Preventing Disease By Means of a Healthy Lifestyle

PROPER NUTRITION IS A BIG PART OF LIFE. HERE ARE A FEW SUGGESTIONS TO OPTIMIZE HEALTHY LIVING!

WHICH DISEASES CAN BE PREVENTED BY PROPER NUTRITION?

Many diseases can be prevented by good nutrition as well as exercise and lifestyle modification (like quitting smoking). These include: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, and some cancers. Emerging evidence even suggests that good nutrition can play a role in the prevention of neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Although genetic factors play a role in the development of disease, other factors are under our control. We have the power to take control of our health!

WHAT FOODS SHOULD YOU EAT TO AVOID HEART DISEASE?

Improving your diet can lower risk of heart disease in many ways including: lowering your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and insulin levels and improving the function of your heart and blood vessels. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, some vegetables and fruits like blueberries are associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease. You also want to eat plenty of fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. You should watch your intake of sodium and added sugars. Limit the amount of trans fat and saturated fat in your diet and replace them with healthy unsaturated fats found in foods like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish.

HOW CAN WE KEEP OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY?

Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which provide an array of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, which are plant-based compounds that have various health-promoting effects. Also, maintain a healthy gut. 80% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract. This complex community of microorganisms is called the gut microbiome. There are both good and bad microbes and it’s the balance of the two that affects your immune health. To keep this balance in check, focus on eating plenty of fiber-rich food, probiotics (yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut), which supply good bacteria, and prebiotics (like onions, garlic and asparagus), which help the good bacteria thrive.

By DR. SONALI RUDER
THE FOODIE PHYSICIAN & AMBASSADOR FOR THE U .S. HIGHBUSH BLUEBERRY COUNCIL
thefoodiephysician.com