While food has traditionally been regarded as a source of energy and building materials, recent studies have shown that food influences brain function. For example, consumption of sugary drinks can disrupt brain functions and affect memory. Diet sodas also contain high amounts of sugar. The artificial sweetener aspartame can disrupt sleep. Moreover, it has been linked to oxidative stress. The corresponding effects are discussed below. So, what is the right balance between food and health?
Heart disease accounts for one third of all deaths worldwide. According to a recent review of 26 studies, eating beans may reduce your risk for heart disease. Certain foods may affect blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides. Some types of fruits and vegetables may also reduce inflammation – two risk factors of heart disease. Leafy green vegetables, for instance, contain a high amount of antioxidants, vitamin K, and other beneficial nutrients. They also promote proper blood clotting.
To reduce your saturated fat intake, consider replacing meat with fish or nuts. Certain types of fish contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which lower blood fat levels. Those containing the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, and mackerel. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids are flaxseed, walnuts, and soybeans. Legumes and nuts are great low-fat sources of protein and contain no cholesterol. In addition, plant proteins can be substituted for meat to cut down on fat and increase your fiber intake.
Eating a healthy breakfast can improve your attention and short-term memory. Studies have shown that students who eat breakfast have better test scores than students who don’t. High-fiber and dairy food are among the best brain-fueling foods. Be aware, however, that high-calorie and high-carb breakfasts may hinder concentration. If you are unsure of serving size, use measuring tools to measure the amount of each food group. However, make sure you include some protein as well.
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of minerals and vitamins. They are also low-calorie and high in dietary fiber. They may even help prevent cardiovascular disease. You can cut back on other foods with higher calorie content by eating more fruits and vegetables. Moreover, a balanced diet will also reduce the risk of obesity and other illnesses. So, make your daily meals colorful and filling. You’ll feel better and enjoy your life more!
Research has shown that fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure. Consuming tomatoes, for example, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Tomato-based products contain carotenoids, which can help protect against mouth and throat cancer. But more studies are needed to understand whether fruit and vegetable intake is linked to lower risk of cancer. Some studies have looked at the effects of individual fruits and vegetables on type 2 diabetes and other diseases. And the results of these studies are still mixed.