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healthy foods, lower cholesterol, chronic disease, chronic illness, live longer, vegetables, lose weight

Being healthy starts with what you eat!

You’ve always been reminded to “eat your fruits and veggies”, but what is the big attraction to these two food groups? Eating your fruits and veggies can reduce your risk of chronic diseases. The news frequently gives us new stories divulging the latest research about foods you need to eat more of or foods you should avoid.  Some claim to lower your cholesterol, help you lose weight, or make you live longer.  These boundless stories and choices make it difficult to decipher which foods are actually the best choices to eat. Well, we have narrowed down the list for you.  The following are foods that you should make sure to eat every day.  Chronic diseases are the cause of 59% of deaths around the world yearly. By eating these foods each day, you can reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

1-2. Blueberries and Tomatoes

Fruit, in general, is known to reduce your risk of many cancers, such as mouth, lung, and digestive cancer.  Blueberries are known as the “miracle fruit” due to all of the health benefits of blueberries.  They have tons of antioxidants that prevent the damaging of cells. All these antioxidants and vitamins help keep your immune system running in good order and it helps with vision and healthy skin, among many others.  The nutrients in tomatoes have similar health benefits and, yes, a tomato is considered a fruit.  The bright red color of a tomato is given by a carotene called lycopene which protects against many other cancers.

3-4. Carrots and Spinach

Vegetables are important in your daily food intake because they are known to help prevent Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), a chronic heart disease.  Carrots in particular have a high content of Vitamin A and fat-solutes.  These sources reduce your risk for cancer by promoting good cell communication.

For spinach and leafy foods, a darker leaves have more nutrition.  These nutrients reduce muscle degeneration, which protect your bones at risk for osteoporosis.  Spinach contains folate.  This vitamin reduces your risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).  These vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in vegetables reduce your risk for many cancers.

5. Yogurt

Yogurt contains several vitamins and nutrients.  These help boost your immune system to reduce your risk of chronic disease.  Calcium and Vitamin D found in yogurt will protect your bones from osteoporosis.  You can also find “probiotic” bacteria in yogurt, which is active in your digestive track to help reduce digestive cancers.  Calcium also prevents tooth decay; and good mouth health can increase your immune system and reduce your risk of bacterial infections.

6-7. Salmon and Nuts

Salmon and walnuts are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.  The high content of omega-3s is great for heart protection.  They lower your blood pressure and raise circulation, both of which reduce your risks for chronic heart diseases such as CHD.

8. Whole grains

The fiber found in whole grains help to lower your cholesterol, which reduces our risk of heart diseases.  They also have low concentrations of glycemic.  This reduces your chance of becoming diabetic.

Eat right and stay healthy! Exercise is also important to maintaining your health and reducing your risk of chronic diseases.  You should have 20 minutes of vigorous cardio activity 3-4 times per week.  To reduce your risk of many chronic diseases you should also avoid high alcohol consumption, lower or avoid tobacco use, and reduce the amount of salt in your diet.

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