From high blood pressure and diabetes to depression and cancer, food could be the answer for many of our illnesses. After all, having the right diet is the first step to regain control over our health and wellness.
High Blood Pressure
Once diagnosed of having hypertension, a person undergoes several treatments including intake of anti-hypertensive medications. While it’s mandatory to have the medicines prescribed by the doctor, maintaining a proper diet is equally important and one of the best ways to keep blood pressure under control. Several studies have proved that when a person having high pressure consumes food that is high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and fibre, blood pressure is controlled to a large extent provided these essential nutrients are part of one’s diet. Cutting down the intake of processed foods, cold cuts, red meat, and salt also help to reduce blood pressure to a large extent. Foods containing anti-oxidants, whole grains and fatty acids could lower blood pressure. Include spinach, bananas, whole grain cereal and nuts in your diet as they are rich in potassium and magnesium and can reduce high BP. Also try to include vegetables like celery, gourd, cucumber, garlic, green coriander, and parsley for their diuretic effect. Go for green and herbal teas. Eating flax seed is also an excellent way to reduce your levels. Add 3tbsp of it every day to your salad and lower blood pressure naturally.
Should Eat: Leafy green vegetables, berries, beetroot, bananas, kiwi, broccoli, quinoa, and avocado.
Blame it on your genes, on your lifestyle or diet but it is true that diabetes is perpetually on the rise and once detected while you start with your medications you must know that eating right can successfully manage your diabetes. A healthy diabetic diet is about having more plant foods and cutting back on refined carbohydrates and sugars. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits, whole grain products and low in refined sugars and carbohydrates is a great way to control your blood sugars. Avoid white rice or white flour, white bread, French fries, canned vegetables and fruits, jams and jellies, sauces, and sugary syrups. In short go for high-nutrient, low glycemic load (GL) foods to prevent diabetes. Consult a dietician for a meal plan that suits your schedule and the medicines because apart from knowing about the right foods to eat, it is also essential to know when to eat and the portion sizes. Moderation is the key and anything in excess can have harmful effect on one’s health.
Should Eat: Fresh fruits and vegetables, broccoli, beans, lettuce, walnuts, dark chocolates, asparagus, artichoke, mushroom, eggplant, and pepper.
Anyone can get into depression when the experiences of sadness, grief, anguish, and hopelessness becomes overwhelming and one finds it extremely difficult to deal with it. A person undergoing depression has chronic tiredness, insomnia or excessive sleeping, poor energy, weight loss or weight gain, and loss of appetite or heavy eating. While there are many ways to beat depression which includes strictly following all that’s prescribed by the doctor, eating the right food too can help in many ways. While it is convenient to grab some comfort foods when one is feeling low it doesn’t help in the long run. Wise food choices help in dealing with depression in a better way. It is very important to cut out processed foods. People who eat fresh foods have much lower rates of depression.
Should Eat: Brown rice, cabbage, nuts, fish oil, and those rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, dark leafy vegetables, walnut, apricots, meat, fish, eggs, lentils, asparagus, chamomile tea, and green tea.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund more than one-third of the most common cancers can be preventable through simple lifestyle changes and changing our diet. While food just cannot prevent its onset, the essential nutrients certainly protect us from the disease. According to Richard Béliveau, PhD, chair in the prevention and treatment of cancer at the University of Québec at Montreal and author of Foods to Fight Cancer, “All the studies on cancer and nutrition point to eating plant-based foods for their phytonutrients and other special compounds.” So one should aim for five to nine daily servings of all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Also one should be wary of the cancer-causing foods especially the ones with food additives and chemicals. Avoid eating sugary snacks or ingredients such as, high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, sucrose, and bleached flour. Processed meats, hot dogs, and any other meat that are preserved with edible chemicals are harmful in the long run. According to The Cancer Prevention Coalition, an organisation based in Chicago that seeks to increase people’s knowledge of the wide range of avoidable causes of cancer, states that children should not eat more than 12 hot dogs per month because of the risk of cancer. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition few years back showed a correlation between increased intake in foods with a high glycemic index and breast cancer. Similarly artificial sweetener and high animal fat should be avoided as much as possible. Chia seeds, turmeric, red cabbage, Shiitake mushrooms are some of the foods that are in particular helpful for breast cancer prevention.
Should Eat: Tomatoes, beans, onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, berries, walnuts, dark green leafy vegetables, and whole grains.