I surveyed my newsletter subscribers late last year and one of the questions that came up was: How do I know when I’m getting enough nutrients specific to my body?
This is a great question but a challenging one because although humans are the same in many ways, we are all different in many ways too.
What might work for one person, may not work for the next person.
Articles that claim: “Drinking 10 cups of coffee a day will help you live longer!!!” are full of holes because it doesn’t take into account that although coffee has a ton of beneficial antioxidants, caffeine can wreak havoc on many people’s systems (mine included) raising their cortisol and messing with their hormones and sleep.
The only way to truly figure out how you’re getting enough nutrients specific to your body is to be tested by a naturopathic doctor or a functional medicine practitioner who knows what to look for in the testing and how to proceed after receiving the results.
However! We can do many things on our own to ensure we’re getting as many nutrients as possible for our bodies. Let’s have a look:
Ahh! There she goes again with the real food!
Ok I know, but if you want to make sure you’re getting as many nutrients as possible it’s highly recommended to focus on eating real food and limit the packaged, fake foods found in the middle aisle of the grocery store that don’t tend to have a lot of nutrients.
Real food = Nutrients!
Eat Various Types of Foods Every Week Focusing on Vegetables.
The number one way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients is to regularly change up the food you’re eating.
Focus on veggies first because vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods we can be eating.
“Eat the Rainbow” as they say (and no I’m not talking about Skittles!).
When we switch up eating our vegetables each day or even each week, we’re giving our bodies a chance to get as many nutrients as possible from a variety of sources.
When we eat the same things all the time, our bodies could be missing out on other key nutrients found in another vegetables or foods.
If you add spinach to your smoothies one week, trying adding kale or dandelion greens the next week.
If you like having a egg with toast every morning, try adding greens with it or some type of sprouts to replace the toast a few times a week.
If you like eating carrots and celery with hummus as a snack; try red peppers and cucumbers the next day.
This goes for other things too! If you drink coffee every morning, try changing it to green tea, or a turmeric latte a couple times a week.
If you’re used to eating chicken every week, change it up to turkey the next week and so on.
Focus on Local First.
Focusing on eating locally-grown foods is tough to do in the colder months, but local foods tend to have more nutrients than those foods that are shipped from Mexico and California because they’re picked at their peak in season.
In the winter months, that means more squash, apples, kale, beets, cabbage, carrots, garlic and leeks (get the full list for Ontario here).
Assess Your Energy Levels.
If you have low energy it could mean a whole whack of things like hormone imbalance, lack of sleep etc., but many times it could be a result of not getting enough of the proper nutrients.
When you start to shift toward eating real food regularly and changing up the foods you eat on a regular basis, may find you have more energy which could mean you’re getting the nutrients you need.
I hope this helps you get more nutrients into your meals!