Do you want to live a long and healthful life? Your food choices have impacts on your health, the environment, and ethics. These choices can be a pathway to good health or diseases. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we want food conveniently. Think about the typical BLT sandwich. It may contain white bread, a piece of meat, bacon, a slice of cheese, a couple of leaves of lettuce, a couple of slices of tomatoes slathered in mayonnaise with a side of chips and pickle. This meal may fit perfectly into your busy schedule, align with your tight budget, and also satisfy your taste buds. People commonly choose meals like this without thinking about its impact on their health or planet’s health. Unhealthy meal choices are a big reason for health conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and also environmental disaster, due to the high greenhouse emission footprints from the animal meat. So, our cheap and ultra-processed convenient diet is making us sick and also destroying our environment. It does not have to be this way. We can start with these 7 dietary disciplines to increase our longevity and the planet’s longevity.
# 1: Start a kitchen garden!
A sustainable kitchen garden is beneficial because the earth does not have unlimited resources like water and healthy soil. Think about ways you can grow fruits and vegetables for you and your family, such as a hydroponic garden! This will not only will help the earth not have to overwork and deplete its resources to feed us, but will also save you money. Here is one of me favorite kitchen garden hacks to keep growing your green onions infinitely. If you decide to take it to the next level then check out these micro gardener tips.
#2: Include seafood in your diet!
The relationship and health benefits between seafood and Omega 3s have been well studied. Omega 3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties to protect your blood vessels from damage and protect your heart. If you are a fish eater, consuming it at least twice a week can give you a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids and heart benefits. For non-fish eaters, there are other plant-based sources of heart-healthy omega 3s like algae, seaweed, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.
#3: Swap out meat for beans and pulses!
Research shows that healthfully planned plant-based diets can be cost-effective, and promote health and wellness by regulating weight management, diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Adopting a plant-based diet and swapping out meat for beans and pulses, may reduce the risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It may also help reduce the number of medications needed to treat diet-related chronic health conditions. Also plan based diet will have less carbon emission in the environment.
#4: Diversify your grains!
Did you know that carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy and that 45%-65% of your calories should come from healthy carbohydrates in your diet? Add a variety of whole grains to your diet like barley, quinoa, buckwheat, bulgur, farro, and millet. Incorporating these grains will provide you with a boost of many health-promoting vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Most of these grains can be used interchangeably in many recipes. Try our quinoa recipe.
#5: Include 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables daily!
Vegetables and fruits provide many health-promoting nutrients. People who eat fruits and vegetables as a part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. MyPlate recommends 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables every day for adults on a 2000 general healthy diet.
#6: Include mushrooms in your diet!
Researchers continue to uncover how mushrooms can boost immunity and ward off many health conditions. Mushrooms are rich in immune-boosting nutrients like selenium, vitamin D, and B6. Mushrooms are the number one source of vitamin D in plants. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium and strengthen bones and teeth health. Selenium helps your body to make an antioxidant enzyme to prevent cell damage. Selenium also keeps your thyroid glands healthy for a healthy metabolism. Similarly, Vitamin B6 is needed for healthy blood cells.
#7: Include nuts and seeds in your diet!
Nuts and seeds are good sources of plant-based proteins, healthy fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals. Most of the fat from nuts and seeds comes from heart-healthy unsaturated fats. They contain a lot vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, as well as a collection of plant chemicals with potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Frequent nut consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer. Evidence from clinical trials has suggested nut consumption may improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels, insulin resistance, and oxidative stress. Read this article from today’s dietitian to learn more about the wonders of nuts and seeds.
Disclaimer: Please note that this page is not medical advice. This page can only be used as general guidance to a healthy and balanced diet for your health and wellness. This food does not ensure an adequate or inadequate and safe intake level for a single person. Please consult your health care provider and check out our Medical Nutrition Therapy services for the diet plan that is right for you!