It's hard to turn on the television or cruise the internet without being bombarded with headlines about "Americans don't sleep enough" or "one third of adults are obese."
While stress, heredity, and smoking are all factors that play into a person's well being, one of the biggest is a healthy diet. Choosing to eat healthy benefits the body in a number of key areas. Still gobbling up the pizza and slurping down the diet soda, unconvinced? See if these eight points about a healthy diet change your mind.
1. Strengthens and improves muscle function
Healthy muscles carry us where we want to go. The right foods, along with proper exercise, build and maintain muscle mass, maintaining strength and mobility.
2. Promotes a longer life
Feeding your body what it needs can add years to your life. Reducing stress is one way to promote health, and a healthy diet is another. Foods rich in minerals and vitamins build up every cell in your body, preparing it to fight illness and stay alive longer.
3. Enables richer years
An individual who is healthy maintains a higher level of physical activity and brain function than their less healthy peers. A stronger body provides a richer life with more unique experiences.
4. Makes you prettier
If you won't eat healthy for your insides, maybe a better outside will motivate some dietary changes. We all want to be physically attractive. Healthy foods contribute to clear skin and shiny hair that no amount of high priced beauty products provides. Fueling the body with rich omega fatty and other healthy foods nourishes skin, hair, and nails.
5. Makes you smarter
Research shows certain dietary choices power up your brain to function at a higher level, and help everyday brain function. Introducing "brain foods" into your diet aid with memory retention and problem solving skills.
This is one of the best reasons to commit to a healthy diet of vitamin-rich foods, as a healthy brain allows a much more active and independent lifestyle, from working longer to being able to drive.
6. Decreases your injury risk
A high-functioning body with strong bones and muscles maintains balance, handles heavy loads, and holds up under stress better than its weaker counterparts. Muscles and bones lacking calcium and protein over time grow weaker.
This, unfortunately, causes the body to be less stable and more prone to injury. Falls, slips, and twists end up with more serious injuries if a person's body isn't strong and healthy.
7. Fights bad genes
If you are already worried about the cancer that runs on mom's side or the heart attack risk that runs on dad's side, take heart. While you can't change your DNA, you can use a healthy diet to combat some of your genetic disposition to disease.
Ingraining a healthy diet into your life, as well as exercise and regular doctor checkups, helps minimize the risk of falling victim to your family's predisposed illnesses.
If you end up with an illness, whether or not from heredity, a healthy diet....
8. Prepares you to fight illness
A nutrient-rich diet boosts a person's immune system to be able to fight off infection and illness. When a person falls victim to a disease or other medical condition, their diet helps them fight it off so it hopefully doesn't get worse and is cured quickly.
A healthy diet is integral to a long, happy life. Deciding to eat healthy and maintain that commitment consistently may seem like a big change in lifestyle at first, but it will benefit you and your loved ones in ways that are practically immeasurable.
1. Increased Energy
Unlike most saturated fats, coconut oil is made up of mostly medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs are metabolized differently than long-chain triglycerides in that they aren't stored as fat, but go directly to the liver where they are quickly converted into energy. Two tablespoons in the morning will boost your energy for the entire day.
2. Skin Health / Anti-Aging
Full of the antioxidant vitamin E, coconut oil is a wonderful natural moisturizer that can help to heal damaged skin, fade stretch marks, reduce signs of aging and strengthen the epidermis against cellulite. Coconut oil can also be used as a natural sunscreen offering protection against harmful UV radiation. Apply organic virgin coconut oil directly to your skin for the therapeutic effects you desire.
3. Reduce Hunger
Ketone bodies formed by MCTs have the added benefit of reducing hunger and cravings. When eaten every day, a serving or two of coconut oil is a proven effective tool to help you feel full faster, avoid overeating, and snack less between meals.
4. Weight Loss
Daily consumption of coconut oil has been shown to help with weight loss, particularly around the midsection. By regulating appetite and improving digestion, coconut oil can make it much easier to reduce your daily caloric intake and lose weight at a healthy rate (around one to two pounds per week.) Because it is a natural mood enhancer, coconut oil may help you to feel more motivated and energetic which can also assist with weight loss.
5. Fight Infection
Coconut oil is anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. Lauric acid which comprises about 50% of coconut oil dissolves the cellular walls of the bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa. Adding a couple of servings to your diet daily can increase your body's resistance to illness and improve your digestive health.
6. Reduce Risk of Heart Disease
Disregard the old myth that all saturated fats are bad for you and a leading cause of heart disease. Coconut oil has been shown to improve overall cholesterol by simultaneously increasing HDL (good) and lowering LDL (bad) levels. It does this by helping the body to convert cholesterol in the blood stream into a usable form, thus reducing plaque build-up.
7. Better Nutrient Absorption
When ingested, coconut oil helps the digestive tract to better absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. If you take supplements for these nutrients, consider washing them down with a tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil.
8. Hair Health
Just as it does for skin, coconut oil can also protect hair from sun damage and dehydration. When used regularly, coconut oil can also work to reduce or eliminate dandruff and other scalp irritations.
9. Normalize Brain Function
When digested, MCTs travel directly to the liver where they are synthesized into ketone bodies. These chemical compounds have a positive effect on several brain disorders, most notably – epilepsy & Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia.)
10. Stabilize Thyroid and Blood sugar
MCTs in coconut oil assist in the conversion of cholesterol into pregnenolone – one of the building blocks for synthesis of human hormones such as those responsible for healthy thyroid function. A daily serving of coconut oil can also help the body to use insulin more efficiently and stabilize blood-sugar levels.
***Remember that the statements in this article are not meant to substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your physician before altering any prescribed diet or prescribed treatment.***
Inspired from www.naturallivingideas.com, 10 Mind Blowing Reasons You Need Coconut Oil in Your Life
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The human body can make most of the types of fats it needs from other fats and raw materials. That isn't the case for omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fats. Your body cannot make these from scratch and you need to get them from foods. Some foods that are high in omega-3s are fish, nuts (especially walnuts), vegetable oils, flaxseed and leafy vegetables. So what makes omega-3s so special? They provide a starting point for the release of hormones that regulate blood clotting, the contraction and relaxation of arterial walls, and inflammation. Likely due to these effects, studies continue to show how omega-3 fats can prevent heart disease and stroke, can help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and play a protective role against cancers and other conditions. The strongest evidence of its benefits has to do with the prevention of heart disease, but more research continues to show a multitude of other benefits. Fish oil contains two omega-3 fatty acids called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). In the United States, our values of DHA and EPA are found to be much lower than those of countries with lower heart disease rates such as Japan. Living in the Midwest, it can be fairly expensive to maintain a diet high in fresh fish. Cold, deep water fish contain the highest amount of omega-3s, where as fish such as walleye, crappie and perch tend to have much lower amounts. If you know your diet lacks a strong quantity of omega-3s, taking a daily supplement will help you fill that void. Not only will this help keep your heart healthy, but will also give you all of the other health benefits these fats provide.
Also known as the "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D is important for building strong bones and teeth because it is necessary for the absorption of calcium. Not only does it help build and keep your bones strong, recent studies also show that it plays a major role in healthy cell development and helps keep your immune system strong. While you may think that being outside in the sun and drinking milk fortified with vitamin D is enough, it actually isn't. The problem is that most of us wear sun protection when we're outside and it blocks our vitamin D production. That's fine, because skin cancer is far scarier than having low levels of vitamin D, but if you want to get it from the sun your skin needs to be unprotected. Foods fortified with vitamin D even don't have the therapeutic levels we need. Living in a northern climate, I know the winters are brutal and there is no way to get the sun exposure needed during those chilly months. These reasons are why studies are showing that around 50% of the general population and estimates of 95% of the US senior citizens are deficient.
Getting your levels checked is relatively inexpensive and I recommend everyone at least consider it. If you find you are deficient, the best way to raise your levels naturally is from the sun. Fifteen minutes of exposed skin a day can go a long way to boosting your levels. Many of us work when the sun is at its peak, making this difficult to do on a daily basis. That's when supplementation comes in. Around 8,000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily can make up for those days or months you lack the proper sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is very important to our overall health and well-being. Making sure we maintain proper levels is key to not only strong, healthy bones, but also the prevention of chronic diseases.
Dr. Andy Johnson