By Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS
Food as Medicine
The science clearly shows that nutrient-dense foods are medicine. They allow every cell in our body to survive and thrive. The trick is knowing what these foods are and what they are not.
Animal proteins should be pastured and wild caught—not grain fed or farmed. Organ meats are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet—liver, brain, heart, kidney (you may need to acquire a taste for these). Healthy fats are your friends, contrary to popular belief. Saturated fats from grass fed beef or pastured pork are healthy; coconut oil is healthy; avocados are healthy; butter from grass fed cattle is healthy. All non-starchy and deeply colored veggies are healthy. Seaweeds like kelp and wakame are healthy. All dark colored fruits like berries in moderation are healthy. Nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, and fermented foods are healthy. Homemade bone broth is extremely healthy for your gut. And don’t forget clean, filtered water.
A healthy plate of food
In order to get the combination of micronutrients and macronutrients your body requires and craves, you could think about eating in this way:
For every meal or snack you eat, visualize it like a plate of food.
- More than 1/2 of the plate should be non-starchy veggies with healthy fat like ol-ive oil or melted butter from grass-fed cattle.
- Up to 1/4 could be a protein like salmon or pastured chicken or grass fed beef with its own healthy fats.
- And less than 1/4 could be a few nuts or a few blueberries or maybe a small sweet potato – again with some healthy fats if possible.
Here is what to avoid:
Grains, processed foods (including pasteurized milk products), sugars, industrial oils, and leg-umes (because of antinutrients and high carbohydrates) should be avoided. Animal products from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) should definitely be avoided. CAFOs are cluttered, unhealthy factories where antibiotics, hormones, chemicals, and other toxic sub-stances often are administered to the livestock. Then these meats are processed for sale.