When we talk about “happy food”, comfort food like junk foods or sweets usually come to mind. However, that should not be the case for people who want to start their journey towards a healthy lifestyle. During the Sekaya Prescribing Nature Virtual Conference last Wednesday (May 27, 2020), Manila Millennial had the chance to get tips straight from the experts who have devoted their time to study the healing benefits of nature as validated by science. One of the most interesting things that we’ve learned is about “eating a rainbow” or colorful plant-based food and we’re about to share how that works!
Dr. Deanna Minich – an internationally-recognized teacher, author, scientist, speaker and artist, and Dr. Oyie Balburias – a General Internal Medicine and IFM Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, were kind enough to take us through the science behind nature in promoting overall well-being. According to Dr. Balburias, there is no one-size-fits-all method for people who want to become healthier (may it be leaner or slimmer or heavier). We all need to consult nutritionists and doctors and not rely on unlicensed fitness gurus who just happen to share what works for them online.
KNOWING WHAT IS REALLY ‘HEALTHY’
“When choosing natural products, people should look into the source of the ingredients and the processes they went through,” Dr. Balburias shares. “High-quality natural products that are effective consider the therapeutic benefits of the raw ingredients based on their science-backed capability to restore homeostasis and balance of the body systems. These products also go through a tedious process that considers the ingredients’ biochemical compatibility with our body’s physiologic and biologic systems design.”
When it comes to taking dietary supplements, one must check the following: (1) the name of the supplement, (2) the net quantity of content statements, (3) the nutrition labeling, (4) the ingredients list, and (5) the name and place of business of the manufacturer for verification. Supplements can be part of a person’s over-all wellness plan but they must be used wisely. We have the responsibility to know how much our body needs before actually feeding it with random things.
‘EATING A RAINBOW’
Don’t worry, we’re not required to munch on an actual rainbow in the sky. “Eating a rainbow” is just the term used for plant-based food that represent the colors of a rainbow. This is a good shift for people like me who have gotten used to the “Brown-Yellow-White” meals like burgers, hotdogs, and cheese which are considered as high-aging and high-inflammation food — greatly affecting our physiology and psychology.
Dr. Deanna Minich states that “food is a mood”. She recommends the “Science of Eating a Rainbow” for people who want to introduce plant-based food in their diet. Based on her published work in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (2019), there are five must-have colors in our plates – red food, orange food, yellow food, green food, and blue-purple food. Each color has its own benefits and mood boosts:
- Red is high in antioxidants and red-food carotenoids to help with reducing inflammation and modulating the immune system.
- Orange is abundant in carotenoids, endocrine-regulating activities, and may play a role in fertility.
- Yellow is rich in fibers to maintain gastrointestinal health and digestion.
- Green is high in a variety of nutrients for cardiovascular health, such as Vitamin K, folate, magnesium, potassium, and dietary nitrates.
- Blue-Puple or polyphenol-rich foods assist with learning, memory, and mood.
In fact, she created a “Rainbow Foods Tracker” and a “Food and Mood Weekly Tracker” to help us what we need to consume more often, provided that they are “whole, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds” only:
You can read more about this at the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, vol. 2019, Article ID 2125070 in this link.
These ideas go well with Filipino plant-based brand Sekaya, produced by Unilab’s natural products company Synnovate Pharma Corporation, which promotes consumption of natural products. Known for its Sekaya Botanic Infusions, a curated line of medicinal, loose leaf botanic infusions for specific health conditions, the company is set to introduce more natural solutions of the same caliber. Sekaya Raw Actives are powdered green superfoods, plant proteins, and energy optimizers aimed toward athletes and active individuals who want to up their game and improve their performance naturally. Sekaya Botanicare is a line of premium natural skin care products that aims to keep even the most sensitive skin healthy and smooth all over.
Aside from these three product lines, Sekaya will also be coming up with natural solutions that will highlight Philippine herbs. Staying true to its name as Sentro ng Katutubong Yaman, Sekaya’s mission is to put our local herbs and rich tradition on the spotlight, starting with Sekaya Food Supplements. These are premium, pharma-grade supplements that are 100% sourced and manufactured in the Philippines, and provide concentrated nutrients from local herbs that address the needs of Filipinos. One of the products under this line is the Sekaya Organic Moringa, the only European Union (EU)-certified 100% organic 500mg capsule in the market.