Most people know that swapping out junk food for more nutritious meals and snacks can benefit your health, but did you know that adopting a healthy diet can help you live longer?
It’s true. You can potentially add years to your life by abandoning processed foods and replacing them with a diet that incorporates plenty of beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
The team at Monarque Health and Wellness in Ashland, Oregon, wants you to live your most vibrant life. The sooner you make healthy changes to your eating habits, the more years you can add to your life.
Good nutrition can also address issues such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and high blood sugar. While people today are living longer than in the past, overall, we’re falling behind in living healthier. Fortunately, it’s never too late to make some healthy changes to your eating habits.
Build a foundation from plant foods
It’s incredibly beneficial to eat a diverse assortment of garden and green vegetables, herbs, and fruit. A great deal of evidence supports the health-promoting effects of a diet that is mostly plant-based. The more servings of vegetables and fruit you have per day, the more benefits you gain.
Everyone should aim to have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. When compared with people who ate just two servings a day, those who eat at least five have a lower risk of chronic disease, including heart disease.
The importance of plant foods lies in their abundance of antioxidants. These substances protect your body from free radicals, which are otherwise responsible for illness by damaging your DNA. Plants with deeper and brighter colors tend to contain the highest concentrations of antioxidants.
The greatest longevity benefits come from a variety of foods: green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, and fruits and vegetables that are high in beta carotene and vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and carrots.
Cut back on red meat
While a juicy steak may sound appetizing, the more meat you eat, the greater your risk of chronic disease. People who eat red meat regularly are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than people who don’t eat any meat.
Try swapping out red meat for high-quality plant protein like legumes and whole soy products such as tempeh and tofu. Switching from animal protein to plant protein can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of chronic disease. When you do choose red meat, limit it to 3 ounces of lean red meat.
Fill up on more fiber
Beans and legumes are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Chickpeas, lentils, and the expansive legume family should serve as a cornerstone of every healthy diet.
Fiber-rich foods slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and help to lower cholesterol. Eating a diet rich in fiber can lower your risk of heart disease. Aim to have 20-30 grams of fiber each day from a variety of sources.
Go for whole grains
If you want to talk about fiber's long-term health benefits, you have to mention whole grains too. Whole grains include amaranth, barley, old-fashioned oats, quinoa, and 100% whole-grain bread, among other things.
Choose whole-grain bread such as wheat, rye, or pumpernickel; sprouted grain bread; and traditionally made bakery sourdough over processed white bread.
In addition to fiber, whole grains contain a wide range of bioactive compounds and essential nutrients, such as magnesium and polyphenols, that are beneficial to health. Together, they can reduce your risk of developing a variety of chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Good nutrition is the foundation for optimal health. Who better to help you improve your nutrition and well-being than a trained health professional who specializes in nutrition and wellness?
At Monarque Health and Wellness Center, we can help you identify areas and opportunities for improvement in your eating habits. To get started, call our office in Ashland, Oregon, to schedule a visit with our team.