The Best Diet for Optimal Health & Well-being

Before I go any deeper into this topic, I want to clarify what diet means in the context of this blog post and also my coaching practice. Diet comprises all the foods we eat on a daily and regular basis. It’s about the kind of food and drinks we ingest rather than the act of restricting or cutting down calories. There are many types of diets out there, and it is likely one of the most researched health topics. Nonetheless, it is also one of the areas we might slack and struggle with the most. The information available to the public is also often confusing and contradictory.

Throughout the years, I have battled and punched myself a lot because of food and how I relate to it. Food is a central pillar of health and well-being. Whether our goal is to live healthily or improve our mental health, many solutions to our problems come from managing and learning about what we eat. Should you do keto? What about the Mediterranean diet? Or raw food? There is a plethora of different diets, each one of them linked to specific goals and outcomes. I believe, however, that if your goal is to live healthily and look after your well-being, then the whole-foods diet is the best path to take.

The whole-food approach to diet is simple and natural. It is based on fresh, whole ingredients that cover different groups of food. This is a diet that can be adapted to any culture because its principles are common to all traditional diets. These include:

  • high intake and high variety of plant-based foods
  • moderate intake of protein of quality
  • low intake of highly processed foods

Most traditional cuisines respect these principles but people worldwide have fallen for microwaveable meals and ingredients that are very far away from their natural state. These ingredients include added sugar, salt, and trans fat among other food additives and preservatives. Opposed to this is the whole-foods approach because it is focused on high-quality and nutrient-dense foods. It promotes healing and fights inflammation, one of the common factors of diseases such as diabetes, mental disorders, and cancer.

High intakeModerate intakeMinimal intake
Plant-based foodsQuality proteinProcessed foods
vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seedsSea-food, lean meats, dairybreakfast cereals, crisps, sausage rolls, pies, pastries, bacon, microwave meals, cakes, cookies, biscuits, soft drinks
Examples of plant-based, quality protein, and processed foods

By prioritizing foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes, the whole-foods diet contributes to our gut mucosal immunity. A healthy gut is crucial for a healthy brain and good mental health. Our body requires greater doses of minerals and vitamins to work properly and be able to transform the food we eat into energy. If you are having protein, carbs, and fat but you are not replenishing your body with the necessary micronutrients provided by vegetables and fruits, you won’t feel and be at your best. That’s mainly where the whole-food diet will help you the most.

Concluding Thoughts

Although I’ve tried different approaches to diet, I have always thought that balance is key and that’s what we find in the whole-foods approach to diet. We don’t have to ban processed foods forever but we need to be more conscious of the frequency we consume them. Many of my snacks were based on cookies, biscuits, and breakfast cereals. These contain a lot of added sugar and they were responsible for aggravated mental health issues and physical problems. Replacing these foods with fruits and whole grains has been a huge game-changer.

Other blogs you might want to read:

The Cure for Osteoarthritis Could Be Hidden in Your Fridge 

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Mediterranean food and appreciate the myriad of scientific studies that demonstrate its benefits. In this blog post, I will share what the scientific community has to say about osteoarthritis (OA) and the Mediterranean diet (MDiet).

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22 Comments

  1. Balance is definitely key and I’m definitely not one for restricting myself but there are definitely some things I could change in my diet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree! When we restrict, we punish our body and mind. Variety and quality will do it 💚

      Like

  2. I have changed my diet in recent months and I’ve loved trying new foods and making new meals for myself! Balance is definitely key in having the best diet for optimal health and wellbeing! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AmethystAP says:

      There is so much confusing information out their about the best diet for healthy living with all kinds of restrictions. Focusing on whole foods, moderate quality protect and minimising processed foods sounds like a good plan that allow room for modification. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes 🙌🏼 That was really the main reason I decided to write this one. There’s so much out there that I find this one to be simple to follow and adapt. Plus it’s based on variety and quality, which helps protecting our health and well-being. Thank you for your feedback! 💜

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    2. That sounds so exciting, Lucy! That really can make a difference. Staying curious and trying out new foods is good to keep our interest high 💜 What’s your most recent favourite? X

      Like

  3. Jodie | That Happy Reader says:

    Great post! I agree that our diets should be primarily fruits and veg and find myself drifting towards this way of eating. Thanks for reinforcing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jodie! I wholeheartedly agree with you! 😊💜🌻

      Like

      1. I like a balance of this and that, however I am wary of how much of sugar and processed foods I may consume. Too much of it is a deal breaker. Lovely article. Thanks for sharing Vanessa @thewellbeingblogger

        Like

  4. Twishaa says:

    These days I am struggling with getting in a balanced diet. My pregnancy has introduced a lot of food aversions and allergies. But I seem to be OK with fruits and I am hoping that will contribute to my healthy habits 🙂 However, till about last year I was all about whole grains, seeds, nuts and I could feel the power of eating healthy in my day-to-day life. Hopefully I can get back to that soon!

    x Twishaa
    https://fivemagpies.blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m sorry, lovely 💛 That can be frustrating. Hopefully you will get back to your preferred foods and nutrition afterward. Have you spoke about it with your doctor? 🌻

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  5. Yes! There are different types of diet. I’m now trying reduce my calories intake. Thank you for sharing this knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be very overwhelming sometimes! I like this approach because it’s simple 💚 I hope you’re getting the results you want! 😘

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  6. This is a very interesting post. Thank you for sharing! We definitely enjoy the Mediterranean diet, which prioritizes whole foods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you liked it. Yes, the Mediterranean Diet is a great example 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, and definitely. Thank you, and we greatly appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Cassie says:

    You shared a lot of good information here. We’re making adjustments to how we eat. As the kiddo is learning about healthy foods, I want her to help make the choices in what we eat so it’s not just a lesson on paper but one we put into practice. The summer months are a great time for this with so many of the most delicious things being in season. I’m sure it will be an adjustment in some ways, but one we will benefit from.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah that’s so nice! That actually is so important for them! Sometimes they learn about in school but then that’s just it. It’s important we invite them to take action and make decisions. They will feel more excited about it too! Thanks for pointing that out, Cassie! 🧡 What sort of fruits you get there in the summer? I look forward to hearing your experiences 😊

      Like

      1. I’ve had a rocky relationship with food over the years, and I’ve done every diet under the sun! I noticed this had a huge impact on my mental state so I switched to a whole foods diet and feel so much better for it. Teddy is really great at eating a good selection of foods but we’ve always struggled with Isla. She only likes eating plain foods – and breakfast cereals! We try to give her the most healthy ones. She has just started eating porridge though which is better! Very informative post. Thanks for sharing.

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      2. Cassie says:

        You can’t be icy cold fruit in the summer time. Strawberries and watermelon are great hits around here. But, I also like mango, peaches, and I’ve had some other melons over the last few years that were great, but no idea what they were. The trick is sweet and cold and most fruit is the best that way. I grew up with wild blackberries and we would eat them off the vine. Not cold, but still so good.

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  8. Charlie says:

    Great post. I have completely changed my diet in the last few months and now I better about myself. Thank you for sharing this important pot.

    Like

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