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You Are What You Eat, So Eat These Foods for Optimal Health

You Are What You Eat, So Eat These Foods for Optimal Health

You’ve probably heard the infamous saying:

“You are what you eat.”

Essentially, this means that the foods and drinks you put in your body have a direct effect on your health and well-being. If you nourish your body with the right ‘fuel’, it will perform better. If you eat a lot of junk food and drink a lot of soda, your health will suffer.

That will not come as a shock to anyone.

But what may come as a shock is just how much of an impact the foods you eat can have on your health and happiness. So let’s explore this a bit further.

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You Are What You Eat: What the Research Says

A published in the journal Cell found that what you eat can have “major effects” on your body composition and physiology. Researchers conducted genetic tests using roundworms and found that various diets produced dramatically different results in gene expression. The researchers believe this evidence has serious implications for humans. One of the study authors, Albertha J.M. Walhout, PhD, stated that:

“A small amount of a ‘healthy’ food in an otherwise unhealthy diet could elicit a beneficial change in gene expression that could have profound physiological effects.”

How to Eat the Healthy Way

If you are what you eat, which would you rather be:

a) A highly processed, edible food-like substance comprised of 20+ chemicals?

b) A vegetable?

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The answer is quite obvious: a plant-heavy diet consisting of real, whole foods close to nature has a number of health benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables helps lower your risk of several types of chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

On the flip side, processed foods can be detrimental to your health. Trans fat, an ingredient commonly found in packaged processed foods to help make them more shelf-stable, has been directly associated with an increase in heart disease, and ultimately, death. And if you’re constantly loading up on fast food and restaurant meals, your health will suffer the consequences. What you eat has a direct correlation to how you look, feel, and sleep.

What Should You Eat?

The cool part is, it’s really not that hard to make a few changes and take control of your health.

Here are the foods you should be eating more of:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains

And if you’re a carnivore, eat lean sources of protein like fish, chicken, and turkey.

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The key is to start small: try eating one or two more servings of vegetables than you normally do this week. Eat a handful of nuts as a snack instead of potato chips. Cook yourself a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner instead of going out to eat. Here are some healthy recipes to get your started:

What a Day of Healthy Eating Looks Like

Breakfast:

3 scrambled egg whites with green onion, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese

1 piece of fruit

1 glass of water

Lunch:

Turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mustard on whole wheat or whole grain bread or pita

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2 cups romaine lettuce with olive oil and red wine vinegar

Snack:

1 cup of baby carrots with 3 tablespoons of hummus

Dinner:

Grilled salmon with olive oil and fresh herbs (like oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, basil)

1 sweet potato with salt and pepper

1 cup steamed broccoli with lemon juice

Dessert:

Strawberries and raspberries with Greek yogurt

So there you have it. Remember, you are what you eat. So fuel your body with the right foods, and it will reward you for making healthy choices. Healthy food leads to a healthy body, which, in turn, increases your odds of a longer, happier life.

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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