We know that what you bite into or sip on can either help support better health or deduct from it. Since we all want better health, we all need better nutrition, which fuels better health.
Thus, it’s important to know how to make better nutrition choices. True health experts agree on what better nutrition is and is not – who’s a true nutrition expert? I’m proud to be a part of an initiative founded by a visionary doctor.
We also agree that better nutrition is not what gets the most media and marketing attention yet. So, there’s still work for all of us to do. That also includes, helping you understand what better nutrition is and is not.
Hopefully we grow some of our own food, supplements, and even skincare ingredients – it’s a great way to be involved in enabling your own better nutrition! For the rest of what we eat and sip, slather on and pop, it’s helpful to know who’s on our team – the A(KA) team.
Who’s making better nutrition for us?
So here’s what better nutrition really is, where it comes from, and who you should be looking to get it from, as exemplified by some of my favorite Ashley Koff Approved (AKA) companies.
Better Nutrition Comes From Better Soil
Healthy food begins with healthy soil. One particular company knows this, so they rely on organic food to power their entire product line. Why? “Natural microbial life in the soil is unequaled at providing the optimum nutrition to plants,” the company website writes “Organic farms help build healthy soil in many ways: crop rotation encourages biodiversity, cover crops like clover add nutrients, prevent weeds and increase organic matter (which helps resist erosion) and composted manure and plant waste helps retain moisture and nutrients.”
This choice, organic food from organic soil, is one of the primary ways this company satisfies its goal, our shared goal, “to leave the Earth better than we found it.”
Better Nutrition Means Variety
Sticking to the same kinds of foods in your diet? No way! Better nutrition can and should include variety. Sometimes, better nutrition means stepping a little bit out of your comfort zone to try foods you’ve never had before to expand your palate and your eating habits.
One of the foods I encourage clients to try is a sardine. Sardines are a rich source of protein, omega-3s, vitamin D and selenium, and pair well sautéed with mixed greens or overtop of avocado toast. Try Ashley Koff Approved (AKA) sardines for ultimate freshness – they’re hand packed and canned within 8 hours of catch!
Better Nutrition Is Sustainable
Better nutrition recognizes that yes, we will have to feed the world’s population in the future, but to resolve our current health issues and prevent future ones, sustainability must mean feeding the world better nutrition – today and tomorrow.
That’s where the power of pulses comes in! What are pulses? They’re dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans. They are a healthy, affordable source of carbs, protein, and fiber and can be used in many delicious ways – salads, soups, smoothies, and even sweet treats! Representatives of the North American Pulses recently emailed us to say,
Consumption of pulses is not only beneficial to an individual’s health (and their wallet), but increased consumption has benefits to the larger population and the world, as pulses are a notoriously environmental friendly crop, with a small carbon and water footprint compared to other sources of protein.
The year 2016 is the international year of pulses. Take the pulse pledge to commit to including more pulses into your meals this year!
Better Nutrition Is Rooted In Science
Better nutrition is rooted in food and is not anti-science. In fact, better nutrition loves science, science that is done thoroughly, accurately, and with third party, long term testing for validity.
One such company, a pioneer in the research and development of nutritional ingredients including branded glucoraphanin. “In the early 1990s, Dr. Paul Talalay and his team at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine first identified glucoraphanin – a naturally occurring phytonutrient in broccoli. When converted to sulforaphane, it becomes a powerful inducer of phase II detoxification enzymes,” says the company.
There are now over 230 research papers published by Dr. Paul Talalay and his team accessible through PubMed, many of which feature the powers of sulforaphane and phytonutrients found in cruciferous vegetables.
Better Nutrition Comes From Food, Not Synthesized Isolates
Food, real food, not chemically manufactured food, should provide the foundation of your food products, beverages, and even your multivitamins. Food companies that know this and use whole food ingredients – like broccoli, brown rice, cabbage, and oranges – as the key source of their vitamins and minerals.
The relationships that these companies have with their farm partners is evident through their website as well. Where they proudly share stories to show that “real DOES grow on trees – and in garden beds and bogs.”
Better Nutrition Changes The Way The World Eats
Companies who really want better nutrition are aware of the way the world eats and want to change the way the world eats for the better. These are companies that tend to increase the amount of land farmed organically. In fact, one such company has expanded from a 2½-acre raspberry farm to more than 45,000 crop acres of organic produce! The company representative said,
Organic farming protects our ecosystem, ensuring its health today and into the future, by nurturing healthy soil as its foundation. Organic produce is just about the healthiest thing you can eat – we all need to eat more of it!
Ashley likes to say that while it’s great to eat fruits and veggies, eating ones laden with residues or other harmful chemicals is like mopping your floor while wearing dirty shoes – whereas choosing organic gives your body the cleanup tools it needs and doesn’t add to its workload with additional mess.
Better Nutrition Is Transformational
Better nutrition not only transforms a person’s personal health, but can also transform the way businesses operate. Mike Fata saw how hemp foods helped him transform his life into one that was healthier and more vibrant. This personal experience led him to create a company to bring hemp foods to others.
Most recently, under Mike’s direction, his company became BRC Certified, the global “gold standard” in food safety and quality, and a certified B Corp, a certification for companies who focus on social and environmental responsibility as a measure of success in business.
Whereas some businesses feel that their responsibility is the bottom line, Mike’s company knows that it’s about more than that. Now that, like hemp foods, is transformational!
Better Nutrition Betters You Beyond Food
Companies who provide better nutrition from better food are on a mission to replace the poor quality options, and they know you play a huge role in that too. They want and need you to understand what better nutrition is and so they go beyond food to provide education to share better nutrition ideals, challenges and to recognize others who, like them, are committing to creating better products.
From their websites and social media, to live events and policy efforts, and strategic partnerships and spokespeople, better nutrition companies invest in education.