By Esperanza Poquiz Edited by Jul DeGeus
Eating healthy is something that we all know is important. After all, ‘you are what you eat’. Normally, eating healthy is motivated by the drive to get fit or to make sure our physical physique doesn’t alter. But did you know that living a healthy lifestyle can also help you stay in shape mentally? June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month and today we will share a few of the benefits that come with eating healthy:
Fresh fruits and vegetables are known to contain a high dose of antioxidants. Antioxidants help keep the body’s heart, immune system and eyes healthy, all the while helping the brain with memory and mood disorders. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich with antioxidants include:
They also contain anthocyanins and compounds that fight against diabetes. Source: Pixabay.
Apples are also high fiber. Source: Pixabay.
Spices and herbs, like cinnamon and oregano
Rich in monounsaturated fats, or fats that protect the body from heart disease. Source: Pixabay.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins are essential in keeping your mind and body functioning. Vitamin E is known to protect the body from toxins and help reduce cognitive decline in diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Vitamin A plays an important role in bone growth, cell division and growth and building a healthy immune system. Iron and phytonutrients help your cells function and communicate which is essential in making red blood cells. Here are foods that are high in vitamins and minerals:
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E. Source: Pixabay.
Dark Leafy Greens, like kale and spinach
Greens are packed with iron and phytonutrients. Source: Pixabay.
Sweet Potatoes are high Vitamin A and fiber, which helps you feel full for a longer period of time. Source: Getty Images.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in maintaining the body’s cognitive function, by helping with depression, ADHD, and dementia. They help prevent heart disease and can help with rheumatoid arthritis. Omega 3 fatty also essential in the early stages of baby development. Some foods include:
Coconut Oil also helps with your metabolism and weight loss. Source: Getty Images.
Often overlooked, caffeine is a healthy substance for the body and mind, when taken in moderation. It stimulates the brain, keeping you more focused and alert. Caffeine consumption can help boost your metabolism, assisting in the prevention of weight gain. It also reduces chronic inflammation and can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Get your caffeine kick through these treats:
Now that you are equipped with some benefits of eating healthy, the next time you go to reach for the chips, think again. Instead, try grabbing an apple or a handful of blueberries and walnuts. Planning meals like salmon cooked in coconut oil or spinach avocado salad dressed in olive oil will ensure you get the nutrients your body needs. Choose healthier foods to keep your body and mind functioning at its best.
“19 Best Brain Superfoods”. Retrieved May 29th, 2017 from, http://www.livestrong.com/blog/19-best-brain-superfoods/
The key to staying healthy is to take small, positive, consistent steps. Taking the initiative to start new practices that will improve your overall health is the easy bit. Making these practices habits requires you to be regular and develop a healthy lifestyle. Do this by using the following men’s health tips:
Create an Exercise Routine
Whether you are 20 or 50, you can turn around your physical fitness with a few weeks of regular exercises. Decide whether you should exercise at home or if you should join a gym. Ensure that you put aside several hours a week and start small. For example, your first week could start with three 30 minutes session of activities, like jogging or weight lifting, and then increase the amount of sessions and time as necessary.
- Don’t push too hard-You will be tempted to push your body beyond limits when you are starting out at the gym, especially when you are noticing results. Instead, stick to a guided, gradual gym program.
- Stay active-In addition to exercising, keep your body active by walking regularly or by joining a sports team. You burn more calories when walking or playing than by sitting.
Eat Healthy Meals
You probably already know all the foods you should quit, but why haven’t you quit them already? The food you eat affects a wide range of aspects in your life; physical fitness, stress levels and sex drive for example. Visit your nutritionist for guidance and stick to well-balanced meals that can provide all the nutrients needed to keep you fit and healthy.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking-If you commit yourself to healthy meals, make the extra sacrifice of quitting alcohol and smoking. Reducing alcohol intake levels can improve mental health and decrease alcohol-related health risks.
- Drink more water and eat fruits and veggies– Your body needs to stay hydrated. While water is the most obvious way to hydrate, fruits and vegetable, like watermelons and cucumbers, are a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Find Support in Your Friends and Family
Find motivation from friends who can become part of your exercising team. Rely on a cheering squad; people who will honestly give you feedback about your progress and remind you to watch what you eat whenever you go out.
- Forgiveness– Forgive yourself if you “backslide” once in a while when you eat meals you had decided to quit.
- We Got This- Motivate your friends to join your exercising team if you want a bigger cheering squad.
Visit your Doctor Often
Nurse and patient
The best time to visit your doctor is today. Book an appointment to get a checkup while you still remember. Explain any issues you have to the doctor; and you will get advice that could shape the future of your ‘stay healthy’ goal in the future.
Finally, enjoy yourself. Don’t be too conscious about men’s health that it affects your other aspects of life. Embrace one health tip at a time, and you will develop a healthy life style in no time.
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