The food you eat can affect your quality of life, health and your risk for certain diseases. Besides eating healthier foods, you may need to change some of your daily habits and activities, but that doesn’t mean it’s is about drastic changes, strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods or the lifestyle you love.
It’s called very simply “Living Healthy Lifestyle” which means enjoying a life-long healthy life. Living Healthy is more about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.
That’s how we define a healthy lifestyle, as confirmed in a Harvard Health “9 tips to boost your energy — naturally” study. According to a Mayo Clinic 2016 “What Does It Mean To Eat Clean?” study, the cornerstone of a healthy diet for healthy living should be to replace processed food, fast foods, and convenience foods, opting for more fresh natural ingredients whenever possible and cooking at home. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.
You’ll eat fewer calories and avoid chemical additives, added sugar and sodium, and unhealthy saturated fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety, found a 2017 American Heart Association (AHA) “The American Heart Association Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations” research.
Eating food such as found in the Mediterranean Diet, which has recently been chosen for the 3rd year in a row as the Best #1 Diet by the US. News and World Report, that is as close as possible to the way nature made them can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.
You also may need to change some things in your environment like installing a water purification system or air pollution equipment. Your environment includes everything around you, like your home or the place you work. You don’t need to make huge changes to eat healthier either.
You will probably want to add some physical activity to your daily routine like walking out in nature, as well. You don’t have to change your habits all at the same time. It’s best to set small goals and change your habits a little bit at a time. Keeping your goals modest can help you achieve more in the long term without feeling deprived or overwhelmed by a major diet overhaul, that most likely, won’t be successful, per a 2019 CDC “Improving Your Eating Habits” study. Over time, small changes can make a big difference in your health.
This is the way Wikipedia describes healthy eating or a healthy diet…….
a diet that helps to maintain or improve overall health. A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition, fluid, macronutrients, micronutrients, and adequate calories.
For a full description from Wikipedia, read it here. If adopting a healthier lifestyle seem overwhelming, take heart, even small changes can have a big effect on how you feel and how you take care of yourself.
So, what exactly is physical health? There’s more than just eating to make you healthy, although eating the proper nutritious foods, plays a very big role in it. So, what are the heart and cardiovascular risk factors involved in eating the improper unhealthy foods?
How About Your Heart?
One of the most important tips in eating healthy is eating nutrient-dense foods that will enhance heart health. Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in both men and women, according to the 2020 CDC “Heart Disease Facts” survey. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, or 1 in every 4 deaths.
Heart disease is the leading global cause of death for both men and women, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030, determined a 2015 American Heart Association “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update” survey. However, heart attacks and strokes kill more women than men, than all cancers combined. Hypertension can be present with no symptoms, people can appear healthy and then suddenly suffer a heart attack or stroke, confirmed a 2018 Mayo Clinic “High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)” study.
The new 2017 blood pressure guidelines from The American Heart Association (AHA) and The American College of Cardiology, define normal BP as less than 130/80 mm Hg, elevated blood pressure, as systolic between 120 and 129, and diastolic over 80. Stage one Hypertension, as systolic, between 130 and 139, or diastolic, 80 and 89, and stage two hypertension, as systolic, at least 140, and diastolic at least 90.
The AHA recommends getting your blood pressure checked every visit to your doctor, or at least once every two years, even if it’s lower than 120/80, because, remember, you can have hypertension without any symptoms and you may have conditions that could lead to a stroke.
The good news is that 80 percent of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases are preventable with a healthy lifestyle. A 2009 “Healthy Lifestyle Habits May Be Associated With Reduced Risk Of Chronic Disease” research published in JAMA Journal has confirmed that people who engage in the following four beneficial behaviors, have a 93 percent reduction rate in diabetes, 81 percent reduced rate in heart attack, 50 percent in stroke, 36 percent in autoimmune disorders, 93 percent less depression, and 74 percent less stress.
Engage in a minimum 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week, per the U.S. Health and Human Services 2008 “Physical Activity Guidelines For Americans” release; eat 5 fresh fruits and veggies every day, per a National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2018 “Why 5 A Day?” study; don’t smoke or use tobacco products, per a 2020 CDC “Smoking and Tobacco Use” study; and limit your weight, per a 2020 CDC “Healthy Weight” study. Now, that’s very easy and simple actions you can take.
So Move, Get Active and Live Healthy
If getting physical activity sounds difficult, relax, you don’t have to join a gym. A simple thirty minute walk each day, particularly outside, is effective and it doesn’t have to be all at once. Squeeze in two fifteen-minute walks before and after work, and you will doing your body some good.
To reiterate the point, the CDC, in their Physical Activity Guidelines 2nd Edition, recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobics exercise a week for adults to protect bones from osteoporosis. High impact, weight-bearing exercise such as walking, or using an ellipical machine also helps. That seems simple enough, don’t you think?
30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and even take Saturday and Sunday off. But, would it surprise you to learn, according to a 2017 CDC “Exercise or Physical Activity” survey, only 53.3 percent of American adults aged 18 and over who met the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity, and only 23.2 percent met it for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.
Look, we know, exercise is work and it’s hard to motivate oneself to routinely do it. But, taking a short walk out on a nature trail or around a small lake, will do wonders, and surprisingly more fun and interesting than first imagined. Not only will you be benefitting from the physical activity, but also benefitting from just being out in nature.
Did you know, just being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings? Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones, found a 2018 AHA “Spend Time in Nature to Reduce Stress and Anxiety” research. All the same things you’re trying accomplish with exercising, right? The NIH has done numerous studies of the healing benefits of surrounding yourself in nature. Here are a few examples:
A 2017 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (NIH) study found that beyond experiences of the five senses, evidence is emerging for other non-visual pathways for nature experiences to be effective.
These include ingestion or inhalation of phytoncides, per a 2010 Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine (NIH) study andnegative ions and microbes, per a 2018 International Journal of Molecular Sciences (NIH) study. That’s what being fully immersed in nature really means!
“How does nature exposure make people healthier?” Evidence for the role of impulsivity and expanded space perception and nature exposure has been linked to a plethora of health benefits, is covered by the NIH-reviewed 2018 PLOS|ONE study. Quoting the study….
This study lends further credence to the hypothesis that nature exposure plays a critical role in human health and wellbeing.
“What are the Benefits of Interacting with Nature?” Overall, this 2013 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (NIH) literature review has documented a broad range of the benefits of interacting with nature. It has been shown that interactions with nature can deliver a range of psychological well-being, cognitive, physiological, social, tangible and spiritual benefits and that access to green space and natural areas is important for facilitating activities that are beneficial for human well-being.
“Bratman Describes Science of Nature’s Effects on Psychological Health,” in an NIH Record review. According to Bratman, nature benefits are in three domains, mental health, physical health and general subjective well-being. A few examples include reduced stress, better sleep, improved mental health, reduced diabetes and obesity and improved immune function and general health. Nature contact also holds promise as an aid for people trying to make healthier lifestyle changes.
What About Your Eating?
Some people are well-informed about good nutrition, but, it seems, most are not, or don’t understand the importance of good nutrition. According to a 2017 International Journal of Exercise Science (NIH) study, overeating and indulging in high-fat or high-carbohydrate foods that can make you feel tired after eating them, should be a clear sign that they aren’t good for you, but many people continue to indulge in them any way.
According to a 2018 American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (NIH) study, there are hidden dangers in eating fast and processed foods. Processed and fast foods are also high in salt.
The fast and processed food manufacturers don’t just put salt on the French fries and on the meat, they also put salt in the French fry batter and inside the chopped meat. They also include high fructose corn syrup in most foods. The added fat, sugar, and salt create a taste that makes people crave these foods, eventually override hunger regulation, encouraging you to eat for pleasure rather than hunger, as confirmed in a 2014 Advanced Nutrition (NIH) study; resulting in a sensation that many describe as an addiction, per a 2011 Current Drug Abuse Review (NIH) study. Both sugar and salt intake increase stroke risk, especially when consumed daily for years.
Additionally, what is generally not appreciated is that the regular consumption of artificially sweetened soda creates more of a stroke risk, determined a 2012 Harvard Health “Is There a Link Between Diet Soda and Heart Disease?” study. High salt does not merely raise blood pressure; it also causes microvascular hemorrhaging, which damages the interior walls of the blood vessels in the brain and increases permeability and the propensity for hemorrhagic stroke, determined a 2017 ResearchGate study published in the Journal of Anesthesiology. Taking a few minutes to rethink your eating strategy, can make a huge impact on your health in a positive way.
In these modern times, bad habits and convenience dictate most of out food choices. All detrimental to your health, frequent eating fast foods, because they taste so darn good and they’re addictive and because of time restraints and convenience, using precooked foods, or prepackaged meals, or processed foods, are over-used and abused in our 24-7 world.
With a little planning, you can change the bad habits in a Living Healthy Lifestyle because, remember, as a rule of thumb, you can make or break a habit on average in 66 days, according to 2009 PsychCentral “Need to Form a New Habit? Give Yourself At Least 66 Days” study. Make a list of what you eat often for convenience, and then make a commitment to substitute healthier options gradually, as you eliminate unhealthy processed and fast foods one at a time. Do it gradually and you’ll be more successful, because you’re breaking a really bad addictive habit.
Healthier options should include fresh, as humanly possible, certified organic and GMO-free, lean meats, poultry, eggs, and dairy, cold-water fish, fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, edible flower seeds, herbs, and spices, some naturally fermented foods, and whole grains and complex carbohydrates, as found in the Mediterranean Diet, confirmed in this article “What Is the Best Diet 2020”.
The importance of fresh can’t be overstated. The less time involved from the farmer’s field to your table the better, because foods lose their nutritional value, as much as 50 percent over time, according to a University of California-Davis 2007 “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture” study.
This loss occurs, particularly, if the’re transported in refrigirated vehicles over weeks at a time, which most that are available to the population are. It’s also worth repeating, that you purchase only certified organically-grown, non-GMO foods, too. According to a 2010 Alternative Medical Review (NIH) study, reviews of multiple studies show that organic varieties do provide significantly greater levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than non-organic varieties of the same foods.
While being higher in these nutrients, organic foods are also significantly lower in nitrates and pesticide residues, found a 2020 Mayo Clinic “Organic Foods: Are They Safer? More Nutritious?” research. In addition, with the exception of wheat, oats, and wine, organic foods typically provide greater levels of a number of important antioxidant phytochemicals (anthocyanins, flavonoids, and carotenoids).
A good practice also includes eating fewer, larger meals a day, and preparing and eating at least one nutritious well-balanced home-cooked meal a day at home with fresh natural ingredients, found a 2017 BMC International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (NIH) study.
Studies show, like this 2010 Elsevier one published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, that people who eat fewer larger meals have lower blood-glucose levels. Less frequent eating has been shown to improve satiety and reduce hunger compared to more frequent meals, per the 2012 PLOS|ONE (NIH) study.
It might be breakfest, because it is important to fuel your body early in the day, for the day ahead, and besides, studies like a 2014 Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study, have also shown that the body’s control of blood sugar levels is better in the morning.
It’s a known fact that people who skip breakfest, are likely to overeat during the day and are typically more obese, according to a 2012 Journal of the American College of Nutrition (NIH) study. Eating small healthy snacks, such as a handful of fresh raw almonds, mid-morning and mid-afternoon, will help substain your energy throughout the day. It’s much more than just eating nutritious foods, isn’t it? Get moving physically and eating fresh, nutritious foods, is a major part of the solution, though.
Eye On Good Nutrition
Let’s zero in on the specifics. Good nutrition is the science that interpretes the interaction of nutrients and other substances in all foods, in relationship to maintenance, growth, reproduction, health and disease, on a living organism.
A good nutritious well-balanced diet includes complex carbs (unrefined), lean proteins, fiber, healthy fats (unsaturated), essential fatty acids, amino acids, water, and micro nutrients, such as minerals, vitamins, and trace minerals. The U.S. Government Dietary Guidelines For 2015-2020 lists all of the types of foods you should eat and is a great reference point. Now to the specifics:
For meals eat fresh, organic, well-balanced nutrient-dense foods, such as grass-fed finished lean meats, fresh, organic, free-range finished poultry, grass-fed finished dairy and eggs (A); fresh cold-water or wild-caught fish and seafood (A); fresh organic fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, and edible flower seeds. (A)
You want to also include organic whole grains and complex carbohydrates, natural fermented foods, monounsaturated oils like extra virgin olive oil, fresh organic herbs and spices, and antioxidant drinks, infused water, naturally fermented red wine and beer, and fruit and veggie smoothies (A).
And, reward yourself with a piece of dark chocolate for a snack! Yes, that’s right, dark chocolate, not milk chocolate (A), found a 2017 Frontiers In Immunology (NIH) study.
Take these simple tips in eating healthy and implement all of them to boost your healthy nutrition and physical wellness:
- Substitute a fresh organic apple or some fresh organic carrot sticks for a unhealthy vending machine snack using the Australian Health Star Rating (HSR) system, per a 2018 BMC Public Health (NIH) study.
- Replace water or fruit-infused water for a sugar carbonated drink or diet drink. Studies, like a 2007 American Journal of Public Health (NIH) study shows these drinks are really unhealthy (drink minimun 8-8 ounce glasses of water a day).
- Reduce salt consumption by eating less frozen, processed, or packaged foods, and avoid adding salt to your cooked food. If you must have salt, you should use natural sea salt, according to the American Heart Association (AHA) 2018 “Sea Salt Versus Table Salt” study.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined white bread or white rice per a 2017 Mayo Clinic “Whole Grains: Hearty Options For A Healthy Diet” research.
- Per a 2018 Endocrinal Metabolism Immunology Disorders Drug Targets (NIH) study, use extra virgin olive oil for cooking in the form of cold-pressed olive oil to boost your high-density Lipo-proteins, or avocado oil.
- Avoid trans-fats or saturated fats by eating organic lean beef, or chicken without the skin, or wild-caught fish as per a 2015 Food and Nutrition Research study reviewed by the NIH.
- At parties or family gatherings, we’re all familiar with the 80-20 rule, eat 80 percent healthy foods, 20 percent pleasure foods, that’s a little to liberal. Make it 90-10 which is a little more restrictive, but you’re still able to indulge if you like. 2019 Currents Development In Nutrition (NIH) study agreed with an 80-20 approach oriented towards eating some pleasure foods to promote the consumption of healthy foods.
- Add 2 or more servings of anti-oxidant-rich fruits and 3 or more servings of veggies to your diet a day, according to a 2020 American Cancer Society “It’s Easy to Add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet” study.
- Always have some emergency high protein such as a bag of nuts or protein energy bars so you’re not tempted to eat junk.
- Supplement your diet with a natural Adaptogen (Adaptogens help your body to “adapt” to negative and harmful changes) Maca (A).
Get Rid Of Tobacco
Living Healthy and practicing good habits as eating healthy help you quit unhealthy ones, reducing stress and quitting smoking. The American Lung Association recommends swimming, jogging, brisk walking, and any activity you can involve yourself in, that will not allow you time or the temptation to light up.
Healthy snacks such as carrots, or plain popcorn, or fresh fruits, can be a good diversion when you want to light up.
Learning new ways, such as meditation or Yoga, to relieve stress can help curve the desire to smoke. When trying to quit, remember the “four D’s”, delay until the craving passes, distract yourself, drink water to beat cravings, and deep-breathing, to effectively reduce stress of early smoking cessation, which has worked for some but not others. The World Health Organization (WHO) has a 2014 published guide for tobacco users “to Quit”.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Evidence shows that alcohol intate should be one alcoholic beaverage a day for women, and two for men. Alcohol consumption is fine, and even considered healthy by most medical professionals, and per studies like a 2012 Nutrients (NIH) study, particularly if it’s naturally fermented wine or beer, as long as it is done in moderation.
According to the NIH study, regular and moderate wine consumption (one to two glasses a day) is associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, including colon, basal cell, ovarian, and prostate carcinoma. Moderate beer consumption has also been associated with these effects, but to a lesser degree, probably because of beer’s lower phenolic content.
Use the S.M.A.R.T. Principle
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound. Here is Wikipedia’s take on S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. Write your new realistic goals down and display them where you can see them and be reminded of them, every single day. Be clear and specific in your goals.
For examples: “Walk fifteen minutes each morning and night.” Start with small, realistic goals that you know you can achieve, and set specific time limits for each goal.
Adopt These Healthy Behaviors
It’s important that you sleep well. Adults need at least seven hours of restful sleep a night, even better if it’s eight. There are countless documented studies on sleep deprivation and the damage it does to human health. The NIH has several that come to mind: “Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency”, per a NIH “Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency” study
and The NIH 2013 “The Benefits of Slumber” study.
Insufficient or restless sleep can cause cortisol release, which plays havoc on many of your body functions, bringing unwanted stress, found a 2015 Sleep Science (NIH) study. Establish a regular bedtime routine, including, a few minutes of meditation, or reading a few pages in a book until you get sleepy, and turn off the TV or laptop at least one hour before you lay down to sleep.
Get up and be physically active. Population health studies, like this 2016 JAMA Cardiology (NIH) study reveil that if you sitting for more than 10 hours of sedimentary time a day, your cardiovascular risk really goes up. It’s recommended for every 20 minutes of sitting, stand up for 8 minutes and walk around for at least 2 minutes. Try walking meetings, instead of sitting meetings, or consider a standing at an adjustable desk.
Unwind when you feel stress. Taking a few minutes for stress relief when you start to feel tense, can make a big difference in your overal health and well being. Five deep breathes, a few minutes of meditation, or a short walk out in nature, may be all it takes, to get you grounded and re-centered, found a 2017 Frontiers in Psychology (NIH) study.
Natural Healing Plant Supplementation
As an added protection and assurance in Living Healthy Lifestyle, begin the practice of supplementing your diet daily, with an non-toxic, organically grown, natural Adaptogen, healing, nutritious plant food called Peruvian Maca (A).
The wide ranging benefits of Peruvian Maca are well documented, and are incredible, per this 2008 Menopause (NIH) study. High in nutritious value and well-balanced in primary nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and various plant compounds called polyphenols, P Maca is the perfect healthy choice to add to your daily diet.
The wide-ranging benefits are many, and include anti-oxidant properties, an anti-inflammatory properties, it balances the endrocrine System and all it’s hormones, including estrogen levels in women, boosts energy, endurance, and physical performance, improves memory, mood, and learning, reduces acute stress levels and symptoms of anxiety and depression, improves circulation and pH alkaline balance, improves libido, boosts fertility, reduces the symptoms of menopause, and provides a sense of overall health and well being.
Maca is a plant with great potential as an adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases,
P Maca is one of the few natural plant world wide that has the unique distinction of being recognized as an Adaptogen. Adaptogens are simply natural plant foods that have the ability to assist your body to naturally “adapt” to, and resist unhealthy conditions, such as stressors, inflammation, infections, illness, and disease. Are you ready to start some new healthier habits? Are you ready to take action, now, that you have learned what to do. It’s your choice. Take action!
If you still need more information on the wide-ranging, incredible, benefits of P Maca, please refer to the following reviews: “What Is In Maca Root” and “Maca Powder Health Benefits”. In these two reviews, you can also request your FREE e book copy of THE SECRET SCIENCE OF STAYING SLIM, SANE, AND SEXY ATER 40, and your FREE 7-night trial sample of JULVA.
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(A) Follow these links for more information, more documented studies, and purchase any of these incredible nutrient-dense foods that will return you to optimal health.