You have no doubt heard the saying that you are what you eat.
Over the years, and as a result of much research, we now know this to be true. We also know what we eat plays a major role in our efforts to prevent disease. The foods we eat are more responsible for our overall level of fitness and well-being than any other single factor.
Sure, if you stop smoking, begin exercising more, and develop great sleep patterns, these practices can help you become healthier. However, there is no one single thing you can do to more readily impact your health and wellness in a positive way than to eat certain things and avoid others.
There are foods you eat which promote disease. Consider your diet if it primarily consists of chocolate cake, cheeseburgers, pizza, French fries, along with everything else you consume. Keep it up and you are virtually guaranteeing heart disease will eventually pay you a visit.
On the other hand, consider eating a plant-based diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. These foods are linked to the prevention and even reversal of certain diseases such as kidney disease and heart disease.
Why Eating a Predominantly Plant-Based Diet Can Prevent Disease
Your digestive system and all your internal bodily processes are pretty much the same as they were for your earliest ancestors. These people did not eat unhealthy refined sugar, and they certainly didn’t douse their meals with salt. They ate foods found in nature.
You can never be at your best when you eat a lot of processed foods, fast foods, baked goods, refined sugar, salt, and processed meats. Then you wash all these foods down with sodas and energy drinks.
Your body immediately recognizes what is good for it and what is not good for it. When you eat lots of healthy greens and other vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and whole grains, your body thrives. Your immune system thrives along with your body, and you are able to effectively resist illness and disease.
Eat more of the following foods to prevent disease. These natural disease fighters could give you healthier, happier, disease-free years. This means less time spent in a doctor’s office or in the hospital.
Dark green leafy vegetables are powerhouses of nutrition.
The best way to prevent disease is to give your body all the nutrients, minerals, enzymes, and vitamins it craves on a daily basis. It may surprise you to find that you are truly, at your core, a plant-based eating machine.
Your ancestors thrived on diets which included lots of dark leafy greens. These foods have tons of the essential minerals your body needs and you don’t overdose on calories and carbs. They have dietary fiber which makes you feel full for an extended period of time.
For these and other reasons, eating more leafy greens is a simple way to become healthier. It’s also a healthy way to prevent and even reverse a wide variety of diseases.
Do you like blackberries? Perhaps raspberries or strawberries are your favorites. Well, there’s good news. Disease-fighting antioxidants abound in these berries.
Antioxidants are chemicals that fight the development of free radicals. These are molecules which damage cells throughout the body.
Unabated free radicals which exist in your body promote the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Eating just a cup of mixed berries each and every day is a great way to prevent disease.
If you are 50 years of age or older, you probably remember the bad/good roller coaster of recommendations that have centered around eating eggs over the years. If you listened to all the “experts” over the years, you’d think eggs were the scourge of mankind.
When you were little, you were told that eggs were an important part of a healthy breakfast. By the time you reached your teens and 20s, you were warned that eating more than one or two eggs a day would lead to high cholesterol.
Then one study came out showing that you can eat as many eggs as you like each day. And soon another recommendation followed saying that eggs should be avoided… period. Little did the experts know that eggs are an excellent food to eat in order to combat and prevent disease.
We know now that the cholesterol found in eggs does not significantly boost blood cholesterol. Then there is the fact that eggs contain what nutrition experts call a “perfect protein.”
Eggs are full of essential nutrients, and they promote healthy vision. Additionally, eggs provide choline, lutein, and xeanthin along with other health-boosting disease fighters.
Experts still debate the efficacy of eating eggs, so the debate still rages on. You need to do your own research and consult with your doctor in order to make a decision that is right for you.
Legumes and Beans
A very small serving of beans delivers a lot of high quality protein. All the cells in your body require protein. When your cellular health diminishes, your immune system takes an immediate and significant hit.
The phytochemicals found in beans consist of properties that protect against disease. Fiber and iron, magnesium, calcium, and folic acid found in beans and legumes all offer significant health advantages that keep disease at bay.
You are at lower risk of developing certain cancers if your diet includes a regular dose of beans or legumes. Regular consumption of beans and legumes is a good way to lower high cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Beans have plenty of dietary fiber that keeps you full. And, because you feel full, you naturally limit the total number of carbohydrates and calories you intake each day.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in plentiful quantities in fish like salmon and tuna. You should always opt for fish caught in the wild as opposed to farm-raised. You should also eat minimally processed fish either baked, broiled, or steamed.
The disease-fighting properties of omega-3 fatty acids carry the blessing of the American Heart Association. The AHA recommends eating fatty fish 2 or 3 times a week for the most disease-prevention and overall health benefits.
Your Body Requires Healthy Eating to Prevent Disease
We know a lot about how the human body works and we are learning more and more about how our mental and physical wellness is connected to certain behaviors. We also know that how healthy you are in body and mind is primarily dictated by what you eat.
Giving your body what it wants is a smart, healthy eating practice that automatically lowers your risk of developing disease.
You should also limit or totally eliminate highly processed foods, fast food and restaurant food from your diet. If you are a meat-and-potatoes type of person, you don’t necessarily need to give them up. You just need to be careful with your choices and eat these foods in moderation.
As best you can, eat mostly plant-based foods and minimally processed beef, poultry, and seafood. And don’t forget your herbs and spices that reverse disease. Drink lots of water throughout the day and get plenty of rest.
When you take these steps, you turn on the natural healing power of healthy eating to resist and prevent disease and promote overall health and well-being.