Eating well

When it comes to eating for wellness, it isn’t so much what you eat but rather how and when you eat. And there is no definite right or wrong; instead, it’s a matter of personal taste and unique body chemistry, according to Suzanne Judd of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Food influences the way you feel, how you sleep and how you interact with others. Too much food can lead to extra weight, and extra weight is associated with cancer, cardiovascular disease and decreased physical function. Diet can affect how people with chronic illness feel. while it’s important to feed the body in a way that optimizes your own health, the hard part is crafting the right diet for the specific needs of your body and mind. What kind of food should you eat for wellness? Judd advises following the 90:10 rule. “Try to have 90 percent of the food you eat come from clean foods, and then the other 10 percent of the food can be from more processed items,” Judd said. “You may find with time you feel better eating 100 percent of your diet from non-processed food.” Judd’s recommendations to maintain a healthy diet:

  • Eat six to nine servings — or more — of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Eat some healthy fat daily, such as avocados, walnuts, almonds, other nuts, olives, chia seeds, olive oil, grapeseed oil or canola oil.
  • Find a good source of protein, such as lentils, beans, seeds, fish and meat.
  • Use physical activity to feel good, not to lose weight.
  • Add a vitamin D supplement to your diet, but check with your doctor first to determine if you have a vitamin D deficiency.