Nutrition! Staying hydrated, eating antioxidant-rich foods and high-fiber foods, cutting back on salt and sugar, staying active and getting plenty of rest…these are habits that put you/keep you on a path to a healthy lifestyle that you can ’maintain for years to come.
EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend that you fill one-half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Fruits and vegetables are also rich with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
ADD MORE DIETARY FIBER
Dietary fiber found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes helps to maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. There are two types of fiber – soluble (which dissolves in water) or insoluble (doesn’t dissolve in water).
- Soluble fiber. This type of fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus, carrots and barley. It may help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) as well as lower blood glucose levels.
- Insoluble fiber. This type of fiber is found in whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, cauliflower, green beans and potatoes. It may help with the processing of material through your digestive system.
HIGH FIBER FOODS
- Kidney beans
- Sweet Potatoes
Check labels! Make sure to check for USDA Organic labels and make sure the bar code (PLU) on your produce begins with the number 9 prefix which signifies that the item is organic – for example #94011 is the code for organic yellow banana. Organically grown produce has lower detectable levels of pesticide residue and certain toxic metal due to be related to the ban on synthetic fertilizers in organic farming.
REDUCING SUGAR CONSUMPTION
The top sources of sugar consumption are soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and most processed foods. Sugars are also present in some canned soups, bread, cured meats, and ketchup. Increased sugar intake is linked to high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes and fatty liver disease. And these conditions are all linked an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
CUT BACK ON SALT
Sodium is essential for fluid balance and cellular homeostasis. But increased sodium intake has been associated with cardiovascular diseases. There is studies a direct relation between increased sodium consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. There is also evidence suggests that high sodium is associated with reduced kidney function.
Water is an essential nutrient to sustain life, and good hydration plays a critical role in the prevention of chronic diseases. It helps improve cognitive performance, improves digestion and kidney function, boosts immune system and promotes healthy cardiovascular system.
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