For those of you who follow my instagram feed, you may have noticed an increase in the hashtag glowfoods (#glowfoods). I wanted to clarify and talk a little bit about what the term glow foods means to me.
The definition of the word glow means to give out steady light without flame, or a steady radiance of light or heat. To me glow means to be radiant, to be light, to shine, to give off positive vibes and to exude happiness, healthiness, and an overall feeling of wholeness.
Glow foods in that sense, would be any food or drink you consume that makes you feel light, radiant, gorgeous and glowing. Any food that makes you look better or feel better inside, can be a glow food.
French fries, although may make you FEEL better EMOTIONALLY, are not glow foods. They don't help regenerate your body, and they don't have a lot of nutritional value after being deep fried - however good they may taste. Spinach or kale on the other hand, ARE glow foods. Why? Kale, according to WebMD has high levels of vitamins A,C and K, as well as an abudance of phytonutrients. Kale contains antioxidants, which help prevent cancer and promote good eye health. In addition, kale is super high in fibre - which has been linked to helping prevent heart disease and diabetes. Spinach, on the other hand, is nutrient dense (much like kale) with a lower ratio of calories to nutrients, is loaded with flavonoids, and is an excellent source of iron (for us vegetarians and vegans).
Can you see why I consider these foods glow foods?
Choosing to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that contribute to your overall health and vitality are super important. So why do so many people choose to pick the french fries or a burger over a salad?
In a lecture presented by Kris Carr at Wanderlust Festival, she says "Broccoli is radical." At first I thought, "What is this woman talking about?" But think about it, why buy broccoli or a salad when you can get a burger in 3 minutes for 99 cents. Vegetables have become less accessible. Organic vegetables are expensive. Vegetables and organic produce in particular, are so expensive because they are either not subsidized or are only partially subsidized by governments (not just talking about Canada). So when you purchase broccoli, you are paying for the broccoli, but when you buy that Big Mac - the government is paying for part of that burger. Hence, why choosing to eat the broccoli or the salad is so radical - you are choosing to pay for something even though you know it is more expensive - because you know that it is the right choice for you, and for your health.
*If you would like to read more about the lecture Kris Carr presented - I will be posting a blog post summarizing everything she said and linking the discussion to the post!
Glow foods, to continue, are foods that are balancing in our bodies. They are more alkaline and therefore more nutrient dense, more mineral rich, and reduce the acidity in our body that feeds inflammation and disease.
When I say acidity, don't assume that certain foods cause acidity in the body. For example, lemons are extremely alkalizing, while high fat content foods (don't think avocados, think bacon grease) cause higher acidity levels in the body. Acidity has a cascade effect on the body - the body maintains pH at the expense of something else, such as storing the fat in your tissues.
Take a look at this chart, you can look back at it for reference or search for one for yourself. When choosing foods, try to eat as many foods from the green side as possible. DON'T FORGET that some of the most acidic foods, such as blueberries and cranberries ARE good for you - just eat more of the alkaline foods to balance them out.
As a final note about glow foods, this typically means a largely plant based diet - don't worry you omnivores out there, eat your meat (I don't judge), but make sure you eat your vegetables and a lot of them. The key to a plant based diet or any diet for that matter is variety. Don't feel like you have to be limited or super strict to be healthy and live a life full of vitality.