Real food for better health


2018 has already seen mounting scientific evidence that heavily processed food can make us sick. Research released in January and February has been particularly powerful, but when it comes to food for better health, the judgement is already in and real food won.

This means thinking about what you eat; mindfulness rather than mindless munching. When it comes to wellness, eating real foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes is the way to go; better for you, better value for your money. Aim for a rainbow diet full of colourful foods and remember vitamin supplements just don’t deliver the same level of results.

And no need to obsess about achieving perfection, just include more plant foods in your diet and cut down on junk food. Small adjustments to the proportions will be a great start.

Real food for better health

Heart disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other chronic diseases: what do they have in common? Inflammation.

What we eat has a big impact on it. Our gut bacteria can spur or suppress inflammation – so clearly eating foods that help friendly bacteria grow and so protect you is the smart way to go. Here are some Just Routine eating suggestions to enjoy that have been linked to inflammation reduction:

  • Fruits and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols, potentially protective compounds found in plants.
  • Nuts and seeds. Studies have found that consuming nuts and seeds is associated with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • Coffee, green tea and cocoa. The polyphenols in coffee and the flavonols in cocoa are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea is also rich in both polyphenols and antioxidants.

If you are missing a sugar rush, then why not try a different type of high…

A new kind of endorphin hit

I’m sure you have experienced or heard someone mention having a rush of endorphins to the brain. Endorphins are our own personal narcotics, chemicals produced in various parts of the body to block pain, but also to register pleasure. Hence the endorphin rush felt by many athletes, with sex another contributor – but food can be too. Two interesting examples:

  • Hot spicy foods can provide an additional boost of pleasure, with research suggesting the sensation of pain they can cause in the mouth prompts an increase in endorphins.
  • Eating dark chocolate. Cocoa powder and chocolate contain chemicals called flavonoids that appear to be beneficial to the brain – so eating dark chocolate may help boost endorphins. However, it must be chocolate containing at least 70 percent cocoa, which isn’t cheap, but the good news is you only need a small square to get a mood boost!

Of course, all this probably explains why my favourite treat is chilli flavoured dark 70% chocolate…

Give it a try!


Make eating real food Just Routine – click here to download

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Iris is the founder of No Targets Just Routine. She has researched food since 2009 and believes “Happiness is real food shared with loved ones.”

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