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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Things Health Nuts Do With Their Food

There are a variety of things people do to food. Some of the most common practices are baking, grilling, frying, deep frying, and microwaving. However, if you are a true health nut, you cut back on the heat and destruction of food and focus on processes that leave it raw or lightly cooked so real healing can begin in the body. Here are the top 5 things health nuts do with their food.

Blending

One of the first things you will see in a health nut’s home is a high quality blender. It’s not uncommon to see a lot of affection towards it, including winks, smiles, and gentle rubbing.
Seriously though, a blender gets a serious work out in a health nut’s home for 3 main reasons: smoothies, soups, and dips.
A common staple in any health nut’s diet is a smoothie. Nothing wakes up a thirsty, hungry, and acidic body first thing in the morning more than a delicious, alkaline, and satisfying superfood smoothie. Not only that, but you can pack more nutrition in a single smoothie than most people can pack in for an entire day, which results in incredible healing benefits. It makes getting in your daily fruits, vegetables, super foods, fiber, protein, and healthy fats, incredibly easy.
Another great use for a blender is making cold and hot soups. Blending your ingredients and making a smooth textured soup greatly assists in the digestion and assimilation of nutrients so that you are absorbing as many of the beneficial vitamins, minerals, and enzymes as possible.
Finally, another major use for blenders is making fresh and savoury dips.  Whether it’s an award winning almond hummus or a healthy mayonnaise, blenders make it incredibly easy to whip these dips up in a fraction of the time and with flavourful results.
In terms of staying fresh in the refrigerator, smoothies will typically last only 1-3 hours before they go “bad” (if no preserving agent is added), and soup and dip will last up to a week. 

Juicing

Another important component to preparing healthy food is juicing. Health nuts will spend more time preparing a fresh juice in the morning than most people spend preparing dinner. True story.
Juice is a great idea because it allows you to maximize your intake of fruits and vegetables (you can often get 3-4 pieces of fruit into a 12 to 16 oz glass of juice), create superior and maximum absorption of nutrients and enzymes, and put little to no stress on the digestive system in the process. This is where some real healing can begin when done properly.
Not only that, juicing can create drinks that are simply amazing. The freshness combined with your creativity can result in an unlimited amount of recipes, and you can feel good about it knowing that the nutrients and enzymes are still largely in place, with no extra ingredients required!
In terms of staying fresh, juice should be consumed immediately after it has been rendered to enjoy the nutrients and enzymes at their highest value. However, it can last a couple days, depending on your juicing method and ability to store it in airtight jars.

Fermenting

Another popular thing health nuts do with their food is fermentation. Although not as prevalent as some of the other methods, it is perhaps the most important of all.
Fermentation is the art of taking a food medium, adding a probiotic culture, and placing it in airtight containers to allow the bacteria to replicate to create an end product teeming with probiotics, vitamins, enzymes, and other beneficial nutrients.
It’s very important to note that since we have 10 times more bacteria than cells in our body and  80% of our immune system lies within our digestive system, fermented foods are one of the most important things you can do for your health. True healing does not begin until you get these foods into your diet. And fermenting foods is a very cheap method of preservation. Done correctly, fermented foods can last as long or longer than that jar of pickles in the cold room, with way more health benefits. 

Dehydrating

Many health nuts prepare their foods in a way that results in a lot less heat, leaving them much more “‘raw”, keeping delicate enzymes and nutrients intact for consumption.
A dehydrator essentially allows you to create food that would traditionally be baked at much higher temperatures, such as breads, crackers, granola, and crusts, and allows you to gently heat them at levels that keep the delicate nutrients intact. It also allows you to create dried fruit, “chips” (kale chips are outstanding) and other treats that can last much longer than their fresh counterparts.
Dehydrating can preserve food for an indefinite amount of time and is a great choice for hiking or long trips. I can assure you, carrying a dozen apples in your backpack is much bulkier and heavier than carrying 12 dehydrated apples. Dehydrating definitely has its benefits.

Soaking/Sprouting

A sure sign you are in a health nut’s house is various bowls on the counter (right beside the jars of fermented and dehydrated foods) with standing water, filled with nuts, seeds, and grains. There is a method behind their madness.
Nature has set it up so that the nut, grain, and seed may survive until proper growing conditions are present. Nature’s defense mechanism includes nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances that can be removed naturally when there is enough precipitation to sustain a new plant after the nut, grain, or seed germinates. When it rains the nut, grain or seed gets wet and can then germinate to produce a plant. So we are mimicking nature when we soak our nuts, grains, and seeds.
Nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances found in nuts, grains, and seeds can be minimized or eliminated by soaking. These inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens.
Since nuts and seeds provide a wide array of healthy fats, protein, trace minerals, and nutrients it is a good idea to include them in your diet. Just make sure you soak them to ensure they provide the most benefits, with minimal side effects.

So if you are not a full blown health nut yet, and haven’t used a lot of these methods, what’s holding you back?

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