles that we go through life in. Everything we ingest acts as fuel to guide us forward. And certain foods will provide better quality fuel than others.
Healthy foods can still be delicious while nourishing your body, despite the misconception that healthy food never tastes good. And because these healthy foods provide energy, strength, and vitality to our bodies, it makes it worth the effort even more.
But it’s not always easy to know what the most nourishing foods are for a mindful diet. Here is a helpful guide below of the best foods to eat and the important nutrients or vitamins they offer your body.
Calcium-rich foods: Calcium is known to promote healthy bones, teeth, and cell function. And it should be noted that nearly 32 percent of calcium is cooked out of food above 150 degrees F. And many foods that would seemingly be high in calcium are not: pasteurized milk and canned foods are just two examples. Instead, for high calcium foods, try these:
Almonds, avocados, beans, broccoli, brown rice, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chia seeds, dandelion greens, fish, kelp (sea vegetables), lentils, oats, rye, watercress, and whole wheat.
Folic acid foods: Folic acid, most often associated with pregnancy, is a B vitamin that helps the body make new, healthy cells. Good foods full of folic acid are:
Asparagus, bananas, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, endive, kale, lettuce (leaf), mushrooms, oranges, parsley, peas (green), salmon, spinach, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and watermelon.
Magnesium foods: Magnesium is an incredibly important vitamin. It helps with healthy blood pressure, bones, and aids the heart muscle. It also helps relieve constipation. Foods high in magnesium are:
Certain nuts and whole grains, unpolished rice (as opposed to polish rice), wheat germ, yellow cornmeal, apples (fresh and dried), apricots (dried), avocados, bananas (dried), beans (dried white, lentil and garbanzo; and, fresh lima and snap), cabbage, cashews, coconuts, fish, grapes, green peppers, mint, oats, onion tops, parsley, soy milk, spinach, sunflower seeds, tofu, turnip greens, and whole wheat.
There are many other vitamins and minerals your body needs, but these are a few of the main ones that help keep your body functioning properly while maintaining energy levels and nourishing the body beyond diet. Other vitamins and vitamin-rich foods, like those with potassium, phosphorous, and iodine, can often be found in low processed or unprocessed foods; macrobiotic foods, such as certain whole grains, some herbs, fresh vegetables and fruits.
Of course, there are foods you should always consider to be LOVING foods, which love your body back with the right nutrients, and foods to AVOID, or foods that don’t love your body back in the best way.
Foods to LOVE would be:
Vegetables (steamed or raw), basmati and other brown rices, unbleached whole wheat flour, oatmeal, corn bread, sprouted grain breads, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt, oranges, grapefruit, and whole fruits, nut, soy and rice milks, white and deep sea fish, sauerkraut and unsweetened pickles, legumes (dried beans like black, lentils, garbanzos, navy, aduki, pinto and others), seitan, sea vegetables (nori, wakame, kombu), shiitake mushrooms, lemonade with fresh lemons, sea salt, brown rice and umeboshi plum vinegar, pure spring water, coffee substitutes, herbal tea, green tea, bancha twig tea, tofu, tempeh, organic chips and rice cakes.
Foods to AVOID would be:
White potatoes, white rice, commercial breads with additives and preservatives, margarine, cow’s milk, cheese, ice cream, shellfish, black tea, coffee, cocoa, unfiltered water, conventional ketchup, mustard and horseradish, iodized salt, alcohol, carbonated drinks (sodas), cakes, preserves, candy, cookies, sugars, processed, preserved, or packaged goods, jams, jellies, marmalade, custards, packaged or processed cereals, white refined macaroni products, fried foods, meats, eggs, poultry, lamb, veal, turkey, French fries, and potato chips.
Stick to LOVING foods as often as possible and stay away from foods on the AVOID list. It might seem daunting at first, but once your body has absorbed the natural vitamins and minerals, you will feel revitalized and energized, and be more mindful about eating healthier. Because a nourished mind, body, and spirit starts with what you eat. Just remember, food is love. If you love your body with the right food, it will love you back.