When it comes to crafting an overall healthy life, several key factors emerge. Namely, diet, sleep, and exercise can have profound effects on longevity, organ health, and even energy levels throughout the day. If you can prioritize and master these elements, you are positioning yourself remarkably well for a long, healthy life.
Diet can be the trickiest (and most controversial) of these factors. Health trends change with each passing year, and many Americans are constantly searching for ways to lose weight quickly. While many diet gimmicks have faded away over the years, certain healthy foods have stood the test of time. Backed by decades of research, we can confidently identify several key groups that have far-reaching and long-term health benefits. Here is a list of top foods that could increase your quality of life.
Various seafoods such as salmon and trout are delicious options that come with numerous benefits. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help form new cell walls. Omega-3s are also associated with lower blood pressure and reduced plaque buildup in arteries, decreasing the chance of heart attack and stroke.
Fish like salmon are also high in iodine and protein to make this meal heart- and brain-healthy.
While olive oil must be enjoyed in moderation due to its high caloric content, it has numerous health benefits that can increase your quality of life. Olive oil is anti-inflammatory, which bodes well for the prevention of various long-term diseases. Many ailments and chronic conditions can be traced to persistent inflammation, so addressing this potential risk is critical. One study conducted on more than 7,000 patients found that a 10-gram increase in olive oil consumption per day correlates with a 7% decrease in early death.
Green, Leafy Vegetables
A meta-analysis of 13 studies found that regular consumption of dark, leafy greens lowered the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by nearly 16%. Leafy greens are also associated with increased mental clarity and a reduction in risk of age-related macular degeneration. The antioxidants present in kale, collard greens, and arugula also help protect your cells from free radicals and may help lower the risk of heart disease and even cancer.
A wide variety of nuts hold immense potential to increase quality of life. Walnuts, for example, reduce inflammation, lower the risk of cancer, and promote healthy aging. Almonds are loaded with essential nutrients such as Vitamin E and magnesium, as well as fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Get creative when it comes to incorporating nuts into your diet – there are dozens of attractive and healthy options, including macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, and even coconuts.
Berries are some of the more popular healthy foods due to their sweet and tart flavor profile, small size, and beautiful color. Blueberries are powerful sources of antioxidants, and strawberries are packed with Vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. The vitamins and minerals present in berries not only help maintain energy and promote strength, but are also associated with improved memory and slowed mental decline.
Plant-based diets are a great way to mitigate inflammation in your body, but it can be difficult to get the recommended amount of protein without some intentionality. Legumes are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Beans also contain healthy-aging nutrients that reduce the risk of premature death.
Whenever you make dietary changes, you should consult with a primary care physician near you. Your family care doctor will be able to advise on best practices for elimination diets, testing for allergies, and other food-related considerations.
Prioritize Your Health with Richfield Medical Group
Work with a primary care physician who has your overall health in mind. Our family care doctors use a patient-first approach, dedicated to meeting your family’s health care needs with effective and convenient treatments. We are happy to help you devise a diet plan that fits your needs and strives towards your goals.
If you’re searching for a primary care physician in the Twin Cities, our team of providers is here for you. Whether you need an annual checkup, a same-day appointment, chronic symptom management, or other family services, we can help. Schedule an appointment to start living a healthier life.