Healthy Eating and Habits for a Better Life

Healthy Eating and Habits for a Better Life
Healthy eating habit is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, stabilizing your mood, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible.
The benefits of healthy eating habits are better health and a sense of well being, better sleep, improved physical endurance and strength, sharper mental abilities and lower sleep requirements.
  • Eat a Colorful Salad and Two Pieces of Fruit
Fruits and vegetables have key nutrients and antioxidants that can help prevent a slew of diseases and slow down the aging process. Eat more than five servings of fruit a day and you may lower your risk of heart disease by 60 percent; have three servings of veggies a day and you could slash your risk by 70 percent. Fruits and veggies that are particularly high in disease-fighting antioxidants include plums, blueberries, strawberries, spinach and red bell peppers.
  • Take a 30-Minute Walk
Exercise can lower your risk for just about everything, from heart disease and diabetes to depression and many forms of cancer. Every time you exercise, you decrease the production of free radicals in your body.Many diseases are the end result of the accumulation of excess free radicals, which can cause your cells to become dysfunctional. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of activity each day. It’s not as hard as you think: Take a walk during lunchtime or take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
  • Have Oatmeal for Breakfast
A diet rich in whole grains can help lower your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke. People in a recent study who ate two or more servings of whole-grain foods per day had a 40 percent lower risk of pancreatic cancer. Eating breakfast can help you lose weight and keep it off. Experts think that people who have this a.m. meal tend to eat fewer calories over the course of the day.
  • Eat Fish
It’s the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which research shows can help reduce your risk of a wide variety of conditions. They help combat inflammation in the body, which is implicated in numerous conditions including heart disease, diabetes and various cancers. If you’re not a fish lover, try an omega-3 supplement and/or other foods rich in omega-3s including walnuts, flaxseed and canola oil.
  • Relax for 10 Minutes (At Least)
You don’t need studies to tell you that chronic stress takes a toll mentally and physically. Fortunately, you can take the edge off the harmful effects. Yoga, for example, has been shown to improve glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, lipid levels, blood pressure and lung function in people with type 2 diabetes.Lowering stress levels dramatically reduces the risk of a heart attack and death in people with heart disease. So think about the things that calm you down—gardening, listening to music, getting a manicure, reading—and do one of them every day.
  • Sleep!
The benefits of sleep impact nearly every area of daily life. People who don’t get enough are at greater risk for diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and other disorders. People who sleep between 6.5 hr. and 7.5 hr. a night, live the longest, are happier and most productive. Poor sleep is linked with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, especially in women. Make your bedroom purely for sleep—no laptops, PDAs or other stressful items.

  • Stay Smoke-Free
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death, since it impacts every organ in your body. At least 15 different cancers, including throat, bladder, cervical and stomach cancers are linked to smoking. But kicking the habit reverses the effects relatively quickly. One year after you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops to half of that of a current smoker; 10 years after quitting, your risk of dying of lung cancer is half that of a current smoker; and within 15 years, your risk of having a heart attack or stroke is on par with that of someone who has never smoked.

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