I love food, and there is no denying that it is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The role of a healthy diet in our lives cannot be overstated; the food that we eat has a direct impact on our physical, mental and emotional health, and if we eat correctly, we can enable our bodies to work to their optimum. Good food can keep us balanced, improve brain function, reduce our chances of being diagnosed with so many illnesses, help us to have healthy immune systems, and help our bodies to regenerate and rejuvenate; it is a natural healer with the power to transform health and wellbeing.
I am in no way a nutritionist, but I have been eating low quality food recently and have noticed a significant dip in my health, but after just two weeks of eating well again, my symptoms have improved greatly. I spend a lot of time researching the impact of food on our health and I am in no doubt that, ‘We are what we eat’. Good food is the essential ingredient in building new neurotransmitters in my brain, and a diet lacking in nutrition will exacerbate many of my symptoms, there is a direct correlation between the health of my gut and the health of my brain. I am not about to lecture you on the health benefits of a vegan diet, but I am just asking you to reflect on the food that you eat and how much of your diet is plant-based (fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and pulses). How much processed food do you eat? How much food do you eat in its natural state? How kind are you to your body? Are you eating for the health that you want?
‘Let food be thy medicine’. Hippocrates.
Before diagnosis, my eating habits, like my whole life, were unbalanced; it was either a famine or a feast. I varied between meticulous ‘clean eating’ and the other extreme of mindlessly inhaling processed and ‘yellow food’, with very little fruit and vegetables. When I don’t eat enough plant-based foods, I am tired and lethargic as my body is not getting the nutrition that it is craving. When we eat a lot of chemically enhanced food, we are increasing our chances of being diagnosed with an array of cancers, strokes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and coronary problems; we are literally poisoning our bodies. The World Health Organisation has even classified processed meat as a carcinogen, yet we give this to children…
Repetitive poor eating catches up with us eventually, it did with me. Ill health doesn’t happen overnight, modern life has normalised junk food and we ride the sugar rollercoaster daily, but a poor diet is impeding good health. A bad diet is one of the main culprits linked to poor health and chronic illness. This blog is not asking you to cut out junk food completely, or asking you to starve yourself, but rather to keep it as a treat in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. It is not about calorie counting or fad diets, it is just an attempt to use my experience to nudge you to use food to nourish and cleanse your body, rather than creating inflammation and toxicity.
As I have mentioned before, anxiety is one of my PD symptoms that I struggle with the most; my body is always primed for threat, so diet is crucial to keeping my brain and nervous system calm. I am taking control of my health, and so genetically modified foods that are laden with sugar and endless preservatives must be kept to a minimum. Processed foods are brain stimulants, whereas plant-based foods are antioxidants. If you have a neurological condition like myself, then blueberries are one of the best foods to eat for neurological health and getting rid of debris. B- vitamins are essential for the health of your brain as is magnesium (a calming miracle), I have found these to have a great impact on my recovery and I seem to deteriorate when I fail to take these supplements.
Toxins will manifest in some sort of illness and I’m determined to ensure that I don’t have any more devastating news in a doctor’s office.
Food can have a calming and purifying effect on the body, it has the ability to reset our immune systems, it can help us to heal a lot faster or avoid many illnesses. When we start eating good food, our bodies will start to repair themselves and purge any toxins. Research shows that the majority of our diet should be plant-based, that we should keep animal protein to a minimum, eat as much food as you can in the state that it was grown, and check sugar content and preservatives on ingredient lists as these are literally poisoning your body.
If I haven’t convinced you of the importance of eating well, then I would highly recommend that you watch The Game Changers and What the Health on Netflix, also read The Longevity Diet by Valter Longo (all proceeds are donated to charity). Just eat well and listen to your gut. Healthy eating takes motivation and determination, but the pay off in terms of your health is most certainly worth it!