For many of us summer is watermelon season! The beautiful green fruits with a juicy interior, are the perfect treat on a hot summer day. Watermelons are 92% water and take about 90 days to grow. Around the world there are over 300 different varieties of watermelon that are cultivated which include seedless, mini, and yellow watermelons. From a health perspective, watermelons are great as they contain lycopene which is an antioxidant and are hydrating as they have such a high water content. In the kitchen, watermelons are super versatile as you can use the entire fruit in both sweet and savory dishes. A refreshing watermelon salad with basil and feta is the perfect appetizer while the rind can be pickled for a delicious condiment or side dish. What is your favorite way to eat watermelon in the summer? Let us know in the comments!
One word that is commonly associated with summer is strawberries! In the summertime, strawberries can be found everywhere, whether at the grocery store, your local farmer’s market, or a farm stand. Strawberries are not only delicious but also offer many health benefits. Strawberries are full of vitamins: they contain many B vitamins, folic acid, zinc, copper and even more vitamin C than oranges or lemons. They are also packed full of fiber and more importantly contain high levels of antioxidants also known as polyphenols. In addition to being healthy and delicious, strawberries are extremely versatile and are perfect for both sweet and savory delicious. Classic pairings with ingredients such as basil, yogurt, and balsamic vinegar can create amazing dishes!
Healthy eating is NOT just about looking better! It’s feeling better too! Anxiety and depression, low energy and mood, pain and discomfort are all common symptoms of nutritional imbalance and they can take a huge toll on all areas of life and relationships. When we’re tired and stressed, not eating well or sleeping well, we can become snappy and impatient and this in turn can impact our relationships. Relationships need regular nurturing and attention, and that can seem impossible when you’re not feeling good yourself! With Metabolic Balance, we’ve helped many couples work side by side, using their own individual nutrition plans, supporting each other to keep on track. Getting back into balance together is one of the best things for a relationship. When you’re both feeling good, life takes on a whole new perspective. At Metabolic Balance we say you need to rebalance to reconnect!
Adapted: Metabolic Balance Australia and New Zealand
Many people associate a particularly healthy diet with the raw food diet. This is because the raw food diet is based on consuming foods that are not cooked in any way. Fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, nuts, lettuce and seeds that are not heated thus contain their full original nutrient content. Above all, they are rich in vitamins and secondary plant substances, as these are inactivated or broken down at 100°F and then are no longer available to the body.
It is also known that all cooking methods, whether boiling, steaming, roasting or barbecuing, partially damage the sensitive vitamins and secondary plant substances. It has been shown, for example, that half of the vitamins contained in food, in particular vitamins C, B1, B2 and B6, are lost due to heat. So what’s more obvious than to join the raw foodists?
Nevertheless, the reality is usually somewhat different than one has imagined. Often, after some time of eating mainly raw apples, carrots, cabbage turnip, etc., you reach your limits. The craving for cooked food can’t be simply switched off at the touch of a button and some people struggle with a constant feeling of hunger or satiety. In addition, digestive and intestinal disorders can occur and these are often the reason why the “raw foodist” project is quickly abandoned. This may also be due to the prevailing opinion that a raw food diet is equivalent to a vegan diet. However, this is a false conclusion: With a raw food diet, both plant and animal foods can be consumed that have not been heated to more than 100°F. This means that raw milk cheese, fermented fish, carpaccio, tartar or sushi can also be on the menu.
Preventing diseases with raw food?
The health benefits of raw foods are controversial. Supporters claim that many diseases are caused by cooked or highly processed foods.
With raw food you can get rid of problems such as obesity, diabetes, allergies, gout and gastrointestinal problems. Raw foodists are said to have a purer skin and less susceptible to colds and flu.
Raw foodists reject canned foods, pasta, and boxed cereals, and completely ban tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, and dairy products from the diet. The diet includes mainly regional fruits, vegetables, nuts, salads and wild herbs.
Nevertheless, many nutrition experts advise against a long-term diet with only raw food, because it is too unbalanced in the long run. Some people also get intestinal problems, because some fruits and vegetables are difficult to digest raw and can cause fermentation processes.
In fact, sensitive people can be affected by such deficiencies, especially if in advance always little raw food and low-fiber foods have been consumed.
Raw food diet and science
In a large-scale study conducted by the University of Giessen, Germany, from 1996 to 1998, 200 participants who practiced the raw food diet were accompanied by nutritionists and medical doctors for a year to find out how raw food nutrition affects health. The participants were all non-smokers and in good overall health.
The evaluation of the vitamin and mineral status of study participants surprised researchers: Although only vegetables, fruits, nuts and salads were consumed and the food was rich in minerals and vitamins, this could not be detected in the blood count. One possible reason for this could be that the subjects ingested too little fat. Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin E and beta-carotene can only be absorbed in the presence of fat. Furthermore, the subjects were deficient in vitamin D, zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and iodine after one year.
The supply of protein was also insufficient, as some protein-rich foods, such as the group of legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, etc.) as well as many mushrooms, are unsuitable for raw consumption and were therefore avoided.
Raw food diet – which foods should be dispensed with?
Raw legumes contain a high proportion of lectins, which are toxic and can also cause inflammatory bowel diseases. By soaking and boiling, the lectins are largely destroyed and legumes can be eaten, but then no longer meet the requirements of the raw food diet.
Phytic acid contained in grains blocks the absorption of some minerals. Therefore, grains are best tolerated when cooked or baked, i. e. higher temperatures destroy the phytic acid. However, fermented grains, i. e. ground grains, soaked overnight in water, can also break down a large part of the phytic acid and render it ineffective. The disadvantage is: Excess water is drained off and a considerable proportion of dissolved minerals is poured away.
Furthermore, some secondary plant substances are not able to develop their full health potential in their raw state. For example, the ingredients lycopene and lutein, which are responsible for the red color of the tomato, only become available after cooking. Lycopene and lutein are highly effective antioxidants that can strengthen the body’s defenses.
The same applies to carotenoids, which, among others, can be found in carrots and bell peppers. If, for example, carrots are cooked and they are consumed in combination with fat, then about 40% of the beta-carotene is utilized – in the raw state only about 3% is absorbed by the body.
Potatoes are also among the plant foods that, when eaten raw, are not tolerated. This is mainly due to the potato starch. It can’t be digested well or at all in our intestines. Potatoes also contain solanine, which is slightly poisonous when uncooked and can cause abdominal pain, bloating and other intestinal complaints.
What is Metabolic Balance’s position on raw food diet?
The proportion of raw food in the diet should be increased overall, taking into account the positive effects on the body and the fact that, according to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the average fiber content in most diets is too low. Especially vegetables, lettuce, nuts, mushrooms, herbs and fruits contain many vitamins, minerals and fiber, which stimulate digestion and provide a healthy environment for the intestinal flora. In addition, the secondary plant substances contained, such as flavonoids and antioxidants, prevent cancer and heart attack. Nevertheless, a pure raw food diet is not recommended.
Therefore, nutrition according to Metabolic Balance is designed with a high proportion of fresh food, which is optimally tolerated, tasty and healthy for our metabolism.
Metabolic Balance focuses on natural foods, i. e. foods should be cooked, heated or processed as much as necessary, but still as little as possible, so that the body is adequately supplied with all the vital substances and at the same time is spared from the natural toxins and pollutants of plant and animal foods.
At the same time, it is important to make sure that fruit and vegetables are not too heavily contaminated by nitrates and pesticides and therefore rely on organically grown products.
Diabetes prevention starts in the supermarket. Why? Most processed foods – are full of additives and preservatives and contain too much refined sugar. Especially products labeled as “fat free” tend to have high amounts of added sugar to make up for the lack of fat.
The good news: A healthy lifestyle with sufficient exercise and a balanced diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Start making the first small changes today:
- Prepare meals fresh
- Avoid convenience products as much as possible
- Reduce white flour and white flour products
- 3 wholesome meals per day
- No snacks between meals
Let’s talk spinach! As kids many of us probably were not a big fan of this leafy, green vegetable.
Spinach is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. In addition to a comparatively high iron content, it contains minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. It is also rich in vitamins B and C. Especially in the kitchen, spinach is extremely versatile. It can be used in many ways, whether in salads, as pesto or quite classically in combination with a fried egg. Consider trying a new way to use this great vegetable!
Intensive chewing promotes digestion and the usability of food. Through targeted and almost “meditative” chewing, the saturation reflex can also be positively influenced: We become full faster, even though we have not eaten abundantly. In addition, slow eating is good for the sense of taste and also for the jaw and facial muscles!
- Take at least 20 minutes to eat
- Chew each bite consciously at least 10 – 15 times
Nutrition plays a central role in the development of diseases. Highly processed foods with plenty of additives, isolated carbohydrates and sugars, low-quality oils and little to no vitamins and minerals – this is the fuel for inflammatory processes in the body, which are reignited and kept burning every day with “low-quality” and “worthless” foods.
Natural foods with their colorful mix of vitamins, minerals, secondary plant substances and especially omega-3 fatty acids offer the best protection against inflammation. These can provide excellent help in keeping the “conflagration” in check or even extinguishing it.
You are unique, and your nutrition plan should be too!
Metabolic Balance has been scientifically proven as one of the most successful nutrition programs ever. One key to our success lies in the high degree of individualization. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, together with your Metabolic Balance Practitioner, we’re going to celebrate your uniqueness and create a nutrition plan that is personalized for you.
Begin your health journey today!
One key component of success when making a lifestyle change such as starting Metabolic Balance is consistency! Metabolic Balance is about learning to make the best choices for yourself for the right reasons. It’s about being honest with yourself and showing up for yourself every day. It’s about deciding how do you want to feel today, tomorrow, next month, next year and in 20 years time.
Living your best life includes the parties, the celebrations, the coffee with a friend, the afternoon ice cream with your kids. It’s about learning what you can get away with and what you just can’t! But it also means that you’ll consistently get back on track and look after yourself too.
By having a Metabolic Balance plan, you have the potential to consistently be your best self.