Your immune system and brain power depend on many things, and your diet is just a part of it. However, it’s a component you have full control over.
The old maxim of ‘we are what we eat’ persists for a good reason. Making sure you’re keeping your menu balanced year-round can make a lot of difference in how you feel in your daily life.
Let’s examine how nutrition can help you stay healthy and promote brain function and share some of the best food for general well-being.
Food & Immune System
Fueling your body with good food guarantees a sound immune system ready to fend off illnesses. While you can’t avoid the flu and every cold that comes your way by eating well, you can become strong enough to bounce back in no time.
Eating for immunity is simple, too. Generally, the body requires specific amounts of different micronutrients to keep running smoothly. Get enough of these, and it’ll respond by keeping you fit and disease-free.
Another thing to consider is inflammation. While it’s a useful mechanism, helping you fight off toxins, once it becomes chronic, it can be a problem.
It could lead to all sorts of aches and pains, deteriorating your protection mechanisms in the process. Luckily, food can also do wonders for reducing inflammation.
Food & Brain Power
There’s no magic pill for preventing cognitive decline as you age. However, scientists are optimistic, emphasizing the importance of a healthy diet for providing lasting brain power.
As a rule of thumb:
- Include many fruits and veggies, legumes, and whole grains in every meal.
- Try to avoid red meat but get your protein from fish or plant sources.
- Choose healthy fats rather than saturated ones.
By eating this way, you’re protecting your heart and blood vessels. As a result, you’re getting more oxygen in your brain, making it function more effortlessly.
Some foods are particularly rich in brain power ingredients, like vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Incorporating these in your diet translates into better mental function.
Top Health Foods
When it comes to building a healthy nutrition pattern, as long as you’re focusing on whole, plant-based ingredients most of the time, you’re good to go.
However, numerous studies confirm the effects these foods can have on immunity and brain health:
- Leafy greens – Plants such as spinach and kale boast high iron and folate levels, supporting your mind and your body.
- Berries – These are full of antioxidants, boosting your memory and coordination.
- Nuts – Research shows that a handful of nuts can help with brain fog and boost clarity.
- Seeds – Packed with antioxidants and vitamin E, these improve your mental function and keep you clear of toxins.
- Garlic – Multiple studies confirmed the immunity-strengthening aspect of garlic. Some also suggest it could prevent dementia onset.
- Whole grains – The amounts of vitamin B found in these are a fantastic energy source, helping you maintain concentration and improve digestion.
The list can continue to infinity. If you don’t know where to start, swap some unhealthy ingredients with these foods.
Eating for Health
Changing habits is quite a feat. Even if you’re 100% aware of the benefits you’ll yield, it’s hard to make yourself start eating better.
The essential thing to remember is that you don’t have to introduce every change at once. You can make it a challenge to avoid fried foods for a week or start eating a piece of fruit a day. Once one habit sets, go on to the next.
If you lead a busy life and don’t have enough time to cook at home, start by focusing on snacks. You could also purchase a blender that’s best for smoothies and drink your berries and chia seeds. These small changes add up in the long run.
The Bottom Line
A healthy, balanced, nutritious diet is one of the main things you can do for yourself. You can protect your body from illnesses and prevent premature mental decline by changing what’s on your plate.
So, incorporate more whole foods into your day. Focus on nutrients that serve, and you’ll stay fit and sharp deep into retirement.
Just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations, according to a study published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This report highlights that very few Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every day, putting them at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent way to reduce inflammation.
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