Most of us know what a balanced diet should look like, but most of us don’t follow it. It does not seem to matter that eating the right foods improves your health, enhances the skin, helps lower our risk of disease, and most importantly gives you energy to perform life’s daily functions. Some of our most beneficial foods are fruits and vegetables, due mainly to their hydrating qualities and low calories. Always remember that what you’re drinking is just as important as what you are eating. Drinking the proper amount of water is essential to overall health. And no, soda does not count. It not only doesn’t cleanse the palate, it quickly overloads the body with sugar. Most Americans do not know that some of our favorite foods and drinks actually harm the body more than they help, especially when consumed in excess; just as some super-foods recharge the body more than others.
FOODS THAT HARM
Caffeine is a major contributor to upsetting the body’s delicate balance. This comes in a variety of beverages and many other foods like chocolate. Excess caffeine not only overcharges your nervous system, it can inhibit calcium absorption, and even lead to osteoporosis in time.
Salt is another ingredient that often is used in excess, and is very detrimental to your health. High blood pressure is a major side effect of a high sodium diet and can easily be prevented by moving the salt shaker from the table.
Protein, when it comprises more than 25% of your diet, can not only raise your saturated fat levels, but is also very deleterious to your kidneys. Sugar is another ingredient found in just about anything. Excessive sugar intake leads to huge spikes in your insulin response system, and, over time, can lead to diabetes. Sugar also helps add loads of calories to foods and drinks, helping in packing on the pounds, especially if inactive. Alcohol is extremely harmful to all organs of the body when used in excess on a constant basis. Alcohol loves to punish your kidneys and liver, as well as strip vital nutrients from the body.
FOODS THAT HELP
There are some foods that are more beneficial to the body than others. These are called super-foods, and some of these foods even help you lose weight faster than most.
Blueberries top the list with lots of antioxidants, phytonutrients and cancer fighting properties. Who cares if your mouth turns purple. Eat your blueberries!
Wild caught salmon is very beneficial to the body providing high doses of Omega-3 fatty acids, lowering cholesterol and aiding in preventing inflammation.
Eggs are full of choline, which helps fat from being absorbed in the liver and helps in preventing memory loss.
Almonds contain high amounts of monounsaturated fats and fiber. Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats that aid in the reduction of body fat.
Nuts are high in calories, so moderation is the key to this super-food.
Broccoil is one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods. Broccoli contains a ton of hunger curbing fiber, as well as lots of antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging chemicals. Low-fat dairy products have been proven to give the body its recommended essential calcium, and helps burn fat.Think cottage cheese and you’ve got the picture. Beans are a great source of low fat protein and lots of fiber. Last, but not least is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is known for its heart health benefits, as well as anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
Good foods or bad, the choice is yours!
Andy Kress is a certified fitness trainer, yoga instructor and nutritional counselor in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
For more nutritional tips or inspired exercise routines, reach him at 954-789-3930 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org