While it certainly cannot hurt, eating an apple a day does not keep the doctor away. Reducing your risk of disease begins by living a healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy foods. This also involves eliminating or changing several aspects of your daily life. It really depends on your current type of lifestyle. To help you go beyond the apple a day, here are some things you can do to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk of disease.
Avoid Processed Foods
It’s easy to spot common processed foods, such as fast food, microwave meals, and prepackaged snacks. However, cold cuts, also known as lunch meat, are also considered processed food. Consuming these types of food puts your body at risk of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, alopecia, asthma, and eczema. The most common culprits that cause autoimmune disease are dietary salt intake and refined sugar. Additionally, genetically modified ingredients, as well as artificial colors and preservatives, play a major role in processed foods being unhealthy.
In today’s fast past environment, avoiding processed foods altogether is often difficult. However, you can still make wise choices for a healthy lifestyle. For example, lean, low-sodium turkey breast is much better for you than salami or bologna. Also, limit yourself to one or two slices, and don’t eat it every day. Moreover, make sure you read the nutritional information on all packages of processed food. Doing this helps you know the exact amount sodium and preservatives found in your food. For most people, the recommended allowance for salt intake is below 1500 mg per day. Knowing that one slice of bologna contains 300 mg of sodium helps you live a healthy lifestyle.
Another healthy choice includes incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. Additionally, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products also contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts are also very good for you. Check the labels for foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars. To live a healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk of disease, avoid processed foods completely.
If You Smoke, Stop
Everyone knows that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. This, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. Smoking also causes cancer anywhere in the body, including the esophagus, bladder, pancreas, cervix, kidney, liver, stomach, and colon – just to name a few. Furthermore, it causes respiratory diseases such as emphysema and COPD. Chronic bronchitis and strokes have been linked to smoking as well.
Not only does smoking harm your health, but also the health of anyone you smoke around, especially your family. In children, second-hand smoke is known to cause middle ear diseases. It is also known to cause respiratory infections, impaired lung function, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Quitting smoking will greatly improve the quality of your life, as well as the lives of your family members. Once you stop smoking, you might notice that you can breathe better. Other benefits include exercising longer with increased energy, renewed taste buds, and improved sense of smell. The challenge to stop smoking is often easier said than done. Don’t hesitate to speak with your physician if you need help quitting.
Put Down the Bottle
It is a well known fact that alcohol consumption causes liver cirrhosis. Unfortunately, that is not the only disease caused by alcohol consumption. It has been linked to numerous diseases over the years. Most people don’t realize that only a small percentage of the alcohol consumed is released through urine, sweat, or breathing. This means, the remaining alcohol is metabolized by your body. This is the cause of the negative effects of drinking. When alcohol enters the body, it then converts into acetaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. Chronic, heavy alcohol consumption also causes anemia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, hypertension, seizures, and pancreatitis. This is only the beginning of the havoc drinking alcohol wreaks on your body.
Recently, various reports have been made, that drinking alcohol in moderation, one drink per day for women and two for men, helps to improve heart health. While this sounds good and true, it is not the only way to improve heart health. Healthier alternatives to drinking alcohol do exist. These also improve heart health, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet and exercising for a healthy heart are backed by much more solid research.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Although not all diseases can be avoided, reducing your risk of disease by living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to combat them. At Avicenna Integrative Medicine, we are here to help. Combining mind, body, and spirit fusion to reach your wellness goals is our approach to helping you reach your wellness goals. Call us today at (770) 977-9300 to get healthy and stay that way.