It may be something of a cliché, but it is true that “you are what you eat.” Not all foods are equally nutritious. It is important to know which foods are best to eat for the most benefit. There are several powerful foods you should eat for optimizing health, maximizing metabolism and helping you to look younger.
Remember that a healthy diet, particularly one designed to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, puts fruit and vegetables at the top of the daily menu. You should eat between five and nine portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Many contain antioxidants, which break down free radicals, molecules in the body that are known to cause aging. Antioxidants can be found in tomatoes, berries, beetroot and most brightly colored vegetables. Include these foods in your diet to reduce the effects of aging.
Most people can remember their mother’s admonition to “eat your greens.” Well, she was right. Leafy, green vegetables are a good source of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients responsible for healthy digestion, bones and skin. Those green vegetables will help keep your face and hands looking young and wrinkle free.
Not all fats are bad for you. Some monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, contain anti-inflammatory substances which can help ease muscle and joint pain. Olive oil also contains active cholesterol, which has been shown to clear fat from the circulatory system. It may also contribute to subcutaneous fat loss. Eat olive oil instead of butter, margarine or other fats, to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and lose weight.
Oily fish contain fatty acids which are essential to a healthy nervous system. Many studies suggest that eating oily fish a couple of times a week can help boost your memory, alertness and cognitive ability, as well as significantly reduce the onset of dementia, lower fat storage and reduce the risk of developing degenerative diseases. Salmon or tuna, which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, are excellent choices.
Eat your beans! Beans are rich in both fiber and complex carbohydrates. Fiber helps keep you feeling full for longer after eating; this can contribute to weight loss, as you will be less inclined to snack. Fiber also aids digestion and prevents constipation. Just be sure to eat unprocessed beans rather than “baked beans” from a can, as these are typically loaded with extra sugar.
If you must eat red meat, try to cut down to only one or two portions a week. Always choose a lean cut. Excellent alternatives to meat which contain healthy proteins are various kinds of nuts. Almonds are especially good for you, as they have high levels of vitamin E, which is known to boost the immune system and guard against damage to cells. Pecans and walnuts are also good sources of protein and antioxidants. You should always eat nuts in moderation as they are high in calories; just a handful a day goes a long way to meeting your dietary needs.
Eat a diet based on fresh fruit and vegetables rather than meat and processed foods. Not only will it help you lose weight, maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, and reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, and leave you feeling and looking fitter and younger.