We’ve all heard that, “You are what you eat.” Want to be your best and nutrient-rich self? Upping your intake of certain foods has the potential to do everything from improving brain, bone, and eye health to reducing inflammation and the chances of disease. Here are some of the top ways you can eat yourself to good health:
BOOST BRAIN HEALTH
Brain food. Yes, there are foods that may boost your brain, sharpen your memory, and rev up your brain function. So, what foods may help you maximize your mind? Nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout and anchovies, whole grains, nuts and seeds all contain a variety of nutrients that work well together to promote overall health, including the support of brain function. As well, it might excite you to know that there are studies underway to determine if both dark chocolate (over 70%, which contains cacao flavonoids, a type of antioxidant) and coffee (also a source of antioxidants) may also help with both cognition and memory…fingers crossed!
Scrambled Eggs with Mixed Vegetables
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our bodies, making up much of our bones, teeth, and also impacting the function of our hearts, muscles, and nerves. Calcium is important at every age, but as we get older, we require more calcium to maintain bone health, and help in the prevention of osteoporosis and bone fractures. If you’re not getting enough calcium, it begins to reabsorb from the bones, making them fragile and brittle. Good ways to increase your calcium intake include yogurt and cheese made from cow’s milk. Nominal amounts of calcium can also be found in seeds, leafy greens, tofu, broccoli, and almonds.
Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Eating a variety of nutritious foods may help reduce inflammation in the body and a diet rich in nutrients may help keep your immune system well. While foods that are high in saturated or trans fats, and foods that are highly processed may be inflammatory, eating fruits and vegetables, which contain natural plant-based nutrients called phytonutrients, may help protect you against inflammation. Eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines may also guard against cellular inflammation.
LOWER RISK of DISEASE
Consuming a diet rich in fiber promotes proper digestion and has also been linked to reducing the risks of heart disease (by lowering cholesterol levels) and lowering the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer. High-fiber foods such as legumes, fruit and vegetables, and whole grains like oats, help slow digestion since fiber adds bulk and keeps you feeling full for longer.
Brown Sugar and Raisin Oatmeal
MAINTAIN EYE HEALTH
In addition to wearing sunglasses and taking breaks from computer screens, the food we eat may help our eyesight. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E may help in preventing the progression of macular degeneration and cataracts. So, what should you be eating to protect your vision? A diet rich in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, as well as eggs, fatty fish, and nuts and seeds, may benefit your ocular health.
The connection between a proper diet and a healthy life can’t be understated – by enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods, seniors may be able to minimize the chance of illness, promote longevity, and boost energy levels.
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