Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of existence that affects much more than just your physical appearance, or even your health. What you may not realize is how what you eat also influences your spiritual health and wellbeing.

Your physical body is the gift you were given in this lifetime to help you live your purpose. You are nature. Every single person on this planet is a miracle, and every cell in your body contains all the wisdom of consciousness. In order to effortlessly access the full potential of this wisdom, you must empower your body to live in its state of inherent perfection. When you do, you experience yourself in your wholeness and as an extension of your higher power.

The Foundation of Health: Your Metabolism

From a scientific perspective, this means that almost every function of your body is controlled by your metabolism. Your metabolic system regulates your neurotransmitters, hormone synthesis, energy production and detoxification pathways. This translates into a broad range of moment-to-moment experiences, including determining your energy level and your ability to think, focus, remember, relax and sleep. Your metabolism impacts your ability to meet your responsibilities, be productive, take initiative, create and so much more. It also impacts your mood, sex drive and ability to digest and eliminate, which will influence how you feel within and, thus, how you interact with others.

Why Eating Whole Foods Matters

While most of us were taught to understand food by looking at calories, fat, protein and carbs, your body interprets food differently—as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and essential fatty acids. Your body requires these nutrients in their purest, most natural form in order to carry out your life functions.

Your cells are incredibly intelligent. As I mentioned above, every cell in your body contains consciousness. When your cells need nutrients that are found in nature but are instead fed artificial ingredients, processed foods, chemicals and stimulants, the body doesn’t know what to do with these ingredients and views them as intruders. An alarm is triggered and the immediate response is to rid them from your system.

While the body is a self-correcting organism that can clean itself, these toxins, pollutants and chemicals can accumulate in the system and your body can’t always keep up with the housework, so to speak. These non-organic particles act as signal disruptors and make metabolic processes come to a screeching halt, thus stealing your energy, impeding your ability to think and focus, sullying your mood, activating your fight-or-flight response and much more. Your endocrine system is disrupted and doesn’t know how to respond to the environment within and around you.

When our metabolism is firing in its peak state, our cells thrive and all aspects of our health, and, thus, our being, perform miraculously and without effort. Your brain is functioning at its optimum, your hormones are balanced, your energy is off the charts and your body is able to rid itself of waste. Your physical state is in peak performance.

How Your Metabolism Affects Your Spirituality

On a spiritual level, you feel alive and experience yourself as an extension of universal energy. You have an inherent understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and beings. You are more attuned to the wisdom of your heart, to your intuition, to the energy of what is happening beyond your senses and to the wisdom of nature. You experience yourself as lighter and in flow. You have a deeper level of trust in yourself and the process of life. You feel pure joy toward yourself and the world around you.

If you want to realize your life goals, you must cultivate and sustain a strong inner compass and experience yourself as an extension of your higher power with a deep connection to what is beyond our three-dimensional experience. I believe the absolute best way to do this is to regularly and systematically detox the body of the accumulated metabolic debris and to eat a predominantly organic, plant-based diet.

As a nutrition and detox expert, I suggest my clients switch to a diet rich with real, whole foods as they are found in nature in order to achieve this state. This dramatically increases life-force energy, mental focus and clarity, and creates an overall positive nature. It also empowers your body to function with far less effort, as sleep and circadian rhythms fall into balance.

As the saying goes, you are what you eat.

7 Spirituality-Enhancing Foods

Below is a list of seven plant-based foods that are nutritionally dense and assist the body in living in a heightened state of existence. Incorporating these into your daily regimen will create empowering health so you can realize your goals with less effort and experience yourself connected to your higher power.

1. Dark, leafy greens

Mixed greens, kale, spinach, romaine, beet greens and dandelion greens are loaded with a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals to support heart health, brain function, digestion and stabilization of glucose levels. They are also helpful for reducing inflammation, which has been shown to be the root cause of most disease. Dark, leafy greens provide the most nutrition when consumed raw; try adding them into salads, wraps or smoothies. But if you prefer to consume them cooked, add to soups or stir-fries or simply steam or bake.

2. Quinoa

Technically a seed, quinoa contains nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein. It is also rich in magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc—four essential nutrients that tend to be lacking in many diets. With a low glycemic index, quinoa also helps stabilize blood sugar and can assist with appetite regulation, keeping you full longer. Make sure to soak the seeds before cooking to reduce the phytic acid that can hinder nutrient absorption.

3. Avocado

Creamy and nurturing, this delicious fruit is loaded with 20 vitamins and minerals and has more potassium than a banana. Avocados also contain healthy, monounsaturated fats that reduce inflammation and support heart health, and antioxidants that support eye health. They’re easy to add to any meal, such as salads and sandwiches, or they can be combined with steamed veggies or added to smoothies.

4. Maca

One of my favorites for grounding and vitality, maca is incredible for sustained energy and stabilizing hormones. You can easily add maca to any smoothie, raw dessert, or simply consume it in its powder form.

5. Walnuts

Another great grounding food, walnuts are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, melatonin and more, which support heart health and brain functioning. They are also loaded with antioxidants, which help reduce free radical damage and support anti-aging.

6. Organic Green Juice

This is an incredible source of live, active enzymes, which are essential for catalyzing metabolic reactions. Cooking or processing food destroys enzymes. When we consume them in their raw, living form, and specifically via fresh pressed juice, our absorption of these enzymes increases because there is no digestion necessary.

7. Chlorella

I believe chlorella is the king of superfoods because it contains a wide spectrum of nutrients and multiple health benefits. A single-cell organism that binds with heavy metals and free radicals, chlorella is an incredibly important supplement for protecting the body from harmful chemicals and pollutants. It’s also loaded with B12, a vitamin that many vegans lack, which is critical for brain health. Chlorella also has more protein per ounce than meat and has a complete spectrum of fatty acids.

To learn more about how the body works at the cellular level, and how to create empowering health to live in a heightened state of existence in direct connection with your higher power, please watch my Master Class “The Keys to Peak Performance.”

Looking for more ways to live with intention? Check out our interactive course, The Power of Clear Intentions, created by Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick, pioneers of Spiritual Psychology and founding faculty of the University of Santa Monica. This eight-module audio course teaches you how to manifest your true goals and dreams. Learn more here.

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About the author

Nykki Hardin is a natural health and lifestyle expert and the formulator of 21 – The Total Lifestyle Cleanse and Nutrition Program. She holds a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from University of Santa Monica and is passionate about helping people transform their body and mind to create empowering health so they can self-actualize and achieve their limitless potential.