5 Foods that Can Improve Your Health
Food is an important factor for survival. Since the human body operates with the use of energy, it needs a constant source of it. Such a source is food. With the advancement in agriculture and technology, food supply has been greatly improved in terms of quantity and diversity of choices.
While this has improved the average lifespan of humans, it has also posed a threat to it. Currently, along with physical inactivity, unhealthy eating is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. alone claiming nearly 700,000 lives a year.
When it comes to eating, the secret to a healthy long life remains to be a balanced diet. Some foods, however, have lots of health benefits and are considered important for a healthy body. Consuming these foods regularly greatly improves health.
Berries are flavorful—you can use them to give life to your oats or morning cereal instead of your usual sweeteners.
Like other plant-based foods, berries contain soluble fiber which helps in keeping your intestines healthy. A healthy gut is almost always attributed to a healthy body since the intestines are responsible for digesting and absorbing nutrients from the food we eat.
Berries also pack phytonutrients. Plants produce phytochemicals to protect itself from a number of factors including insect attack and UV radiation. In humans, phytochemicals have been shown in various students to reduce inflammation, improve immune function and neutralize free radicals, carcinogens, and toxins.
In addition, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries contain polyphenols that help reduce blood pressure by relaxing and dilating the blood vessels.
Nuts are excellent sources of healthy fats. For years, fat has been attributed to cardiovascular health. The truth is, there are two types of fats—the bad and the good one. Saturated fats, those that harm the body, are considered bad fat and can increase the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Unsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good fats that reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and have protective properties.
Nuts, which is a good source of good fat, helps decrease the level of bad cholesterol and increases the level of good cholesterol. Nuts can be a healthy option for a snack. You can also create a homemade spread made of nuts or a combination of them.
Beans are excellent sources of protein without the downsides of saturated fats. One of the easiest ways to get protein is by eating animal meat. The problem with animal meat is the saturated fats which can adversely affect one’s cardiovascular health.
In addition, beans pack fiber and B-vitamins. Fiber helps maintain a healthy gut microbiota and slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Vitamin B, on the other hand, helps keep the mitochondria of the cells in top working condition and improves nerve function.
Beans are also known to decrease bad cholesterol levels thereby improving cardiovascular health. Moreover, protein-rich foods are known to delay hunger and prevent hunger pants and cravings. If you are into losing weight, including beans as your source of protein and fiber will do you good.
You can get quality protein with the additional medical advantages of omega-3 and unsaturated fats. Some of the fishes high in protein and omega-3 unsaturated fats are salmon, herring, mackerel, and trout. Omega-3 bolsters cardiovascular wellbeing by counteracting thickening and enhancing the levels of awful cholesterol and circulatory strain.
In addition, it helps prevent inflammation by restoring the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the body. Inflammation is highly associated with heart problems and diseases. Omega 3 fatty acids are also found to prevent plaque buildup in arteries and restore its flexibility.
Omega 3 fatty acids have neuroprotective properties. That is, it protects neurons from damage due to oxidative stress and other causes. Studies suggest that regular consumption of omega 3 fatty acids reduces one’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s in the future.
Fish is also low on saturated fat which is associated with high bad cholesterol levels. That means that you can replace your red meat with fish and will not feel as guilty. Fatty fish, the types that have lots of omega 3, are versatile—you can cook them in a number of ways and enjoy them differently every time.
5 Dark chocolate
If you are a chocolate lover, here is some good news for you—dark chocolate improves cardiovascular health. Like red wine, dark chocolate also contains resveratrol—an antioxidant that has neuroprotective properties and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
You can enjoy dark chocolate in desserts or add them to food for flavor.
Health may seem a simple issue but the factors affecting it is not just complex but varies from individual to individual. For instance, in food, what is dangerous for one may not produce ill effects on another. There are nutrients, however, that produce harmful effects on most people. Take carbohydrates, for example. When taken in excess for a prolonged period, it could cause insulin resistance which would lead to serious health conditions. Insulin resistance and the resulting conditions are among the leading causes of death nowadays.
In maintaining health, it is important that one considers having a balanced diet. It is also important that one eat a variety of food in order to provide for the nutritional needs of the body.
Most people rely on food supplements to get the nutrients they need. Studies suggest that food supplements are inferior to food. Getting the nutrients directly from eating food is proven by many types of research to be more beneficial to the body.
The food that was listed were 5 foods that you can take to help improve your health. Diet, however, is more than just these 5 foods. It is important that you eat other foods, as well. An example of an ideal diet is one that is mostly vegetable-based. In a vegetable-based diet, one is not restricted by quantity. That is, you can eat as much as you want since vegetables are low in calories and packed with fibre, which delays the absorption of carbohydrates.
Author: Usman Raza
Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at Zensleep and co-founder of Usman Digital Media. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.