In Western society, we often treat symptoms and acute conditions with medications and prescriptions when it comes to healthcare, instead of focusing on preventative medicine. But it’s important to do what you can to take care of your body and mind, especially as you get older.
A holistic approach to healthcare involves a heavy emphasis on healthy eating habits. Eating a diet of high-quality organic foods can help you feel better mentally and can even help prevent chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.
Holistic wellness and nutrition goes far beyond taking a daily multivitamin (although that is a great step to take, too) and requires you to take a look at your daily routine and how you can create positive eating and wellness habits to improve your health.
It’s even better if you can develop a cooperative approach with your healthcare providers to work toward wellness together by eating healthily. Something as simple as eating organic vegetables and avoiding junk food can go a long way in improving your overall health and vitality.
Learning about the negative effects of unhealthy food on your body, becoming aware of the importance of preventative healthcare, and having some healthy meal planning tips up your sleeve will set you up for success so your senior years can be as healthy and enjoyable as possible.
The Negative Effects of Unhealthy Food
Learning about the negative effects unhealthy food has on your body will help motivate you to avoid it. Sugar is a drug, after all, and in many ways the food system is designed to hook people into eating low-quality, unhealthy meals and snacks. Unfortunately, the consequences of doing so are dire.
According to the Food Research & Action Center, “In general, poor dietary intake (e.g., excess saturated or trans fat intake, a diet low in fruits and vegetables) has been linked to a number of diseases and chronic conditions, including…cardiovascular disease; type 2 diabetes; obesity; some types of cancer; and osteoporosis.”
It’s true that food can have a hugely negative impact on your health, but when you make good choices, food can be a natural medicine. It can help you thrive and live a long and happy life. If you never thought that eating could be a form of health care, think again. Each time you pick up a fork, you have a chance to give your body a gift.
The Importance of Preventative Healthcare
Eating well is a great form of preventative healthcare — especially when you involve your healthcare providers so they can help you out along the way and guide you, whether you’re deciding what type of meat to eat or which nutrition drink to enjoy.
“Preventive medicine is holistic health care that is focused on educating people about securing desirable health outcomes as they grow older,” experts at Regis College have stated. “It promotes building good habits that make a healthy lifestyle much easier to obtain and maintain. Some examples include making intelligent eating choices; sleeping properly; getting regular exercise; and especially avoiding adverse substances like tobacco, alcohol, and harmful narcotics.”
The key here is focusing on lifestyle habits that can make you healthier over the long run. Healthcare professionals can work with you to integrate healthy eating habits into your life and soon you won’t remember living any other way.
Some hospitals are taking this idea of healthy eating to heart and doing away with the stereotypical gross hospital food in favor of local, freshly prepared, healthy meals. According to Ohio University, “When patients see what healthy eating looks and feels like in practice, it not only helps them heal, but can encourage them to change their habits outside of the hospital.”
It’s clear that healthy eating is the epitome of preventative healthcare. Good nutrition plays a huge role in holistic health, so developing good eating habits at home is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Healthy Meal Planning
There are many reasons to not eat healthy. It takes more time to prepare meals. Healthy, organic foods are often more expensive. But what costs money and time now will help you down the road when you’re living a longer, healthier, and happier life because you made good food choices.
Eating healthy, organic food doesn’t have to break the bank. If you want to eat organic on a budget, try visiting your local farmers market to get lower prices on produce, shopping in the bulk section at the grocery store, and focusing on eating full meals instead scrounging for unhealthy snacks throughout the day.
Start with just a few vegetable-heavy recipes that you enjoy and make big batches that you can enjoy throughout the week. For busy days when you just need to have breakfast on the go, then you know you’ll have healthy things for lunch and dinner when you get home.
Try eating vegetables that are in season, too. They’ll taste better, be cheaper, and be better for your health. You should also be sure to drink plenty of water and consider taking a daily probiotic to help with health and digestion.
These healthy daily eating and drinking habits can have you feeling better in no time. Once you learn about the consequences of eating junk food, understanding how preventative medicine and care can improve your health, and feel comfortable with healthy meal planning, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a life of vitality for years to come.