I’ll bet that many of you are not aware that March is National
Nutrition Month. What better time to reaffirm your fading New
Year’s resolutions and take an active role in improving your
As you continue to gain knowledge about what
you should, and should not, put into your
body, more people are coming to realize that
the quality of food; especially a large variety of fruits and
vegetables, is necessary, not only to achieve great health, but
to actually slow down the aging process! Chronic inflammation is
a major factor in debilitating diseases, and persistent
inflammation is frequently linked with cardiovascular disease,
cancer, diabetes, aging and autoimmune diseases such as asthma,
lupus and arthritis. Well guess what? Fruits and vegetables not
only reduce inflammation, but they help prevent diseases such as
cancer and heart disease. Dr. David Bjerklie, M.D. is quoted as
saying: “The news isn’t that fruits and vegetables are good for
you. It’s that they are so good for you that they could save your
There are many reasons why vegetables are vital in your diet.
Vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, which attack the
cells that cause the body to decay, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips
and Brussels sprouts are especially helpful in fighting toxins
and cancer. They have a high concentration of both antioxidants
and sulfur, which provide your body with energy and keep your
skin healthy. Eating these, and all vegetables raw, or just
lightly cooked, enhances their protective properties, thereby
making them even more effective!
Next we’ll look at fruit. Fruits, such as avocados, are full of
monounsaturated fat, which is believed to help reduce levels of
bad cholesterol in our bodies. Avocados are high in potassium,
which decreases fluid retention, high blood pressure and the risk
of stroke. They also contain a high level of Vitamin E, which
among other things, is thought to prevent skin aging. They may
also be helpful in reducing the hot flashes associated with
menopause. Lastly, avocados are rich in folate, which is thought
to reduce the risk of heart attacks, as well as antioxidants,
which once again protects your body from free radicals, thereby
keeping your organs and tissues healthy. Also,
let’s not forget the importance of adding berries to your diet.
Berries, especially the dark ones, such as blueberries,
blackberries, black currants and black grapes are rich in
antioxidants. They also help the body maintain good balance,
coordination and short term memory.
Fish should also be added to your regular diet. Certain types of
fish are high in the ever important Omega-3 fatty acids. These
acids are not only good for your skin (preventing dryness and
eczema, while promoting firmness and elasticity), but they have
been proven to improve one’s moods and mental capacities. Like
fruits and vegetables, they also contain antioxidant properties,
which as stated earlier, help ward off chronic inflammation,
which can lead to all sorts of health complications. Two popular
fish that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids are salmon and tuna.
Lastly, let’s talk about the importance of having nuts in your
diet. Yes, they are high in calories, but you do not need to eat
a lot of them to reap their benefits, which include protein,
fiber and crucial minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc and
magnesium. They are known to be good for both digestive and
immune systems, they help to fight cancer, and as a bonus, the
oils are good for your skin! They are high in Omega-3 fatty
acids, which help keep both your brain and our body healthy. Some
of the best types of nuts are almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts,
Brazil nuts, macadamias and pistachios.
So what are you waiting for? Spring, the time of new beginnings,
is just around the corner, so begin to take control of your life
by being proactive with what you eat. Reap the countless benefits
good nutrition provides, and live a long, healthy life!