Every day we have an important responsibility to meet and 50-75 trillion cells are counting on our self-sustaining decision: how does a person know the correct amount of foods to eat each day?
It is as simple as 3-2-1 +1:
- 3 vegetable servings as a minimum (raw or lightly steamed)
- 2 fresh fruits as a minimum (dried foods, such as raisins or banana chips, do not count)
- 1 grain serving (kept in the proportions described in relation to veggies and fruit)
- +1 large portion of organic or free ranged protein (0.6-0.9 grams per kilogram of body weight)
Think of what this diet delivers to your body. With a minimum of three vegetables, you are getting abundant phytonutrients that go beyond mere vitamins and minerals, as phytonutrients have specific protective benefits. A great example is how broccoli and cauliflower help deliver indole-3-carbinol, which protects the body from some of the dangers of estrogen metabolism (breakdown).
When you consume two fresh fruit servings full of vitamins, bioflavonoids and minerals, there are also other critical phytonutrients within them. Grapes, for example, deliver procyanidins, leucocyanidins and countless other protective chemicals.
What about grains: why only one grain portion? Using logic and historical principles, it makes sense. Growing wheat, rice and corn requires a lot of work and because of that our ancestors did not make them a major part of their year-round diet. Today we eat far too many grains that are rich in carbohydrates and contribute to our risk of diabetes and weight gain.
How about the one large serving of protein?Try to target this amount of protein per day: 0.6-0.9 grams per kg of body weight. People who are overweight should cap out at 90 grams of protein unless they are athletes because too much protein can be hard on the kidneys. For those that are unfamiliar with the metric system, 1 kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.
Let’s do some math together: a person weighs 150 pounds, so how many kilograms (kilos) do they weigh?
(150 pound person) ÷ by 2.2 = 68 kilos (kg)
0.6 grams protein per kilo x 68 kg = 40.8 grams of protein per day as a minimum
If you are a vegetarian, focus on getting non-GMO foods (non-genetically modified). Meat eaters need to focus on animals and fish that were grown in the wild or raised free-range or organically.
Quality protein is absolutely essential for the maintenance of our muscles and the cells throughout our body. Plus they are an abundant source of amino acids, including phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan that support our neurotransmitters in our brain, which allow us to be happy, focused and efficient throughout our day.
It has been reported that only 11% of people eat their five to seven servings of vegetables and fruits per day. With this ratio (proportion) per day, you will hit that goal easily! Plus you will receive the benefits of phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants and a full array of life-sustaining nutrients. It is also a great way to either lose weight or stay fit and healthy. Make sure to remember, you can eat more than 3 veggies, 2 fruits and 1 grain + 1 large protein, but always keep the 3-2-1 + 1 ratio throughout each and every day.
Written by Dr. Chris Meletis