What are the best foods for a healthy brain, heart, and body?
We all know how brilliant swimming can be for the body. It helps build physical strength and even helps you work on keeping a healthy mind. But to fuel these amazing benefits, you need balance in the rest of your life. You need to sleep right so your body gets enough rest. You need to take a break every now and then. And you need to eat the right food to help you power through. If you want a healthy heart, brain, and body, here are some excellent food tips to follow.
A healthy heart
It’s important to look after your heart. In 2019, The Guardian reported UK heart disease fatalities are on the rise for the first time in 50 years. The number of people dying from heart and circulatory diseases before the age of 75 is rising, reaching 42,384 in 2017. Obesity is a partial cause of this, so eating right is important to protect your heart.
Swimming is a brilliant form of exercise and can help you reduce the chances of heart disease and other illnesses resulting from a poor diet. Eating the following foods can also help:
- Omega-3 - This is commonly found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and trout. If you’re not a fish lover, it’s also found in nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, or as a supplement you can buy from the supermarket. They can lower the risk of heart disease as well as depression, dementia, and arthritis.
- Leafy greens and vegetables like spinach and kale are known for their wealth of vitamin K which protects your arteries and promotes proper clotting in wounds.
- Whole grains are high in fibre which can help reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease.
A healthy brain
Our brain is the most important organ in our body and we should do our best to look after it physically and mentally. Some of the best foods to help improve cognitive function, including memory, are:
- Fatty fish - Just like our heart, Omega-3 does wonders for the brain. About 60% of your brain is made of fat, of which 50% is omega-3. It can help keep your nervous system in good condition.
- Coffee - You might be happy to know that your morning coffee doesn’t have to be bad news. Caffeine in coffee can help increase alertness, improve your mood, and sharpen concentration. Drinking coffee over the long term can also reduce the risk of neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, which might be due to the high concentration of anti-oxidants. However, drinking too much coffee - more than six cups per day - can lead to symptoms such as anxiety and restlessness.
A healthy body
A good combination of exercise and the right diet can help you build a strong, healthy body. Maintaining a healthy body isn’t so much about what you should eat, but eating the right things in the right amounts. You should:
- Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables so you can get the healthy vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need.
- Skip white grains for whole grains which contain much more fibre and more nutrition per gram.
- Cut down on the amount of sugar in your diet. Excessive sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, and a range of other diseases which impact your quality of life.
- Cut junk food to a minimum. It’s often filled with excessive amounts of salt, sugar, and saturated fat which can lead to obesity and other health issues, shortening your lifespan.
To stay healthy, it’s good to eat a varied diet, allowing you to access the huge array of nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. When you combine great eating habits with exercise, you’re well on your way to living a healthy lifestyle.
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