The Devigi Pages


The Importance of Food Preparation in Nutrition

How to get the most out of your diet and boost your workout performance by preparing your foods correctly.

Nutrition is a complicated science that continues to change with new data, analysis, biochemical understanding, and dedication of resources. This means that those of us who want to embark on a healthy lifestyle cannot rely on definitive directives to be never changing and work for everyone. Healthy is not about the nutrients in the food or on the label but how your body absorbs and processes what you consume.

Lycopene, for example, is a great antioxidant and has been tested to reduce cancer and heart attack risk. Tomatoes have high levels of lycopene but the molecule in the cold form is linear and less able to be absorbed by the body than a heated molecule. For many raw vegetables, heating releases the nutrients trapped behind the cell walls and releases them for the body to absorb. Heating or vigorously massaging kale allows the body to absorb its superfood benefits. Grinding flaxseeds right before use keeps them from passing through the body undigested while still retaining their nutritional value.

With a refocus on nutrient absorption, scientists have begun to elevate the value of fat in our diets. We absorb significantly more value from our vegetables when they are consumed with fat; good fats from an egg, olive oil, or avocado bond with the nutrients and help the body in nutrient absorption. With milk, it is not just about the amount of calcium or protein in the milk but what is actually absorbed by the body. Precise pairings with magnesium and fat are critical for absorption of calcium making research tout the benefits of whole milk versus skim and soy alternatives.

It may not only be what we eat and how we prepare it but the order of consumption that impacts how our bodies react to food. Research suggests eating protein first in a meal yields a lower post meal glucose and insulin levels. Fruits for example should be eaten alone and on an empty stomach to allow digestion to most effectively process the nutrients and avoid any acid build up that can happen with fruits eaten with slow digesting carbs.fresh_cut_fruits_and_vegetables

Nutrition is a science still in its infancy, focusing more now on how we react to food as opposed to the nutrients in the food itself. As healthy eaters, we need to remember individual biochemistry has a significant impact on how our body reacts to food. I tried high protein, low carb shakes for a few months and found the artificial sweetners increased cravings for sweets and led to overall higher calorie consumption. I was better able to curb my cravings by not drinking those snack shakes that have successfully helped other reduce their overall consumption. Nutrition can be highly personal and what works for one person does not necessarily work for others. What is critical, however, that we examine the body reaction to what we eat not just the nature of the food itself.

Just as the correct pairing of Devigi’s women’s activewear may positively affect a quality workout, the preparation and knowledgable consumption of food will affect your bodies natural ability to exercise.