Food can heal the body, especially nutrient dense foods as explained below. However, foods that nourish one person may be harmful to another, depending on your biochemistry, your health issues, where you are in the healing process, etc. That is why BioIndividual Nutrition is important.
You need to be conscious of the foods you put into your body. Some rules are universal, like removing preservatives, processed sugar, genetically modified (GM) foods and unhealthy oils from your diet. Everyone should also eat organic foods as much as possible.
Other foods may need to be removed or limited due to specific health reasons, some of which are explained below. Even certain popular healing diets, like GAPS, SCD, Feingold, and Autoimmune Paleo, may need to be modified to obtain optimal healing.
Below are some of the more common nutrient dense foods with links to food sources and recipes, including those for specific dietary restrictions. Look for other food tips and products I recommend in “My Pantry.” The recipes found in the blog section of this website are all gluten-free, dairy-free and free of GMO ingredients. If you need help determining your BioIndividual Nutrition, please contact me.
Bone Broth and Vegetable Broth
Traditionally prepared bone broths are full of good nutrients and can be used to heal the body. To find out how to make bone broth, click here. Homemade both broth using bones and meat from quality farmers you trust is optimal. However, when you don’t have time to make your own, one of the few brands I trust is Epic Bone Broth. (You should only purchase bone broths in glass, not plastic or cardboard boxes lined with plastic.)
Not everyone can tolerate bone broth, especially if you have a leaky gut. Those with autism, ADD/ADHD, and other brain related issues such as seizures, ticks or OCD are also typically more sensitive to broth due to its high glutamate content. Instead, you may want to start with meat stock which is explained in more detail here.
If you are vegetarian or do not have time to simmer a bone broth, a vegetable broth has many health benefits too. It is especially good for replenishing your electrolytes after having a fever or doing a lot of sweating. Click here to find out how to make Vital Vegetable Broth.
Fermented Foods and Drinks
Traditionally prepared fermented foods and drinks provide the body with an abundance of probiotics (good bacteria). Eating or drinking them daily helps to build and maintain the immune system. Water kefir is one of the easiest ferments to make on a regular basis. Check out these links to make your own ferments:
Cultures for Health (purchase starter cultures and ready-to-eat ferments)
Easy Sauerkraut (how to make at home)
Water Kefir Grains (includes how to make at home)
Kombucha (how to make at home, includes video)
Grass Fed and Wild Caught Meats
If you eat meat, it is best to obtain it from a trusted source that raises the animals naturally. Animals should not be given growth hormones or antibiotics. They should be able to roam, graze, and eat from the wild. They should also be raised on food that is typical for their species: grasses for cows, bugs and worms for chickens, sea foods for fish, etc. (If grains are supplemented, they should be GMO-free and preferably organic.) Here are links to help you find quality meats and fish:
Eat Wild (database to locate quality meats/farms)
Butcher Box (affordable weekly subscription plan)
West Wind Farms
Grass Land Beef
Vital Choice (low-toxin fish)
Eating organ meats on a weekly basis can be very beneficial. Like the meats described above, organ meats must come from a quality source. If you are new to organ meats, start with bison liver. It is one of the milder options and can be more easily hidden when combined with other meats, such as ground beef. Heart is another organ meat that is easy on the palate. Below are some good sources. For cooking ideas click here.
Grass Fed Traditions
The Bos Creek
Harvest Home Meats
Soaking Raw Nuts/Seeds and Dried Legumes
“Raw almonds” and “raw hazelnuts” in the store are not truly raw, they have been pasteurized or irradiated (as required by federal law). You can only get truly raw almonds (and hazelnuts) direct from the farmer and in small quantities from a few select sources like the following:
Bulk Natural Foods (almonds)
California Almonds (almonds and walnuts)
Raw Organic Nuts and Seeds
All nuts and seeds (like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds), should be soaked before eating to break down and reduce the phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of vital minerals. Once soaked, your body is able to absorb and utilize the minerals. Soaking and rinsing nuts also neutralizes the enzymes inhibitors, which allows for proper digestion. Click here to learn how to soak (and dehydrate) nuts. For cashews, click here. Soaking seeds is similar to nuts, however, they need less soaking, usually only 4 to 6 hours – you can tell when they are done when you see the sprout sticking out of the seed a milometer or so.
Dried legumes also contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors and should be soaked before cooking. This makes them much easier to digest and reduces the flatulence typically associated with eating beans. It will also help to reduce the amount of lectins in beans. Wash/rinse thoroughly, soak in water with a pinch of salt for 8 to 12 hours (depending on the size of the lentil or bean), and rinse again. (If you are not ready to cook after soaking, rinse and store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for 3 to 5 days.) Even better is to sprout your legumes before eating them (see below).
Sprouted Seeds, Legumes, and Grains
Considered a “super food” today, sprouts have been grown for thousands of years. They are known for their dense nutrient content. They are easy to grow and are an economical way to get nutrient dense, raw food into your diet. If you want to sprout your own seeds for eating, here is a good article to get you started. Additional information, seeds, and sprouting supplies can be found here. You can also typically find sprouts already prepared at your local health foods store.
Dried beans, lentils, and grains can also be sprouted for additional nutritional value. It makes them easier to digest too. Our ancestors traditionally soaked and sprouted dried beans and grains before using. Use this link for instructions and pictures. For more information on sprouting lentils, click here.
Raw Dairy (Cheese and Milk)
Not everyone can tolerate the casein in dairy products. However, some dairy-sensitive people are able to eat raw and/or fermented versions (yogurt or kefir), like those found in the links below:
Kenny’s Farm House Cheese
Others may be able to tolerate raw goats milk products, which may be available from a local farmer. Another raw milk alternative is camel’s milk, which is now available in the United States. It has a unique type of casein that some with cow and goat dairy issues can tolerate. It has been shown to provide anti-microbial, anti-inflammation, and immune-building benefits. You can find camel’s milk (and a coupon) here.
The casein found in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt can cause a wide variety of health problems for some people and is often the first food group to eliminate when unexplained illness occurs. If you need to remove dairy from your diet, below are links to some helpful recipes. Dairy-free alternates can also be found in the Pantry.
Dairy-free (and Gluten-free) on a Budget
All grains contain gluten, but is it wheat gluten that causes the most problems. More common “gluten-free” grains include rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth. Corn, soy, and oats are also typically considered “gluten-free”, however, it is best to stay away from them. Much of the corn and soy in the US is genetically modified, which can cause additional health problems. Oats can cause gluten-like reactions in some and are often processed in wheat manufacturing facilities. If a recipe calls for corn or oat flour, substitute with rice flour or quinoa flour. Below are some links for recipe ideas. To learn more about going gluten-free, click here.
Affairs of Living
(See also “Gluten and/or Grain Free” section listed in Resources for additional recipes.)
Coconut flour and nut flour are often substituted for grains when baking grain-free. Just be careful. Many people who first go grain free start eating lots of nuts and nut flours (especially almond flour) which may result in oxalate problems. Some people end up with a sensitivity to certain nuts as well. It is best to rotate the types of nuts and nut flours you use. These links provide many recipe ideas:
Healthy Home Happy
Against All Grain