Aging is an inevitable process that can be enjoyable with healthy lifestyle practices. Many problems can be associated with aging, such as osteoporosis, muscle weakness, heart disease, increase blood pressure and diabetes. However, these things can be prevented or managed with good self-care. That self-care should include healthy nutrition that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes as well as a regular exercise routine that includes daily stretching.
A British Medical Journal conducted a study following over 100,000 men and women for 20 years evaluating the effects of milk consumption. During the course of this study it was discovered that women who drank the most milk suffered the most hips fractures (1). Dairy products are packed with fat and cholesterol and may increase the risk of health problems ranging from asthma to some types of cancer. An elevated risk of prostate cancer incidence and mortality has been associated with dairy consumption and the same may be true for ovarian cancer (2). The reality is there is no reason for humans to consume cows’ milk, and there are many reasons to avoid it.
Did you know that poor sleeping patterns increases the risk of several chronic health conditions? According to sleep experts and other doctors, sleep apnea can increase daytime sleepiness, cognitive dysfunction, poor work performance, high blood pressure, abnormalities in glucose metabolism, anxiety, impotence, fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, and even one’s overall risk of death (1,2,3).
In recent years, more studies have shown a connection between insufficient sleep and Alzheimer’s (5,6). According to the study in JAMA Neurology, participants who experienced shorter periods of sleep and difficulty falling asleep showed an increase in the plaques associated with the disease (6).
For that reason, evidence reveals sleep to be very important for your overall health. Therefore, it is encouraged that you evaluate your sleeping patterns. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults 18-64 years old get seven to nine hours a night (4). When you do not get the rest your body needs, your immune system is compromised.
The COVID-19 has inspired concern about the condition of our immune systems. Therefore, this is a very important time to enlighten you of the facts about nutrition and its effects on the immune system. In other words, your nutritional choices will play a substantial role in the current state of your immune system. The more knowledge you have about what nutrients are important for your health the better choices you can make to keep yourself safe. We all are very aware of the health benefits of vegetables. However, do you know enough about their importance to want to choose whole food plants over processed pre-packaged products?
As a plant-based specialist, I have had the opportunity to study the impacts nutrition has on chronic health conditions that plague too many Americans today. I have also had the blessing of coaching many people to make significant lifestyle changes that saved their health. This has inspired a passion deep within me to tell as many people as I can that they can take control of their health by simply making nutrition changes. So, what can you do today that will strengthen your immune system?