Eat Smarter to Increase Efficiency of Your Body to Survive
Did you know that only 3 percent (or less) of the American population are known to be living a healthy lifestyle? According to recent studies, in order to qualify as having a "healthy lifestyle", you need to meet the following requirements:
. Exercising at least 2.5 hours a week
. Having a top 40 percent diet score based on the Healthy Eating Index
. Having less than 20 percent body fat percentage for men, and less than 30 percent for women
. Not smoking
But that's not all. It's also alarming that more than 50 percent of Americans consume ultra-processed food on a daily basis. Regular consumption of unhealthy food does not only add on extra pounds but also puts one at risk of many chronic and serious diseases, which include but are not limited to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and so on. Eating smart is one of the best ways to increase the body's ability to thrive and survive. To help you achieve this, we've rounded up some of the foods that are beneficial for you.
Foods that boost the immune system
The immune system is the body's primary defense against bacterial and viral infections. It protects the body by fighting off pathogenic microorganisms before they cause serious harm. Healthline lists some efficient immune system boosters that you should have more of in your home:
. Citrus fruits - Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits power up the immune resistance by enhancing white blood cell production. These cells are vital in fighting bacterial and viral infections.
. Red bell peppers - Like citrus fruits, red bell peppers also contain vitamin C. They're also rich in beta carotene, which is good for your eyes and skin.
. Broccoli - A nutritional powerhouse, broccoli is loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, minerals and antioxidants. To take advantage of its nutrients, eat it fresh or cook it only a little.
. Garlic -Apart from adding depth to your dishes, it's also known for its immune-enhancing powers, thanks to its organosulphur compound called allicin. In tablet form, you might consider taking glucosamine sulphate 1500 mg, but only under the strict supervision of a nutritionist).
. Ginger - Another root crop that can kill harmful pathogens is ginger. Not only does it improve the body's immune defense, it's also a reliable remedy for pain and other minor ailments.
. Spinach - Popeye wasn't joking about the amazing benefits of spinach. It's packed with vitamin C, beta carotene, minerals and antioxidants that can increase the body's ability to fight off infections.
Foods that sharpen the brain and mental function
Of course, it's not only the physical body that requires nourishment but so does your brain. According to Health.com, these foods should always be included inyour grocery list:
. Oily fish - Rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as heart-healthy and brain-beneficial docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), fatty fish like tuna and salmon can help keep the neurons functioning optimally. It's a healthier source of protein that saves you from eating too much red meat. As you know, red meat contains fats that may clog the arteries and shoot up the risk for heart disease.
. Dark green leafy vegetables - Eat your vegetables like spinach, broccoli, kale and collard greens, as these are excellent in boosting brain function. These vegetables contain folate, a form of B vitamin that lowers the amino acid that causes brain nerve cells to die.
. Avocado - Research shows that eating foods rich in vitamin C and vitamin E like avocado can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
. Sunflower seeds - Also a great source of vitamin E, sunflower seeds can help enhance mental processing, improve memory and reduce risk of degenerative brain diseases.
Healthy eating can do so much for you and your health. It's about time that you make a switch towards a healthier diet that will keep you in top shape. Don't forget about exercise. It helps burn fat and shed extra fat, not to mention that your body will be pumped with good energy. You'll be able to go through the day feeling happy and rejuvenated, so try not to exclude exercise from your regime; even that only means walking for 30 minutes or taking the stairs and not the elevator.