5 Tips to Optimize Your Nutrition for Vibrant Health

Mark Hyman, M.D. by Mark Hyman, M.D. | August 5th, 2009 | 1 Comment
topic: Detox, Family Health, Health & Wellness, Healthy Aging, Healthy Eating


Confused about what good nutrition is?

You shouldn’t be — we know what works and what doesn’t.

In a moment, I will share five simple tips to help you optimize your nutrition and achieve vibrant health, but first let me clear up a few misconceptions.

Despite the “conflicting” scientific studies and media reports designed to confound rather than enlighten, there is no confusion about what constitutes good nutrition.

If we were to gather the world’s top nutrition scientists and experts — free from food industry influence — there would be very little debate about the essential properties of good nutrition.

Unfortunately, most doctors are nutritionally illiterate. Worse, they don’t know how to use the most powerful medicine available to them: food.

Common sense and scientific research both lead us to the conclusion that if we want healthy bodies, we must put the right raw materials into our bodies: real, whole, local, fresh, unadulterated, unprocessed, and chemical-, hormone-, and antibiotic-free food.

There is NO role in our diets for foreign molecules such as trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup, which interfere with our biology at every level.

If you want junk out, put junk in. Enough said.

If you want a whole, healthy body, put in whole real food.

What do you need to do to optimize your nutrition?

Here are some simple steps you can begin taking immediately:

  1. Eat whole, real, fresh, organic, unprocessed food. If it comes in a box, a package, or a can, avoid it. If you do choose to buy prepackaged foods, read the labels carefully and avoid foods that contain long lists of ingredients you don’t understand.
  2. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables full of colorful phytonutrients. That means eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Choose a wide variety and you will do much to support your health.
  3. Eat foods with plenty of fiber. Think whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and millet and vegetables like celery, asparagus, and leeks. Fiber is essential for balancing blood sugar and maintaining a healthy bowel.
  4. Eat foods containing omega-3 fats. I recommend eating protein at every meal, and some of the best sources of protein have an abundance of these healthy fats, which are essential for building every cell membrane in your body. Try cold-water river fish like salmon, sardines, and halibut; eat omega-3 eggs; and eat plenty of nuts like almonds, macadamias, and walnuts.
  5. Take essential supplements. They are the basic workhorse team needed to support every biochemical reaction in your body. Today, even with our “enriched food,” more than 92 percent of Americans are deficient in one or more vitamins. Most people can get what they need by taking the following essential supplements every day:

Read more about optimizing your nutrition and the 7 keys to UltraWellness.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.


  1. [...] grandfather believed that food held the secret to good health. Long before it was featured on Oprah (indeed long before there was an Oprah), he mixed up [...]

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