Are you still following your New Year's resolution? This year, eating healthier was tied for first amongst America’s Top New Year’s resolutions. If you made a New Year's resolution to cut out all sugar, trying out a new diet trend, or simply looking to lead a healthier lifestyle, this blog will provide insight how fruits and vegetables, also known as nature’s medicine, can play a large role.
Why should you choose whole fruits and vegetables? The benefits of heart-healthy, nutritional values found in whole fruits and vegetables are unrivaled! Consuming fruits regularly has many benefits to your body as they are natural sources of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are essential for your body to function at its highest potential. For example, fruits like raspberries, pears and bananas cranberries are rich in dietary fiber which helps improve your digestive tract[i]. Here is a useful list of high-fiber foods.
A study by Dr. Alicia McDonough at Keck School of Medicine of USC posited the cardiovascular benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables with higher levels of potassium is associated with lowering blood pressure[ii]. The findings suggest that public health efforts directed toward increasing consumption of potassium-rich natural foods would reduce blood pressure and thus, cardiovascular and kidney disease. Here is a helpful list of potassium-rich foods.
Focus on variety and nutritional value. Start with small changes to build a healthier eating style, as small changes over time are a more sustainable method of progression. The last thing you want to do is pile on a task that may seem unconquerable, which can be discouraging. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out your favorite foods, rather, it's quite the contrary. Choose foods and beverages you enjoy, all in moderation.
Other ways to lead a healthier lifestyle would be actively seeking to better yourself by making a conscious effort to seek positivity than negativity. Practicing this day in and day out, can lead to a life of happiness and prosperity. The same principle applies when making decisions regarding the food you eat. Research shows that a positive mood influences the choice between healthy versus indulgent foods through its impact on temporal construal. This temporal construal alters the weights people put on long-term health benefits versus short-term mood management benefits. A positive mood increases the salience of long-term goals such as healthy foods over indulgent foods[iii]. Our mental well-being is often overlooked in today’s instantaneous society, so enjoy living in the moment, because positivity radiates like the sun. Again, enjoy all life has to offer.
Now you are aware fruits and vegetables have infinite health benefits for all ages, promoting physical and emotional well-being. By choosing healthier alternatives such as fruits and vegetables, versus indulgent foods, these decisions overtime can create long-term health benefits, both mentally and physically. Implementing these actions can be difficult task to take on alone, so challenge your family, friends and loved ones to join you, and enjoy the endless benefits of this lifestyle together!
This month's blog is dedicated and in memory of two legends, bigger than life itself. Their impact on the community here in Los Angeles, in addition to the rest of the world, will forever be remembered. In loving memory of two heroes, Freida Caplan and Kobe Bryant.
[i] “How Much Fiber Is Found in Common Foods?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER)., 17 Nov. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948.
[ii] Journal Reference: Alicia A. McDonough, Luciana C. Veiras, Claire A. Guevara, Donna L. Ralph. Cardiovascular benefits associated with higher dietary K vs. lower dietary Na evidence from population and mechanistic studies. American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology And Metabolism, 2017; 312 (4): E348 DOI: https:/doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00453.2016
[iii] Gardner, Meryl P., et al. “Better Moods for Better Eating?: How Mood Influences Food Choice.” Wiley Online Library, © 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology, 25 Jan. 2014, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.jcps.2014.01.002.