There are three ways to improve our health in 2018, one of which is proper nutrition. When I say proper nutrition, I’m talking about having the knowledge to understand what that truly means and dispelling the myths that exist in the nutritional world. If we eat as much real food as possible, our bodies will become healthier, and a natural side effect is weight loss if necessary. We’ve discussed this before, but it’s so important to understand that I want to review it. Calories don’t mean nutrition. The food industry wants you to believe that food is all about calories and that it is purely fuel for our body; this is simply not true. Food is information and helps to signal all areas of the body. It tells your brain what to do, along with your digestive, immune, and hormone systems, and even signals your DNA.

This is why eating real food is so important. You want what nature created to send the signal, not something man has created and contains “empty calories.” You will hear another myth that emphasizes that weight loss is all about calorie counting. If “calories in” are less than “calories out” then you should be able to lose weight. This might be true in a lab, but in the human body where food is signaling all our organ systems, it’s vital that we eat nutrient-dense foods. If we do, the calories will take care of themselves. It’s difficult to overeat real food. Real food will signal our brains when we are full and satisfied. “Empty calories” block the signals of feeling full so that we can consume tremendous quantities and overtime crave that food as if it were a drug.

America needs to improve in this area of consuming real, nutrient-dense food. I recently read a survey that stated the top three vegetables consumed in United States are: iceberg lettuce (not very nutrient-dense), tomatoes (actually a fruit but mainly consumed in the way of ketchup or paste), and potatoes (typically eaten fried). Not a very impressive lineup and it helps us understand why America struggles being healthy as a population and maintaining a healthy weight.

It’s difficult for disease to exist in an environment where our immune systems are functioning properly and eating real food that signals our immune system in a beneficial way is a vital contributor to this environment. I understand that in today’s fast-paced world it is difficult to consume real, fresh food every meal, so to take advantage of technology is important and there are companies that have created nutrient-dense products that you can add to water.

A super food that is growing in popularity is Moringa. I like to call it the mighty Moringa because it truly is a superfood. Every component of the tree is loaded with phytonutrients that would be beneficial to the human body if consumed on a daily basis. The unique collection of nutrients contained in the leaves is impressive, even when compared with some of the healthiest foods you can eat.

According to Nutritionfacts.org, in 1 cup of Moringa leaves you get: more iron than spinach (5.3 to 28.2 mg versus 2.7 mg in spinach), more vitamin C than oranges (120 to 220 mg versus 69.7 mg per orange), and more potassium than bananas (1324 mg versus 422 mg per banana). In case you didn’t feel like doing the math, that’s 25 times more iron than spinach, 12 times more vitamin C than oranges (a whopping 157 percent of your daily requirement) and 15 times more potassium when compared to bananas. There’s also 9 times more protein than yogurt, 17 times more protein compared to milk and 10 times the vitamin A of carrots. The beta-carotenes in Moringa also include the powerhouse quercetin, which has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant and chlorogenic acid, which research indicates may help balance blood sugar after meals. The mighty Moringa also aids the body in detoxing and neutralizing free radicals.

Wow! No wonder it’s called a super food or the mighty Moringa. It makes sense to me that if consumed daily this nutrient dense botanical would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s diet that is trying to eat healthier in 2018.