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What first comes to mind at the mention of optimum diet is healthy foods. But an optimized diet is much more than just eating healthful foods. It also needs to be nutritionally balanced to your individual needs, and, as important, it needs to incorporate healthy eating habits. This is where your lifestyle and personality become a factor.
Straightening out your diet could, in fact, give you an extra bonus - bringing into your focus and help correct some not-so-desirable personality sides that you've got so used to they feel as inherently yours.
Yes - healthy foods are only a part of the equation describing optimum diet. In fact, no food is as healthful as to be eaten freely without possible ill effects. If nothing else, you'll suffer from deficiency of nutrients low or absent in those particular foods.
Since no single food comes nowhere near to that perfect food that would contain all the nutrients in the right proportion that your body needs to support health, a healthy diet has to offer
optimally balanced variety of healthy foods.
Optimum diet means more than just eating healthy foods. A healthy diet needs to provide proper balance of macronutrients - proteins, fats and carbohydrates - and micronutrients: minerals, vitamins and accessory nutrients. And there is no common rule, nor formula for such nutritionally balanced diet - you have to find out what your individual optimum is.
Don't forget - water makes 2/3 of the body weight. Properly hydrogenating the body is in a number of ways vital for its optimum functioning. Vice versa, chronically dehydrated body will make you feel it in some way, including worsening or emergence of chronic diseases.
No supplementation can replace rich variety of healthy foods, for two reasons. One is that we don't really know what specific nutrients the body needs to maintain health - the list certainly goes well beyond the standard, officially recognized set of vital nutrients. The other is that nutritional needs can and do vary significantly from one individual to another - and for any individual with time - and there is no official guidelines in regard to it (none is expected in foreseeable future).
In order to ripe the benefits of healthy foods, you need to have healthy gut. Many people don't; some of them for such a long time, or from such an early age, that they come to think it's normal. In my early teens, I had frequent, intense bloating, and I thought it was just the way I am. Most likely, it was digestive disturbance (intestinal dysbiosis) caused by the extensive antibiotic treatment for chronic bronchitis I had at the age of 4/5.
Compromised gut health diminishes body's supply of nutrients (even assuming that they are present in your diet in needed quantities), while harboring toxic bacteria, contaminating blood and causing chronic intestinal inflammation. Aside from robbing you of the energy and causing variety of unpleasant symptoms, this lays down perfect foundation for developing chronic disease.
The fact is that most diseases are being initiated in your gut, and cannot be
neither prevented nor cured without restoring gut health first.
So, before you start yourself on healthy foods, make sure your gut is healthy. It won't work otherwise. You need both: good diet, and good digestion.
Part of optimizing your diet is avoiding foods that, for any of a number of possible reasons, don't agree with you. For that, you need to pay attention to, and take notice of how your body reacts to specific foods. In other words, what foods make you feel energized - or lethargic and weak.
But it may be only the beginning. In principle, body's preferred foods are determined by its efficiency in metabolizing them, and that can be - and often is - affected by body's dysfunctions originating in the genetics, digestion, distribution and use of nutrients. Thriving on certain foods, while feeling sluggish on others shouldn't be very obvious. Even if you feel well in general, it is likely because your body has found the way to cope with the problem for the time being, but
you don't know what is the ultimate price to pay.
In other words, there is a reason for your body to boldly prefer some foods over the others, and that reason can be - and often is - metabolic disturbance that may have negative consequences for your health down the road.
Thus any metabolic preference of your body that significantly narrows variety of foods agreeing with you and, especially, any clearly negative reaction of your body to certain "regular" foods warrants lab tests in order to find out what the culprit is.
Not doing so can have serious consequences; on the other hand, determining the cause of metabolic bias and/or sensitivity enables you to correct the problem and live healthier and happier life.