Balance neurology - Proper meal planning improves energy, digestion and immunity
Jan 11, 2012
Our ancestors were very active during daylight hours hunting and gathering. During the nighttime hours they feasted when food was plentiful. The nervous system has developed to keep kinetic energy systems high during daylight hours while digestive and recovery systems are prioritized at night. Meal planning should revolve around the natural congruency of the body's neurological systems for optimal physical energy, digestion and immunity.
Daytime hours were very important for travel, building shelters and finding food sources. The tribesman stayed at the camp during the nighttime hours for shelter and safety from wild animals. The daytime hours saw high energy expenditure that is characterized by the human sympathetic nervous system.
The nighttime hours were a time of relaxation and feasting characterized by the human parasympathetic nervous system. This system also enhances the desire to reproduce and allows for restorative sleep, tissue healing and repair. Certain types of foods work well with the sympathetic nervous system while others are congruent with the parasympathetic nervous system.
Best Daytime Nutrition
Foods that work in harmony with the body during daylight hours include raw fruits and vegetables as well as liquids and fast absorbing proteins. Raw fruits and non-starchy vegetables consist primarily of simple carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrient anti-oxidants. These foods are very easy on the digestive system and take very little digestive juices and enzymes.
Juiced veggies or liquid nutrition such as coconut, hemp and almond milk are very easy on the digestive system as well. Coconut is the best source of fat during the daytime hours because it is composed of primarily medium-chain saturated fats that do not depend on bile production to metabolize effectively. The good fats in coconut products take away hunger by naturally stimulating feelings of satiety.
The best daytime proteins are those which are fast absorbing and put minimal stress on the body's digestive system. This includes vegetable juices, sprouted seeds and algae such as chlorella and spirulina. The best animal proteins include fermented, undenatured dairy sources like kefir & yogurt from grass-fed animals. High quality, non-denatured whey protein from grass-fed animals provides a whole-food supplement during the day due to its fast absorption and amino acid bioavailability.
Best Nighttime Nutrition
Foods that work in harmony with the body during nighttime hours are warmer, thicker and hardier. The body is in no need for physical exertion and can shunt more energy into the digestive processes. This is a great time for cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. that digest more effectively when they are lightly steamed or sauteed.
High quality proteins and thicker fats that depend on adequate bile to be metabolized are eaten at night. This would include grass-fed beef, wild-game, organic eggs, free-range poultry, & wild-fish. Raw cheese, organic eggs, nuts and seeds are great fat/protein combinations that supply great long lasting amino acid release that keeps the body in an anabolic phase of healing and repair through the nighttime hours. All of these proteins depend on lots of stomach acid, bile (if they are fatty), and proteolytic enzymes to metabolize effectively.
The body works best when it can store these enzymes and acids for a 16-24 hour period . Ideally, one large meal per day at night when the body has begun relaxing and the parasympathetic nervous system is turned on works best on the digestive system. Ideally, some raw, fermented veggies, coconut kefir, and/or apple cider vinegar should either be used before this large evening meal or during the meal to supply extra enzymes and microorganisms that aid in digestion.
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