Small Plates for Optimal Health
I am intrigued with the concept of tapas or small plates of food as a way to optimal health. There is talk about how our ancestors or people who live in areas that are considered “Blue Zones” ate/eat a large variety of different foods.
“Blue Zones” are areas that have larger numbers of centenarians, so they are good indicators of how to achieve optimal health.
When I look at articles or books on one of those “Blue Zones”, Okinawa to be exact, I see that they have a similar concept to tapas. I couldn’t find a name for it so I will refer to it as small plates.
They serve up a variety of foods on small plates and then the dinner guests can try a little of everything. This gives the eaters a variety of nutrients and substrates to feed their body and their gut microbes.
I can certainly see the value of small plates when it comes to health and wellbeing. But seeing the value and putting it into practice are two different things.
I try every week to get better at the concept of small plates. Dinner used to be something like stew with some cornbread. Now it’s a smaller bowl of stew, smaller slice of cornbread and a side salad.
To take it one step further the salad that started with greens and tomatoes now has some kind of shredded vegetable such as carrots, beets, radishes, parsley root, rutabaga, or turnip. I also add a couple tablespoons of a fermented veggie or some olives.
The next level could be adding toppings to your stew such as avocado, onion, thinly sliced cabbage, shredded radishes, or thinly sliced greens.
By making these changes over the course of time you can add an additional 5 plus different foods to your normal dinner routine giving you way more nutrients. When we give our body all the nutrients it needs to function optimally we have a better chance for achieving longevity and wellbeing.
Small plates might be the answer to consuming more of a variety of nutrients. Give it a try for yourself.
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