One of our most surprising health issues…

You could actually be STARVING TO DEATH!

Look around. We live in one of the most affluent communities in the country. Many of us have virtually all we could ever want. However, believe it or not, we are suffering from malnutrition. In fact, many of us are actually starving to death!

I know, most of us are a few pounds overweight. How can this be? Well, while we drive through, top off, load up, and super-size, we are filling our bodies with highly processed foods. Foods that are basically empty calories devoid of the nutrients that give us energy. Clearly, we don’t have to be foodless (or a super-model!) to be malnourished!

Most of us take better care of our cars than we do our bodies! How many of us are sluggish, drowsy or just plain tired? Often, we don’t get enough sleep, but just as often we are eating the wrong foods to keep us alert and energized. We know that our cars need fuel to run, right? Our bodies need food for the same reason. Good foods. Whole foods.

Processed and refined foods are foods you bring home and pop in your mouth – or eat in the car! Whole foods you bring home and chop, slice, peel, roast. You get the idea. More work, yes, but so is staying in shape, putting on sunscreen, getting 7 hours of sleep, everything we should be doing for ourselves.

Our body processes refined foods much differently than whole foods. Processed and refined foods with their simple carbs race through our systems, whereas whole foods such as apples and oranges contain fiber and nutrients that take time to digest.

Under normal circumstances, when we eat our blood glucose (sugar) levels rise slightly. This signals the pancreas to release insulin, which ensures our glucose levels do not get too high. When we eat a steady diet of refined foods, our glucose levels are elevated for too long. Over time, this can have severe consequences including obesity, diabetes and damage to kidneys, eyes, nerves and blood vessels. Meanwhile, our bodies consume refined foods so quickly, we eat more just to keep going, and on and on. We gain weight, we are tired and cranky. We are starving to death.

The first rule of healthy eating is healthy shopping. Shop the perimeters of the grocery store. This is where you will find the fresh produce, fresh dairy, fresh whole grain breads and fresh meats.

At Radiance, we have come up with a list of some of our favorite high energy foods:

Water– Chronically overlooked, and so important! Most of us are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration can limit our both our physical and mental capacity. Drink up!

Lean Beef and Chicken – Lean protein also contains tyrosine, an amino acid that helps your brain produce the chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which improve our mental function.

Beans – Complex carbs help keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day, providing a steady, slow-burning source of energy to keep you awake.

Fruit – Especially apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, and kiwi, are high in potassium for good nerve and muscle function, fructose for liver glycogen, fiber, and excellent vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Quinoa – Although technically a seed, is considered a super-grain that we should all should have in our diet. A high-quality complex carb, it is high in fiber and iron, as well as calcium and potassium.

Old-Fashioned Oats – Not the quick-cooking kind. Oats are a great source of complex carbs that are high in fiber, low on the glycemic index and high in energy-boosting B vitamins.

Seeds – Flax, chia and hemp are great for fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Chia is a great choice, since it has plenty of soluble fiber, which creates a viscous gel in your gastrointestinal tract.

Tree Nuts – Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashew, are loaded with healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Eggs – Omega-3 eggs are full of healthy fats, energy-boosting B vitamins and some vitamin D. They are one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods.

Cold-water fatty fish – Wild salmon, mackerel and herring. These are an excellent source of omega 3s, which provide a number of health benefits, including decreased risk of heart disease and various cancers, decreased inflammation and decreased body fat. They’re also rich in complete protein, energy-boosting B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium.

We have thousands of enzymes in our bodies that help break down our food and allow nutrients to be absorbed into our bloodstream. Eating raw fruits and veggies is an excellent way to add enzymes to our diet. Cooking food destroys valuable enzymes, so many of us find we need help increasing our enzyme levels. Radiance offers Designs for Health Digestzymes which provides a combination of the most important enzymes for the digestion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Digestzymes may also help prevent gas, bloating and constipation. Whole food powders are extremely beneficial to those who don’t like raw foods, or are having a hard time adjusting to the whole food diet. Radiance offers Designs for Health’s PaleoGreens Organic Powder and Designs for Health PaleoReds Strawberry Powder for the whole food boost we all need.

Let’s stop starving and start living well!