We’ve all heard the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But how many of us actually take it to heart? Over the last few centuries, the Western world has become obsessed with medical care. The American psychology toward health is increasingly becoming one of promoting the discovery of better cures, but if you look back 200 years, you’ll find the awareness that the best way to deal with illness is to not get sick in the first place.
Americans, of course, don’t like the idea that the best health will result from a change in our lifestyles, and we’re willing to pay trillions to keep our unhealthy habits intact. However, eating well is one of the most powerful ways to ensure your health and extend your lifespan. Even ominous killers like cancer can be battled with a diet change– and I don’t know about you, but I would certainly prefer that to chemotherapy! Here are some ideas for implementing into your life the most effective medicine you will ever take: healthy food.
Finding a cure for cancer has been the intent of scientists for generations, but it may turn out that the cure is far simpler than anyone ever expected. One study by Columbia College followed people’s diets for 18 years and concluded that diets high in animal protein are as likely to cause cancer as smoking. Replacing the animal protein in your diet with plant protein like beans and nuts is a powerful way to combat cancer right here, right now.
Even if you don’t take the most unhealthy foods out of your diet, reducing the portion sizes of each meal is a sneaky way to boost your health. Many studies have shown that consuming small but frequent meals is a healthier way to eat, and even red meat can be healthy if you limit your portion to 4 ounces. So next time you have the chance to eat that chocolate cake, just try a couple of bites!
Although there has been quite a hype around superfoods in recent years, many studies show that the compounds they contain really can work miracles for your health, reducing your risk for cancer and diminishing the impact of stress that the modern world causes the human body. Plus, many superfoods are delicious, like açaí, or are ingredients for enticing dishes, like ginger. Just remember not to overcook your superfoods: many studies show that they are most powerful raw!
While the American diet is overabundant in minerals like sodium, it’s deficient in nutrients like fatty acids and vitamin D. Fortunately, there’s a delicious way to make up for these deficiencies: fish! The fattiest (read: tastiest) fish are said to be the richest in both fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins. Fish are also often free of the chemicals that pollute land-based foods, so they can provide you with the nutrients you’re lacking while bypassing the toxins you’re exposed to every day.
The most common fatal diseases for Americans– heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes– are all correlated with eating too much fat, sugar, and animal products. We all know where those toxins come from: junk food! We’ve heard it many times that junk food is the worst thing we can consume, but maybe looking at it from a new perspective can help you really quit the stuff. Try staying away from junk food for just a month, and you’ll likely find that your body rejects the idea of consuming many types of junk food. Once you reach that point, staying away from at least some junk food will be much easier.