National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month: Benefits of Eating Healthy

By Esperanza Poquiz Edited by Jul DeGeus

Eating healthy is something that we all know is important. After all, ‘you are what you eat’. Normally, eating healthy is motivated by the drive to get fit or to make sure our physical physique doesn’t alter. But did you know that living a healthy lifestyle can also help you stay in shape mentally? June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month and today we will share a few of the benefits that come with eating healthy:

Antioxidants

Fresh fruits and vegetables are known to contain a high dose of antioxidants. Antioxidants help keep the body’s heart, immune system and eyes healthy, all the while helping the brain with memory and mood disorders. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich with antioxidants include:

Blueberries

Apples

Spices and herbs, like cinnamon and oregano

Olive Oil

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins are essential in keeping your mind and body functioning. Vitamin E is known to protect the body from toxins and help reduce cognitive decline in diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Vitamin A plays an important role in bone growth, cell division and growth and building a healthy immune system. Iron and phytonutrients help your cells function and communicate which is essential in making red blood cells. Here are foods that are high in vitamins and minerals:

Almonds

Dark Leafy Greens, like kale and spinach

Sweet Potatoes

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in maintaining the body’s cognitive function, by helping with depression, ADHD, and dementia. They help prevent heart disease and can help with rheumatoid arthritis. Omega 3 fatty also essential in the early stages of baby development. Some foods include:

Walnuts

Avocados

Salmon

Coconut Oil

Caffeine

Often overlooked, caffeine is a healthy substance for the body and mind, when taken in moderation. It stimulates the brain, keeping you more focused and alert. Caffeine consumption can help boost your metabolism, assisting in the prevention of weight gain. It also reduces chronic inflammation and can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Get your caffeine kick through these treats:

Coffee

Dark Chocolate

Green Tea

Now that you are equipped with some benefits of eating healthy, the next time you go to reach for the chips, think again. Instead, try grabbing an apple or a handful of blueberries and walnuts. Planning meals like salmon cooked in coconut oil or spinach avocado salad dressed in olive oil will ensure you get the nutrients your body needs. Choose healthier foods to keep your body and mind functioning at its best.

Source:

“19 Best Brain Superfoods”. Retrieved May 29th, 2017 from, https://www.livestrong.com/blog/19-best-brain-superfoods/

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