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Nutritional variety: the key to great health

It’s important to eat balanced meals with a lot of variety every day.  The body recognizes foods and the nutrients contained within to optimize healthy body functions.  As different foods are eaten, the efficiency of the thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism, or the speed with which foods are converted to usable energy sources, is heightened.  This allows the body to process the vitamins and minerals within each product, potentiating the health of cells throughout the body.  Each food source has unique chemical structures; so the more variety the body receives and the thyroid gland has to metabolize, the better the process of digestion, absorption, and cellular metabolism becomes.  This also helps us to maintain a healthy body weight.

Every day, try something new or vary up your food routines.  Much like a quality control inspector, the thyroid is sensing what’s on the “conveyor belt” in the digestive process.  If it is always sensing the same mundane foods, it starts to slow down.  This sluggishness leads to weight gain, poor energy, and impaired digestion and nutrient absorption.  So give your thyroid gland a great work assignment and keep it guessing every day!

It can take time to develop a taste for new foods; that’s okay.  Don’t give up on a food until you can honestly say you’ve tried it at least 10 times.  Vary how you prepare foods, especially while working to acquire a new taste.  Try grilling veggies; make soups and stews; use an apple-cider vinegar based marinade prior to food preparation; mix greens such as kale, spinach and other lettuces into smoothies; and open up the cookbooks and try new recipes!

The more you experiment with a combination of new foods, the more you may find that hidden gems were just waiting to be discovered for your taste buds.  And the bonus to all of this is that, ultimately, your cells and overall health will benefit, allowing your body to get nutrient rich foods and keep a strong metabolic rate.


Contributed by Terri Caunt, R.N., B.S.N.