Challenge yourself to eat healthier food
By Dr. Veita Bland
We all know by now and are hopefully following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations to wear a good mask, wash your hands and stand at least six feet from another person outside your household. I hope everyone is planning to get a COVID-19 vaccine as we all attempt to take good care of ourselves. There are other things we must do to take good care of ourselves.
One, we must make sure we are getting adequate amount of sleep. Just like anything else in life, not all sleep is equal. Restful and rejuvenating sleep is what we all need. Eliminating stimulants like caffeine will help achieve a good night’s rest.
Taking time to be mindful of life and how it is affecting you and your loved ones is another task in which we must pay attention to and address. Restful time in silence or reading or whatever helps you relax is a requirement for these pandemic days.
An extremely important task is to take stock of what you are eating. So many people have gained weight during this time. Mindless snacking with less activity is to blame. Take stock and look at what kinds of foods you are consuming.
At a time when good health is so particularly important, make sure that the fuel you place in your body has high nutritious quality. You are what you eat. Your body tries to work with whatever you eat. The nutrition from those foods helps the body repair itself and remain healthy. Are you choosing the best you can to fuel your body?
Studies have shown that a poor diet leads to por health and poor health outcomes. Think about eliminating things that could cause increased inflammation in the body. Sugar is the main contributor to inflammation followed by trans fats. Such substances are in pastries, cakes, muffins, French fries and margarine, cookies, and doughnuts. Refined carbohydrates such as those found in breads, chips, breakfast cereals and other processed foods often get broken down in the body to sugars. The consumption of processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, deli meats especially if smoked or have nitrates, should be curbed. Watch foods that have MSG (monosodium glutamate), such as soups and again, deli meats.
Consumption of foods containing gluten such as wheat, barley or rye should be curbed. Limit the use of sweeteners and sugar free foods. Artificial sweeteners can increase inflammation. Foods that contain milk may cause bloating of the stomach. Watch vegetable oils and seed oils that contain Omega 6. Omega 3 oils are better for you and can be found in salmon or other fatty fishes. Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful and causes the liver’s detoxifying ability to over work. Moderation is the key.
Try to seek out and eat vegetables and fruits that are farm raised. Avoid foods that have been processed. Fresh or frozen fruits and veggies are good for you. Fish, chicken, pork, turkey, and heart healthy beef are also good choices. Remember to drink plenty of water (3.7 liters for men, 2.7 liters for women per day). If you must use sweeteners try monk fruit.
Your body deserves the best fuel you can possibly give it. You will feel better and your body will perform better.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at email@example.com.