The diet that changed my health for the better
I didn't know I had low energy, or I'm capable of having a stomach that doesn't bloat or have gastric issues, until I changed the diet I've known, completely!
Looking back, I did it after a friend shared with me about Ketogenic diet. I was really skeptical, it took me two months of researching over 10 books before I finally stopped eating rice. (I'm a Chinese Singaporean, so rice is like everything to me, I loved rice!)
3 months into cleaning up my diet, I discovered that food is medicine. My astigmatism was gone and there was no more ringing in my ears.
I wanted to move, to exercise. I had energy the entire day and my memory got better. My face was clearer, the acne was gone and my hair is no longer frizzy.
Gut is my home
When I changed my diet, I took probiotics to tackle my problematic stomach. I still take them now, almost every other day. My family and I find Holistic Way Probiotic 75 Billion really effective. It's an easy way to solve gut issues without making much changes in diet.
There’s a saying that food is the way to the heart, and research has shown that our gut can affect our mood, emotions, mental health, and how we process information from our five senses.
A compromised gut flora symptoms include symptoms like gas, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn and fatigue. They also attribute to conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, dementia and autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease.
Having a processed or a high-sugar diet compromises the good bacteria in the stomach. The good bacteria help us to digest food, sieve out the nutrients and distribute to different channels for our body to use. It’s worth knowing than an imbalanced gut flora can increase sugar cravings and damage the gut further.
Some natural probiotics to boost our gut flora includes plain yoghurt, aged cheese, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir, kombucha, pickles and miso. Start with a teaspoon to avoid bloating and slowly increase the dosage. Reduce the serving if you are experiencing discomfort.
I find processed food really irritating to my stomach. They'd make my stomach bloat almost instantly. I try to minimise processed foods like bread, noodles, biscuits, cakes, canned drinks, and any packaged food. Processed foods contain high amounts of sugar and chemicals. Sugar and chemicals can cause inflammation, high LDL and cancer. Look out for ingredients that sound sugary, or takes a chemist to understand. Packaged foods are full of stabilisers, emulsifiers so that they retain a certain texture, consistency that can have a better shelf life... I remember feeling a little shocked, after studying Personal Care formulations, that the science behind making packaged food is not so different from making skin care and cosmetics products! I personally prefer unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, proteins and good fats in my meals, although I do occasionally cheat with a processed snack or two!
Eating high amounts of carbohydrate foods (yes, that applies to complex carbohydrates too, like oats), can deplete nutrients and minerals such as Vitamin B1, Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc. Potassium, magnesium and zinc are electrolytes. They are necessary for proper functioning of digestive, nervous, cardiac and muscular systems. Low potassium causes abnormal heart rhythms. Electrolytes imbalance symptoms include muscle spasm, weakness and twitching.
Till date, I no longer continue with ketogenic diet, but I find it hard to eat high-carb meals again. I personally limit carbohydrate meals to once a day, preferably in the afternoon, so I'd have more time to work out the carbohydrates.
Above it all, besides the health effects, I felt that there was an intricate intimacy on being responsible for my diet, vs taking control of my life. When I start my day with a blend of vegetable and berry juice (I'm a fan of Nutribullet!), I immediately feel hydrated and alert, and somehow, more deliberate over choosing how I respond to things happening throughout the day.
Did you have any experience with any diets? Do you think they are a fad? I'd love to hear from you!