Questions to ask about your nutrition

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Eating a wide array of plant food protect our bodies from the ageing and damaging effects of oxidative stress (Getty Images)

Sometimes it may seem to our personal training and fitness bootcamp clients that I sound like a "broken record" repeating myself over and over again.

But remember those days in school... when the teacher would give "hints" about what was coming up for an exam or test? They repeat the topic over and over to make sure that students get it.

When I was a student at a seminar by my mentor and one of the best functional medicine doctors in the world, Dr Rob Rakowski, he repeated the same thing over and over again to the point where I was thinking "is this all he is going to talk about?"

Turns out, it's important! And that is why he was repeating it.

The key phase was that most lifestyle-related illnesses are caused by three things.

  • Malnutrition
  • Stress
  • Toxicity

This week we will discuss malnutrition.

As I mentioned in last week's Yahoo Singapore article, food is information and the regular Singapore diet isn't particularly good for you.

Yes there are a huge amount of variables in nutrition, some people handle carbohydrates better, some people have hidden sensitivities to healthy foods that make even things like lettuce, or apples a bad choice for them. But in general here are some questions to see if you are on the right track.

1. Do you eat a source of healthy protein at each meal?
That means an unprocessed source of animal protein. Chicken, great; chicken nuggets, not great. Fish no problem; fish balls, no way.

2. Do you eat a "rainbow" of plant foods? Different colored fruits and vegetables tend to have different, yet important nutrients that protect our bodies from the ageing and damaging effects of oxidative stress.

For example, blueberries and raspberries are pretty similar in nutrient content but their antioxidants tend to help different parts of our bodies. Blueberries for the brain, rasberries for the cardiovascular system.

3. Do you eat foods or take supplements to cover the main nutrient deficiencies? Medical Lab testing that I use with many clients has given me experience in what common deficiencies Singapore residents have. They are... Zinc, Magnesium, B vitamins and Omega. And for those that are indoors all the time, and/or have darker skin, vitamin D.

4. Do you eat at least 30g of fiber per day from different fruits, veggies and supplements? In both soluble and insoluble forms? Don't worry, that's not too much. Some anthropologists have suggested that our ancestors ate up to 100g per day with good benefits for their digestive tracts, and a lower risk of cancer that goes along with it.

5. Do you limit the amount of grains and soy that you consume? Grains and soy leech nutrients from your body. Grains need to be limited for most people, especially those of Caucasian descent. And soy needs to be fermented to get rid of the bad stuff called anti-nutrients. The best books on these two topics are "The Whole Soy Story" and "Wheat Belly".

6. Are you on medication that depletes nutrients? For example anti-biotics may be necessary when you are seriously ill, but they also kill the good bacteria in your digestive tract that help with digestion, detoxification and hormone regulation. These needs replacing with pre- and pro-biotics once your antibiotic medication cycle is done.

A list of nutrient depletion due to drug use can be found here.

Answer simple questions like this with good answers and you will certainly be on the right track to maximum health and happiness!

Coach Jonathan Wong is the owner of Genesis Gym Singapore which aims to provide the best personal training and fitness services in Singapore.