Nutrient Density

Food is more than “gas for the tank”.  Food contains both building blocks and signals for cellular function.  Food also has profound affects on hormone function.  There are still thousands of undiscovered synergistic combinations of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that affect our bodies, cells, molecules that science does not understand.  Researchers see only the tip of the iceberg and we have yet to explore very deep.

Some scientist suspect that food even affects the quantum dance of electrons across the intermitochondrial membranes of a cell where energy is manufactured.  Perhaps our understanding of cancer and its ultimate solution is not pharmaceutical-based.  Perhaps the scientists are barking up the wrong tree and need to look at quantum physics and electromagnetic effects on our cells.

The more nutrient dense the food that you eat, the less food that you need to eat.  Carbohydrates from grains are one of the least nutrient dense forms of food.  This is one reason why low-fat dieters need to eat all the time (especially snacking in between meals) and high-fat dieters often eat only 2-3 times a days without snacking; the low-fat people are not getting the same amount of cellular nutrition in a meal.  People that consume a nutrient dense, high-fat diet with plenty of Omega-3 fats and the fat-soluble vitamins D,E,A, and K2 can arrive at a “calorie-restricted” way of living which is well documented to improve longevity.

Examples of Foods That Are Not Nutrient Dense:

  • Sugar – actually no micronutrients at all, just glucose and fructose. Sugar is a poison.
  • Grains – processed (pulverised) flour is so devoid of micronutrients that synthetic vitamins are mixed back in to make flour “Enriched”
  • Legumes – lots of carbs, low nutrient density and they don’t fully digest…this is why they cause gas.
  • Juice – with the healthy fiber extracted the juice process yields a liquid that is mostly water and sugar, sometimes more sugar than in a can of soda.
  • White or lightly colored vegetables – examples include potatoes, carrots and other roots.  A good guideline is to eat vegetables that grow above the soil line.
  • Fruit – most fruit contains no more vitamin C than vegetables and provides an overdose of fructose.  Have no more than one piece a day.
  • Vegetable (seed) oils –  these are actually an antinutrient as seed oils are oxidized during high-temp chemical processing.  Vegetable seed oils are poison.  The exceptions are the cold-pressed tropical oils; olive, palm, and coconut.

Examples of Foods That Are Nutrient Dense:

  • Shell food, especially oysters
  • Sardines (skin on, bone-in) and other cold-water oily fish like salmon
  • Fish head and guts – the Japanese tradition has it right…make sauces and seafood stock from the fish parts
  • Organ meat – yep, our grandmothers had it right when they made liver. There is more vitamins in single serving of liver than eating days of salads.
  • Meat on the bone, skin-on, slow cooked, rare.  Let the nutrients from the bone, connective tissues and skin fat seep into the meat.
  • Bone broth soup stock
  • Leafy green and dark colored vegetables and dark colored berries (but only a handful of berries…too much sugar)
  • Sulfur foods – mushrooms, onions, garlic
  • Fermented foods: sauerkraut, cheese, plain yogurt, ripened vegetables
  • Nuts and Seeds – but less than a handful a day.  Roasted or water soaked and dried, not raw.

Here is a good rule of nature: the more rich and dark the color a food, the greater is its nutrient density:

  • Organ meat is darker than the muscle, thus contains more vitamins and minerals
  • Dark green leafy lettuce contains more nutrition than iceberg lettuce
  • Red onions have more nutrients than white onions
  • Sweet potatoes have more minerals than white potatoes

See the pattern nature provides?  Color Density = Nutrient Density

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