Nutrition & Health

A major cause of illness and death is nutritional deficiency. We all know that lack of food makes us feel weak and tired with a loss of stamina and short term energy. And as medical cannabis patients, we strive to ensure that those producing our medicine, do so in the safest manner free from toxins and unwanted chemical pesticides. We should also take this same approach to our own personal diet, as eating healthy is another way patients can get more benefits from the medical cannabis. A healthy diet will improve the body’s ability to best process your medical cannabis intake in all forms. 
Humans have long sought food from our earth’s bounty and have found protein and carbohydrates and sugars in large enough quantity to sustain and enlarge the human race.
But what is the best food? The perfect diet to follow?
For Health
  1. Blueberries- one of the most powerful disease fighting foods because of all the beneficial fiber and antioxidants they contain. In addition, they are packed with Vitamin C and are easy to find because they are available all year round.
  2. Salmon- this cold water fish is a superb source of protein and is packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. the American Heart Association advises eating salmon and other omega-3 rich foods twice a week for benefits that go beyond heart health .
  3. Soy Protein– inexpensive, packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, this high-quality protein has all the ingredients for a heart-healthy meal. A diet rich in soy protein can lower triglycerides which help prevent cardiovascular disease and keep your heart strong and    healthy.

4. Oatmeal- my dad used to say it “sticks to your ribs” and he was right! A warm bowl of oatmeal will provide nourishing whole grains that contain cholesterol lowering fiber, vitamins and minerals and will sustain you for hours because of its high fiber content.
5. Spinach- the powerhouse of the veggie kingdom and Popeye’s “transforming super-food” is rich in vitamins, minerals (especially iron and folate) and many disease-fighting phytochemicals.“Phyto” means plant. Phytochemicals are nutrients derived from plants, and they are healthy buzzwords in nutrition and cancer research. Phytochemicals appear to stimulate the immune system, exhibit antibacterial and antiviral activity, and, in general, help your body fight cancer. Some foods these are found in are onions, garlic, leeks, chives, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, tea, coffee, citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower), berries, beans and whole grains.
6. Mangos- The chemical compounds that have been found within mangoes have been discovered by science to be able to increase, strengthen, and even lengthen the medical effects felt after smoking. This is great news for medicinal smokers as we now have a healthy alternative snack to turn towards during the munchies.This is due to a chemical compound known as myrcene terpenes, most often used in fragrances, can be found within cannabis and marijuana as well as many other various plants such as lemon grass, hops, and of course mangoes.
To Speed Up Your Metabolism
  1. Water helps nutrients flow through your body. Keep a BPA free water bottle in sight all day. And keep it full!!
  2. Lean proteins such as poultry, fish, bison, and egg whites are all good sources. These proteins keep you feeling satisfied while helping your body burn energy faster, resulting in higher calorie burn. Try to eat a portion with every meal
  3. Fiber is in complex carbs (oatmeal, wheat germ, bran, and flaxseed) and provides steady, long lasting energy without the crashes that accompany simple carbs.
  4. Dark Pinon coffee or green tea are both good foods. Dark Pinon coffee raises metabolism, increases concentration, and improves heart health. Green teas that are high in antioxidant content raises metabolism better than coffee
  5. Spices such as hatch green chile,  jalapeno, habanera, and cayenne have thermogenic properties that speed up the heart rate and heat up the body; the body must then burn more calories to cool down.
  6. Get Outside- Wake up, sunshine! Getting exposure to light in the morning will not only help you wake up, but may help keep you slim, research from Northwestern University. Happily, bright light (the natural sun is the best) sets your body clock, a key player in regulating every system of your body, including a speedy or sluggish metabolism
Healthy Diets 
When maintaining a healthy diet-perhaps to address a chronic disease or condition-you can follow the functional medicine perspective. This perspective considers how various nutrient dense foods in a healthy diet interact with the systems of the human body for better health. 
  1. The Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation originally inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain. The diet also recognizes the importance of being physically active, and enjoying meals with family and friends.
  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)

       2.The Paleo diet is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans,              consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and          processed food.

       3.The Asian diet is one to create wellness thru certain eating habits. 

  • Limit cold drinks with meals, green tea or other tea before a meal supports enzymatic activity to better improve digestion. 
  • Have soup often, it is a nutrient dense food option and Asian style soups are a healthy choice over traditional style soups. 
  • Eat a 3:1 ratio of vegetables to meat
  • Eat with the seasons… temperatures of foods should not be overlooked. Eating warm foods in cold weather and cool foods in hot weather. This common-sense rule of thumb is barely spoken in Asia because it’s simply practiced. Cold drinks and cold foods such celery, melons and cold salads are not eaten in the middle of winter. Hot soups and stews with meat are preferred because this is what the body needs in cold weather. A hot summer day is the perfect time for watermelon or a cooling drink made with aloe and cucumber. Every food has an energetic temperature and acts on the body accordingly. Eating the right temperature foods during the various season of the year is an important part of a healthy diet.
Follow the 80/20 Rule
This is a tip with a built-in reward. No one can eat healthy all the time; sometimes you’ll have a hard time sticking the plan, or may not feel well. If you can make healthy selections 80% of the time, you can allow yourself to make less healthy choices 20% of the time. Knowing you have some wiggle room allows you to make healthier choices long term and not feel constricted or deprived.
by Jason Barker
Medical Cannabis Patient (C-PTSD) 
Owner -Duke City Fitness & Wellness
References: 
Exrx.net 
Livestrong.com
Paleodiet.com
nlm.nih.gov

mayoclinic.com
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