We’ve all heard that certain foods must be avoided if you have certain health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. But what if we start to think about the foods we CAN incorporate into our diet? Nutrition Expert Cami Morgan shares the nourishing foods that may help lower your risk for some of the most common chronic health conditions seen today.
Restrictive diets naturally give us negative feelings, and often makes you crave whatever you’re restricting even more. But when we start to think positively about the foods that actually make our bodies function better, we naturally have more energy and feel more positive.
That notion is even more important for those who are at high risk for chronic conditions. They need to focus on eating foods that not only nourish their bodies, but will help mitigate the risk of their specific health conditions.
Let’s find out which foods can help:
Foods that digest slower (higher fiber foods), do not release the carbohydrates into the blood stream as quickly. This can help to control blood sugar levels and may help to avoid pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Foods like whole grains, brown rice, beans, unrefined whole foods, fruits, and vegetables are excellent choices for increasing your fiber intake.
In general, foods that help to decrease inflammation throughout the body has been shown in studies to help control chronic conditions. Some of the best foods are turmeric found in curries (spice, supplement form or raw), blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, fatty fish like salmon cherries-and cherry juice, walnuts, tea-black or green.
For people at risk for high cholesterol, eating foods with high levels of antioxidants can help protect the walls of our arteries.
Blueberries, dark grapes, walnuts, dark green veggies, carrots, sweet potatoes, tea and strawberries are wonderful sources of antioxidants. Also eating more Omega-3 foods like salmon and walnuts can be beneficial as well.
If you have high triglycerides enjoying these foods may just help you to reduce the levels in your bloodstream, Omega-3’s like those found in salmon and walnuts, add whole fruits and vegetables to your diet as well as whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa).
High Blood Pressure
For high blood pressure, consuming foods high in potassium can really help lower your numbers. Foods such as beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas.
By eating foods rich in potassium it balances out the amount of sodium in the bloodstream, making it easier for your kidneys to control your blood pressure.
Controlling your weight can be difficult for anyone. In today’s society with so much temptation almost everywhere, it is nearly impossible. The mindset of adding healthy, nourishing foods can really help to control your weight through the way you eat.
When we make sure that we are getting in the healthy foods throughout the day, then it doesn’t leave much room for the foods that may not be as nutrient-dense and are empty calories. Making sure to eat high fiber foods with each meal is very helpful-foods like, beans, nuts, whole fruits and vegetables and whole grains. These fill you up and won’t leave you searching for food in an hour or two.
The more refined our diets become, the higher the risk becomes for being diagnosed with a chronic condition.
Food can be medicine for our body or it can be harmful. We make the decision multiple times a day on what to eat.
Make it whole and make it healthy!
Cami Morgan, RDN, CDE, LDN is a Chicago-based dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and health coach focused on providing those in need of health guidance with the advice and encouragement they need to live their healthiest lives.