Buckle up! 2016 is shaping up to be a year even more intensely focused on health. January’s news is perennially populated with diet, fit tips, and life hacks that will set you on your way. Of course, there will also be some (a lot) misinformation and hard-to-follow diet rules. To balance that, I have a few tried and true, non-sexy, boring but easy to comprehend food truths to sort fact from fiction as well as a 5 truths about health to keep you strong in 2016.
5 Truths About Health to Keep You Strong
Drop the Fat
Last year in Sweden, it was (re)discovered that there is no fit fat. The belief that you can have a high body mass index and still be “fit” has been put to rest. Fitness has a purpose, which is to help us lead a long and healthy life with fewer incidence of lifestyle-driven diseases and sudden death. The study discovered that the risk of death was actually higher in a fit obese person than an unfit normal weight person. Being overweight has many critical downsides and relates to a variety of other stressors on the body. So, yes, you still have to get the weight under control even if you can run a 5 k.
The healthiest diet is one you will stick to. Anything extra you do to drop a few pounds is only good if it’s sustainable. There is no one size fits all way to consume a healthy diet, but one that isn’t even on most people’s radar and consistently ranks as #1 in health studies is the DASH diet. It was created as the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (which is high blood pressure), but it simply a common sense, simple way to enjoy food. It’s similar to the Mediterranean way of eating; it’s based on vegetables and whole grains with a focus on nuts, seeds, and small, if any, amounts of meat.
Nuts and Seeds
The fuel that often gets overlooked might be for the birds, but it’s great for people too. Nuts and seeds not only boost protein and fibre in any meal, they also pack the best vitamin and mineral punch per spoonful. Try products like Q’ia which is a vegan, non-GMO superfood enhancer for anything from salad to breakfast in one sprinkle. And speaking of breakfast, studies still indicate that you want that meal to contain protein. Croissant and donut = bad; eggs and whole grain cereals with yogurt, milk or nuts = good.
Coffee is Good
Whether it’s green coffee beans or ones roasted by a talented barista, coffee gets the healthy thumbs up in study after study. From helping to clean up your liver to mitigating the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s or diabetes, the conclusion is you don’t have to give up the cup. There is a catch, though. Organic is best, as it preserves the anti-oxidant power, cream and sugar are no-no’s for their detrimental effects on your waistline, and you can only drink as much as your nerves and a good night’s sleep will allow. I advise at least one espresso per day along with a good dose of laughter and truth with a dear friend as the prescription for managing stress.
Dark Green Vegetables
Nitrates are not a dirty word when they come from the soil. These organic compounds are found in dark leafy green vegetables and study after study shows that when you eat more high nitrate foods, you lower your blood pressure immediately. Lowering blood pressure is the universal thing you can do to prevent the risk of stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, erectile dysfunction, memory loss, fluid in the lungs, and peripheral artery disease. That’s a lot of payback for eating green!
Let’s make this simple! Follow this easy recipe for Vegetarian Breakfast Hash that pulls it all together with kale, nuts, and seeds to go with your fried eggs. Have a cup of coffee and we have it covered!