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By Shane Young | April 4, 2016 |
One important factor for good health is the food you eat. Your nutrition is the fuel that runs your body and even if you managed to squeak by with less than perfect eating habits when you were younger, the older you get, the more those bad habits will take their toll on your health. The reverse is also true. If you start out with excellent eating habits, you’ll find you’ll look better and feel better than others your age who haven’t. Learning how to eat healthier is one of the pillars of good health, along with regular exercise, regular exercise, good hydration and emotional and spiritual well being.
If you’re past 50 or even close to that age, your body starts to lose the ability to restore itself. Your ability to digest certain foods slows down since you make less of the enzymes for digestion. If you are eating healthy, you’ll reap benefits, such as more vitality, improved resistance to illness, improved cognitive ability, better healing time and the ability to manage serious chronic diseases. You’ll find you have a better outlook on life.
Salt is important for a healthy body. Salt is in all bodily fluids, but you can have too much of a good thing in this case. Too much salt can lead to fluid retention and high blood pressure. Because it adds flavor and preserves foods, it’s often liberally used in processed foods so it’s easy to get too much. Many people find themselves almost addicted to fried foods, sugary foods, and refined foods. Once in a while they can add flavor and enjoyment to a meal, but not as a complete diet.
The more color on your plate from fruits and vegetables, the more apt you are to get not only vitamins and minerals, but phytonutrients as well. Phytonutrients are substances you find in plants that are necessary for good health but aren’t classed as vitamins or minerals. They include carotenoids from yellow and orange plants, such as alpha and beta carotenoids which convert to vitamin A. In the group of carotenoids you also have lycopene and leutein. Ellagic acid from strawberries, among other plants, help protect from cancer. Flavonoids provide the pigment for plants and plenty of health benefits for you. Resveratol in red grapes is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Glucosinolates found in crucifers help protect the body from cancer and phytoestrogens and lignans from soy and flax seed help prevent bone loss. Eating a plant based diet with all colors of food will insure you get additional phytonutrients.
The studies using substances found in fruits and vegetables to fight cancer have found many of the phytonutrients don’t work in isolation, but work in synergy with other nutrients in the whole fruit or vegetable.
Many diets fail when it comes to an intake of fiber. Fiber not only helps eliminate toxins, it also helps control blood pressure, lower risk of heart disease, reduce stroke potential, help you lose weight and improve your skin. Beans, artichokes, peas, broccoli, berries and avocados are just a few of the high fiber foods.
Process less, get healthier faster. How you serve the food is important. The closer it is to its natural state right off the tree, vine or out of the ground, the more nutrients it contains.
Don’t forget the herbs and spices. Herbs and spices add a lot of flavor and nutrients, but they don’t add extra calories or a significant amount of calories.
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