2021: The Year of Good Sleep: Food Is a Fuel: How Nutrition Affects Health
“Food is fuel”
Words to live by, according to Diana Coggan, Health and Beauty Buyer at New Earth Market and our fourth interview in the Year of Good Sleep Wellness Series!
As a long-time industry expert in health and wellness, Diana brings a wealth of knowledge on the right foods and supplements to power your body through any season of colds, flus, or pandemics. Her role at New Earth Market is to help people understand how nutrition affects health and suggest foods and supplements that are right for their individual needs and goals.
Her number one tip?
Eat good food.
“Food is the fuel our bodies run on,” she says. “If we’re eating good, minimally–processed foods, we can expect our bodies to operate optimally. More simply: Garbage in, garbage out.”
What is considered “good food,” you might ask?
Diana recommends a variety of fresh foods, good fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, and fruits to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. An easy way to do this: “Eat the rainbow,” she recommends. Grab your kiddos for a trip to the produce department, and ask them to help you choose a variety of foods from every color. “Every color has different nutrients, so you want a broad spectrum of colors in your diet.”
“Whole grains are not the enemy!” says Diana. “You have to eat the right kinds and in moderation.” Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread flour, and oatmeal are your base fuel to keep full, maintain healthy weight, and help ward off heart disease, diabetes, and other health concerns. Refined and processed white flour and white rice, on the other hand, convert to sugar in our body almost immediately. White bread? “Essentially, it’s glue.”
Chew the Fat
Skip the low fat and no fat options, Diana suggests. “Our bodies really need those fats, especially the brain–a fat dependent organ.” Raw nuts (not roasted or salted), avocados, olive oil, coconut oil are all great options.
Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchee, kombucha really help with gut health and digestion. “With the advent of processing and refrigeration, as a society, we don’t eat enough fermented foods,” she notes. For vegans or lactose-intolerant people, there are even some tasty dairy free yogurts and kefirs to try.
If I’m eating all the right foods, do I need supplements?
“Supplements help fill in the gaps we might not be getting from diet,” Diana explains. Even the healthiest foods, for example, might not have everything you need as mass farming often strips the soil of vital nutrients.
Similarly, stress can play a huge role in how our bodies absorb nutrients. Supplements can help address any issues or illnesses that arise by providing what wouldn’t be in our normal diet–like extra boosts of Vitamin C or elderberries.
She recommends a good multivitamin and a quality probiotic for most people. “It’s going to help microbiome and gut health–that’s where our immune system starts. If you’ve got a healthy gut bacteria, you’re going to have a better chance of fighting off anything that comes your way.”
Just remember, she says, “Supplements have their place but they’re not a replacement for good food.”
New Earth, a family-run store founded to provide options for healthy, natural foods and supplements, is very particular about the products they bring in. Every item is reviewed for property ingredients, 3rd party testing, processing, bottling, etc., to ensure it meets the high standards of health and personalized help the store offers its customers.
“We don’t run it as a corporation,” she says. “People who work here are our family. In turn, we want to be able to take that family feel to the community and really welcome our customers into the stores. We really want the community to be healthy,” she says.
Any final suggestions on how to stay healthy this season?
“When it’s cold outside, don’t drink or eat cold things,” Diana says. “Our digestive system is like a furnace. If it’s already cold outside, your body is working hard to digest and metabolize, then you throw a cold salad or ice water in there, you’re cooling down that furnace and it’s harder for the body to work. Similarly, watch how much heat you eat during summer. Stick to cooler foods whenever possible to keep your system digesting properly.”
As another family-owned business in town, Square Deal Mattress Factory is thrilled to partner with companies like New Earth Market in search of better ways to stay healthy and ultimately get a better night’s sleep. Bon appetit!