It is not a miracle that we got the word “nutrients” implanted into our mind when we choose our food. Our food guide provides guidelines as in how to get sufficient nutrients for the day. The very basic, eat your green and colouredvegetables because they provide to us vitamins and minerals that we need. Take meat for protein and fat. Lean meat is better to reduce the amount of fat in our diet. Take carbohydrates based grains as a source ofcarbohydrates. Cut down on sugar, salt and oil consumption.
Processing damages nutrients in our food. The leaching out of vitamins and minerals from our vegetable as we washed and stir-fry them. Heat denatures fats and proteins in a meat, for example. Artificial preservatives are damaging to our health- food coloring, flavors, thickening agents, stabilizers. In short, people are concerned about the name of ingredients that they have no knowledge of. Heating of milk, meant to reduce food safety risk are thought to reduce vitamin A and vitamin D. Preference to have fresh milk that are not pasteurized with high food safety risk to preserve the nutrients. I leave it to you to decide how food processing affects nutrients and the pros and cons of having these techniques.
How many of us trust nutritionist or dietician in terms of providing suggestion of nutrients? I put 100% trust on dieticians because I knew they are the professionals when it comes to food nutrients. However, I just wouldn’t depend 100% on nutritionist. Some of us earned the title nutritionist because we have some degree of knowledge for nutrients. I worked in a nutraceutical company before and I could see how much trust have been given to me just because my nutritionist title. How miracle? I became a nutritionist in a split second.
Really, people are influenced by what they are told to. Food guide, knowledge of nutrients and processing techniques and words of mouth are great examples of how we are influenced. I am going to introduce to you a term called “functional foods”. Functional foods are foods that are believed to provide functional or health benefits upon consumption over a long period of time. My favorite functional foods are yogurt and tea.
Yogurt is a dairy product, resulted from fermentation of lactose in the milk into lactic acid. Yogurt support good microorganism growth or termed as probiotics growth. Probiotics displaced bad bacteria in our guts and restore our gut’s microflora. It works on me, at least I believe on it.
The next is tea. Tea is a unique one. Depending on the type tea, we could get different health benefits. Green tea provides antioxidants, against free radicals that damage our body cells. Black tea calms our mind.
Wait, it is linked. What we knew of is our reference point to make a food decision. You know, I always had a hard time between green tea and black tea. Are you someone who will use a reference point for food choices? What would that be?