The most basic health principles are to eat real food and drink lots and lots of water. This may help to reduce your exposure to the tens of thousands of chemicals added to processed foods. Even some all-grain products have gone through industrial processing. Sprouted whole organic grains may be the one exception to the recommendation to avoid grains.
Health.com published a list of 18 foods that contain health-promoting compounds such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which play a roll in longevity. A wide variety of common health problems are linked to chronic inflammation.
As we all know the most single powerful thing we can do to help our health is to stop drinking sodas and juices and drink clear, pure water instead. Some teas and coffees can have health-promotion benefits as well. A good example is green tea which has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease and cancer if consumed at least three times a week. Coffee can lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke and certain cancers plus it helps increase the metabolic activity of beneficial Bifidobacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. You must be sure that your coffee is organic as regular coffee tends to be heavily sprayed with pesticides. Be sure to choose the darker coffees. Roasted coffees are higher in neuroprotective agents than unroasted coffees.
I love nuts and berries, which are considered clear conscience snacks. A 30 year study found that those who regularly ate one ounce of nuts at least 7 times a week were 20% less likely to die for any reason, compared to those avoiding nuts in the diet. A 29% reduction in mortality risk due to heart disease, 24% reduction for respiratory disease and an 11% reduction for cancer are reported by eating nuts at least 5 times a week. Let’s get those raw nuts out to replace the non-vegetable carbs you are cutting out of your diet, as they are an excellent source of healthy fats, which you need more of.
Another big winner is dark cocoa chocolate as gut bacteria will break down and ferment its components, turning them into anti-inflammatory compounds that will definitely benefit your health. Just remember, you really need to stick to dark cocoa chocolate to reap the benefits. There was a 1999 Harvard study of 8,000 men who ate chocolate as much as 3 times a month and lived a year longer than those who didn’t.
There are 3 other foods that are among the highest in terms of healthy fats. These are salmon, avocado and coconut oil. Research suggests that eating oily fish once or twice a week may increase your lifespan by more than 2 years and reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 35%. The wild caught Alaskan salmon is a great consideration. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy and include 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. Lauric acid is half of the fat content in coconut oil that your body converts into monolaurin that has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. This oil also stimulates your metabolism.
Of course vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and disease fighting compounds. Get out those sprouts, broccoli, fermented veggies, tomatoes and cabbage. This is our health we are talking about, right?
Another Harvard study indicated that eating a bowl of quinoa a day may lower your risk of premature death from diseases like cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes by 17 percent. Lastly, those herbs and spices of all kinds are potent superfoods. Using fresh garlic will give you optimal health benefits.
Controlling inflammation is key for longevity and using the suggestions above to replace those processed food with real foods will make a huge difference in your overall health and weight as well as our longevity. Why not give it a try? After all, this is our lives we are talking about! Have a great day choosing those “healthy” alternatives for your foods.
– Fredda Branyon