I’ve always been a healthy eater, but since my husband was diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis three years ago, I’ve boosted it up a notch. Kale has become a main ingredient in our diet along with eliminating gluten. The result, I feel more energetic and less full. And it’s not the “coffee and candy” rush – it’s a consistent level of energy throughout the day.
While it’s true that every person has different dietary needs, there are some items that everyone can benefit from. I spoke with Clinical Nutritionist Loryn Galardi and asked her for the top 5.items everyone needs in their diet:
Every cell in our body depends on water. Water boosts energy levels, lessen headache pain by reducing restricted blood flow, helps flush toxins, decreases swelling and fluid retention by getting the lymphatic system moving and helps form new blood and bone cells. It lubricates joints, regulates metabolism, balances body temperature, ensures proper brain and nervous system function and keeps skin hydrated helping to increase elasticity, resulting in a younger looking YOU!
You’ve heard the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” right? Well even more true is that the more leafy greens you eat the more of the three major antioxidants you will get. Beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E are all serious immune system boosters and can help keep you healthy this winter. So keep the fridge and freezer stocked with spinach, kale, arugula, collards, and any other type of dark leafies that you enjoy. Eat them raw, steamed, sautéed, juiced, in a soup or a stir fry. Get creative.
Remember the Chia Pet? These are the same seeds that grow in that crazy toy. But these seeds can help you stay regular. If you aren’t moving your bowels once a day and if it’s not a comfortable experience, then you are constipated and that’s unhealthy. Chia seeds are high in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, don’t need to be ground, don’t need to be refrigerated, have virtually no taste and can help keep you feeling full for hours while keeping you regular! Add them to smoothies, yogurt, salads, soups – just about anything.
Beans may just be the perfect protein source! Since beans contain protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fiber, are high in water and low in sugar, they help keep you feeling fuller, faster and longer. Vegan, vegetarians, and all the rest of us can reap the benefits from beans. The Department of Agriculture measured the antioxidant capacity of more than 100 common foods with red beans, red kidney beans, and pinto beans making the top FOUR! Black beans, navy beans, and black-eyed peas got top-40 status. Choose canned or dried as snacks, in soups, chili, salads and more.
Go through your spice cabinet and keep this one front and center. Cinnamon can improve glucose and insulin levels and can lower triglycerides and total cholesterol. It is an anti inflammatory that can help stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, and yeast. The cinnaldehyde in cinnamon helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets. Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine to provide relief of a cold or flu, especially when mixed in a tea with some fresh ginger. Add cinnamon to everything from oatmeal and cereal to pasta sauce and chili.
Creating a healthier AND happier you simply requires small steps for your mind, body and spirit.