Many of us try to make good food choices, incorporate some exercise into our weekly routines, and take vitamin and mineral supplements in a bid to live longer and healthier lives. But how many of us pay attention to the health of our internal organs – until something goes wrong? Even striving to do the right things can sometimes leave our organs at risk of disease or malfunction, especially if we have certain genetic predispositions. Knowing which foods to eat and which to avoid is essential to our good health.
It turns out that your mother was right about several things (as moms usually are). First, ditch the processed foods and avoid the fast food drive thru. Then remember to avoid the more obvious things like smoking, alcohol, and drugs. When it comes to food selection, choose organic whenever possible and take the best supplements you can find to fill in the nutritional gaps that inevitably occur in modern life.
Multiple studies have clearly shown organ problems developing from consuming a diet of genetically modified organisms (GMO). They can affect the heart, liver, kidneys, and much more. Avoiding them can be a challenge in the US where so many crops are genetically modified. Soy and corn are classic GMO examples and they are added to thousands of food products. Then there are cattle (for dairy and beef) and poultry that have genetic material introduced into them, like… soy and corn. It’s a complex challenge because some groups say certain GMO items are OK, while others don’t. The best advice is to avoid them. That includes using supplements that do not contain genetically modified ingredients.
Care for the Brain
While constituting only 2% of your body weight, your brain controls everything. Literally everything. This is one organ that requires the very best – for life. It requires specific nutrition to ensure healthy optimal function. Haven’t you noticed how eating certain foods affects your concentration, alertness, energy and coordination? What happens if you keep eating those foods throughout life?
Then there are harmful drugs – prescription or otherwise – that affect your brain. People with better diets, better fitness and active brains tend to have longer lives. Plant protein shakes and nature-based memory boost supplements can also help to keep your brain firing for longer.
Heart Health and Circulation
Your heart is an astonishing pump. The rest of your circulatory system (including your arteries, veins, lungs and kidneys) is a complex distribution network. Take care of these organs naturally because heart disease is the number 1 killer in the US, brought about by poor diet and lifestyle. Sure, there are medications, but the more drugs you ingest, the greater the risk can be to other organs. Besides, most doctors will tell you that the first line of defense against heart disease is a healthy diet. As you follow your doctor’s advice to eat well, take supplements for your heart’s health – especially omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and garlic.
Love Your Liver
Your liver performs over 500 functions essential to your health and life, the greatest of which is to filter out toxins. Therefore, it’s no stretch to grasp that a healthy liver is essential to a better life. Excess alcohol, processed food, preservatives, chemicals, food colorings, binders, fillers and drugs (both prescription and recreational) will make your liver work overtime to remove these toxic substances.
Take care of your liver by including fresh whole vegetables and fruits, fish, nuts, and seeds in your diet. When you grocery shop, select whole foods as often as possible. When purchasing something in a box or a bag or a can, read the ingredients and choose the product that has as few ingredients as possible. Then identify each item on that label. If you see a word in the ingredients list that is unknown to you, find out what it is and determine if you should be putting it into your body.
Take Care of Your Gut
The health of your gut (small and large intestine) is vital to your overall health. Digestive problems are linked to so many ailments, including compromised immunity and mental illness. That makes your stomach and your intestines vital organs in your overall health. They break down everything you put into your body and determine what your body will use and what it will reject. Autoimmune diseases can attack your organs and may indeed be caused by unhealthy organs, especially your GI tract.
Get your gut and immunity in shape by avoiding toxins and eating a gut-healthy diet. Fiber is essential, for a start. Avoid grains that contain gluten. A large percentage of the population is sensitive to gluten. Even for those who do not test as gluten sensitive, there is no nutritional value to gluten and it can damage the lining of the gut. Grains that contain gluten include wheat, barley (most beers), rye, triticale and oats.
Then be sure to take a supplement that’s formulated to enhance gut health. These supplements are often promoted as ‘gut repair’ or ‘gut support’. Make sure to get plenty of probiotics, vitamins B and E, and folate.
Your body is a specialized machine that requires maintenance to keep it in top condition. The purpose of food is to fuel your body. While it’s certainly okay to choose foods that taste good, it’s always best to make your meal selection based on providing the best fuel and aiding your body’s function and repair. No matter what your current level of health, you can start making choices today that will create a more energetic and healthy tomorrow!
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