According to Dr. Maoshing Ni, the author of Secrets of Self-Healing, there are ten guidelines that can be followed to maintain a healthy diet & nutrition.
1. Eat Mindfully. Relax and slowly chew your food for optimal digestion. Chewing is a major part of digestion, and it starts in your mouth! Chew each bite of food twenty times and savor the flavor.
2. Take care with food preparation. The best way to prepare foods so that the nutrients stay intact or are minimally lost, are steaming, stir-frying in water, stewing and baking. The best utensils for cooking are glass, earthenware, enamel-coated, or stainless steel cookware. Avoid cooking in aluminum, copper, and Teflon-coated pans, these materials can leach into the food. Stay away from irradiated foods and avoid using a microwave oven for cooking whenever possible.
3. Favor whole foods. Foods should be eaten in their wholeness whenever possible. Search out organic foods to avoid the toxic chemical residues of commercially grown products. Wash nonorganic foods in salt water or with a vegetable and fruit wash to eliminate or neutralize the toxins. Avoid highly processed and refined foods which are stripped of critical nutrients.
4. Say no to genetically modified foods. Genetically modified plants have been genetically manipulated to make them grow more productive or more resistant to pests, or so that the food will contain higher amounts of a certain nutrient. Additionally, growth hormones are used to make a chicken lay more eggs or a cow to fatten up quickly. This is similar to an athlete taking steroids, where rapid growth is promoted, but there are side effects down the road.
5. Eat locally and in season. Your diet should follow the seasons, and you should eat what grows locally. Nature has a perfect plan for providing appropriate foods for each season.
6. Support your digestive system. Try to stay away from cold, icy foods and beverages. The sudden drop of temperature from cold foods can shock your digestive system and may cause gastric juice imbalance, decreased blood flow through your gut, and precipitate bowel spasm .Try to eat food at or above the ambient body temperature of 98.6 degrees.
7. Eat regular meals. Your body functions best when fed at regular intervals. Eat snacks between meals to keep your metabolism going. Eat smaller meals frequently, eat just enough to propel you for the next three hours so that you don't store more than half of a big meal as fat.
8. Eat to live. You have the power to choose what you put in your mouth. Your food choices should contribute to your health and well being.
9. Find sweetness in life. Large amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners are not only addictive, but they can negatively affect your behavior and personality, and overconsumption increases your risk for inflammation and degeneration. Rather than looking to food for sweetness, seek sweetness from your life by being kind to yourself, by forming meaningful relationships, and by being grateful for what you have.
10. Eat less, live longer. Enjoy your food, but eat a little at a time. When you overeat, you stress your digestive and other organ systems, and you consume precious energy and produce more waste products and toxins. Try to eat a minimum of 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day, depending on your age, gender, energy expenditure, and nutritional status.