Food as medicine
Most Americans don’t eat enough fiber, and many people say it’s because they are worried about eating too many carbs, but eating the right kind of carbs is what makes the difference, and it’s not that difficult to meet the recommended daily amount.
Food production has an enormous impact on the global ecosystem and contributes to climate change. Making the choice to replace meat with plant-based foods, even in one or two meals a week, is better for you and for the environment.
The nutrition building blocks of plant-based meals are vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. These are easy to cook and relatively inexpensive, and people who prepare more meals at home tend to have better health profiles.
A Mediterranean-style diet has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. In terms of healthy habits, it’s one of the best choices you can make, and adopting it into an everyday, real-life behavior is not as difficult as you might think.
Besides causing inflammation and disease, more heavily processed foods can contribute to depression and anxiety through the connection between the gut and the brain. A healthier diet that favors whole foods over processed foods may offer protection against depression.
Research has made it clear that eating a lot of red meat and processed meats increased the risk for heart disease and diabetes. A diet that is mainly plant-based is better for overall health, and it does not mean you have to give up meat entirely.
The epidemic of people with dementia is expected to get much worse in the coming decades, but understanding the connection between vascular health and cognitive health allows people the opportunity to adopt heart-healthy habits that can reduce their risk of dementia.
Legumes like beans, chickpeas, and lentils are full of healthy nutrients, fiber, and protein, and a diet that includes them regularly can help lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more. It’s easy to incorporate more legumes into your eating pattern, starting with a recipe for hummus.
It can be hard to get motivated to pack your own lunch (or one for your children), but knowing that a meal brought from home is more likely to contain healthier choices is enough of a push for some people, and knowing it doesn’t have to involve a lot of effort helps too.
Shopping at a local farmers market can be a great way to add high-quality produce to your meals. But it’s easy to overspend at a farmers market, and some people don’t know what they should buy; following these tips will help you plan your visit.