The five best foods for your health — and the five to avoid
March is National Nutrition Month, a time to take a second look at the values of the foods we eat. One of the challenges of eating healthy is realizing that as we age, our bodies change, which means our diets should also change. With each passing birthday, our bodies begin to lose muscle. We produce less stomach acid so food takes longer to digest. Another big change is the reduced need for calories. These changes present a challenge of eating enough food to get the proper nutrients to help our bodies without eating too many empty calories, which can pack on unwanted pounds.
There is no one diet that is perfect for everyone but here are five foods that can have beneficial impact on our health and five foods that should be reduced for their lack of nutritional value.
Five to help you thrive
Although water does not really have nutritional value, it is essential because it delivers the nutrients in food to your body. Drinking enough water helps reduce fatigue, headaches and constipation so fill your water bottle to the brim.
Whether it is strawberries, blueberries, or any other berry, these delicious fruits are packed with antioxidants and nutrients, provide healthy fiber and can help improve blood sugar and insulin levels. Some berries also lower cholesterol and help reduce wrinkles. Try to incorporate berries into your meal plan by adding them to your cereal or enjoying them as a snack.
Lean meat is a major source of protein which can help your body maintain muscle. The average adult loses 3 to 8 percent of their muscle mass each decade after 30 so take steps to combat this loss by including protein in your diet. Poultry, seafood, eggs and beans are other sources for protein.
Apples, vegetables, whole grains and legumes all provide important dietary fiber which plays an important role in your digestive system. Fiber can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure as well as reduce inflammation. Adding fiber to your diet can also lead to a healthier heart.
Yogurt is a great source of calcium which can help in fighting the natural process of bone loss. It also helps with digestion and provides protein. Other sources of calcium include leafy greens, kale, white beans and salmon.
Five to deprive
Deep-fried everything should be limited because they can raise your cholesterol levels and can add to inflammation throughout the body.
Bacon, lunch meat and other foods high in salt should be reduced. They can raise your blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.
Sodas and sports drinks are high in sugar and raise your blood sugar to dangerous levels. Too much sugar also puts on unwanted pounds.
Snack cakes, candy and other high calorie foods with little or no nutritive value need to be reduced to remain at a healthy weight. When you are hungry, choose a snack that provides some nutrition instead of just empty calories
Espresso and other high caffeine beverages can keep you from getting proper sleep, increase anxiety and cause heartbeat irregularities.
A long range plan
No one knows what the health challenges await them but eating healthy will always provide you with the fortitude to stand strong. Whether you have a planned joint replacement surgery in your future or experience an unexpected medical event, being in top shape provides an advantage.
When medical challenges do arise, consider continuing your resolve to stay healthy by choosing to recover at Whitehall of Deerfield where you will find the medical and physical assistance you need to get back to your normal life. Whitehall of Deerfield, the area’s premier post-hospital rehabilitation center, has consistently received Medicare‘s highest rating in Medicare’s five-star rating system of nursing and rehabilitation centers, making it one of the best options for recovery in the area. The expert staff is dedicated to providing the highest standards of customer service and clinical care.
In addition to exceptional care, Whitehall of Deerfield will provide you with world-class accommodations and amenities to make your stay comfortable. Attentive concierge service, daily delivery of Starbucks coffee and newspaper to your room, valet parking for your visitors, Wi-Fi, a in-room dining and a Wellness Spa are just a few of the many services offered during a stay at Whitehall of Deerfield. Meals from a diverse menu can be taken in the privacy of your room or in the elegant dining room. Gourmet coffee, freshly-baked goods and ice cream refreshments are also available to all guests.
The staff at Whitehall at Deerfield strive to address every guest’s needs in luxurious surroundings giving your stay a world-class feel. To learn more about Whitehall of Deerfield, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.
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