Why Healthy?

By Staness Jonekos

Seven Reasons to Choose Healthy Foods that have Nothing to do with Weight Loss

Enjoying the sun

Enjoying the sun

What happened to eating healthy foods to prevent disease, promote healthy aging and lengthen life span, energize workouts, improve heart health and productivity?

1. Be more productive at work. A recent study done by researchers at Brigham Young University found the healthiest workers were also the most productive.

2. Improve your mood. Eat blackberries, blueberries, grapes, cherries and even dark chocolate to boost your mood. Green and black teas can lift your mood too, but managing stress is just as important. The stress hormone, cortisol, can lead to muscle breakdown and fat gain. Omega-3s can reduce the effect of stress on the brain, as well as magnesium and vitamin C. Eat fish, nuts, fruits, veggies and not too much dark chocolate.

3. Protect your heart. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, so taking care of the most important muscle in your body should be a priority. Avoid over eating processed meats like ham, bacon, dried or ground meat sausages, salami and other deli meats. Get off your tush and move – make your heart work for you. Try to get 30 minutes of activity a day. Use the stairs, meet your friends for a daily neighborhood walk, take a dance or yoga class, get up an hour earlier and get to the gym for a spin class.

4. Maximize your workouts. While you are being active, make sure you are properly fueled. Don’t workout hungry. A handful of almonds, or a protein shake and hour before working out will give you energy. Eat fiber-rich whole grains that fuel your cardio so your body does not break down muscle for fuel instead.

5. Prevent disease. 30 to 40 percent of all cancers are preventable with a healthy lifestyle and dietary changes, especially for breast cancer. Enjoying cruciferous veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage has been directly linked to lowering the risk of breast cancer.

6. Age slower. The largest organ in your body, skin, needs proper nourishment too. Antioxidants (berries), lycopene (found in tomatoes) and omega-3 fatty acids (salmon) can protect skin against premature aging. Sun protection is also important.

7. Live longer. A Mediterranean diet, like the Eat Like a Woman program, has been found to have a positive effect on life expectancy.

Choose food for your health and your waistline will thank you later.

Eat Like a Woman!