Four Foods to Eat NOW

"What foods are good for my health?"


This is one of the most common questions I receive.

It’s also a loaded one. Because with few exceptions, I don’t believe foods are innately good or bad.

A food with a certain nutritional profile can be excellent for you in certain amounts — too much or too little can be a problem.

However, there are four foods that we know can decrease your risk of early death. The bad news is these foods are notoriously under consumed by Americans.

Where does this information come from? It comes from a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

So which foods should you eat to decrease your risk of early death? Read on for the details!
 

Nuts and Seeds

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Low nut and seed consumption is associated with nearly 10 percent of cardiovascular deaths.

That's HUGE.

Especially considering nuts and seeds are delicious.

Aside from eating nuts and seeds plain, there are easy ways to infuse more into your diet.

  • Blend almond butter/cashew butter/sunflower butter into your smoothies
  • Sprinkle ground flaxseed on your steel cut oats
  • Add shelled hemp seeds or chopped nuts to your salads
  • Blend walnuts or cashews into your favorite soups
  • Make homemade trail mix with raw nuts and seeds
  • Make a sunflower butter and fruit sandwich


Vegetables

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If you’re a regular around these parts you know I often sing the praises of vegetables. And for good reason.

Vegetables are one of the most nutrient dense food groups you can eat. Low consumption of veggies is associated with nearly 8 percent of all cardiovascular deaths.

The beauty of vegetables is there is such a wonderful variety and everyone can find ones they love.

A lot of my clients think salads are the only way to get vegetables. This misconception is easy to fix. Here are a few easy (and tasty) ways to get your veggies:

  • Blend fresh greens into your smoothies (spinach is particularly mild tasting when blended with fruit)
  • Roast carrots, sweet potatoes, and Brussel sprouts with rosemary and a small amount of oil
  • Make a succotash with corn, tomatoes, red peppers, and lima beans
  • Spiralize zucchini and carrots and use them with pasta sauce
  • Add shredded cabbage to noodles
  • Stir fry carrots, bamboo shoots, sugar peas, mushrooms, and water chestnuts


Fruit

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Most of my clients come to me thinking fruit has too much sugar so they avoid fruit. But still continue to add lots of sugar to their coffee, eat refined grains, indulge in several sweet snacks a day, and have foods they don’t even realize are loaded with sugar.

While small groups of people may need to limit fruit, it is pretty hard to eat too much fresh whole fruit.

Newsflash: the natural sugar in whole fresh fruit is not the problem. It’s all the added and refined sugar in food that’s the issue.

And low fruit consumption accounts for 8 percent of cardiovascular deaths.

How should you eat fruit?

Eat fruit in the whole and fresh state. This means eating fresh apples instead of apple juice. Or oranges instead of orange juice. And this means NOT adding sugar to your fruit.


Seafood

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Seafood is really getting at omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that are crucial for many bodily processes.

Low omega-3 fatty acid consumption is associated with 8 percent of cardiovascular deaths.

Certain seafood is rich in omega-3s. Typically, it is your fatty fish (like salmon). But there are other ways to get omega-3s. The easiest way is through algae consumption (eaten or taken in supplement form). Algae is an excellent option if you are concerned with fish contamination or you enjoy a vegan diet.

There are other ways to get omega-3s through diet, but they require your body to convert them first. This is less efficient than eating seafood or algae, but you still should consider the following foods:

  • seeds (ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • soybeans (tofu)
  • walnuts
  • vegetables (spinach, broccoli, tomatoes)


Now What?


I love recommending foods to ADD to people’s diet instead of focusing on what to ELIMINATE.

Now you know the best foods to eat for your health: nuts and seeds, vegetables, fruit, and seafood.

So take an assessment of what you eat and determine where you can add health boosting foods.
 

Until next week,
Skye
 

 

Are You Taking Care of Yourself After Las Vegas?

Unless you’re superhuman, your nervous system is on overdrive.

The events over the last few months have been horrendous — natural disasters, manmade forest fires, and acts of violence. Even if you did not directly experience any of these events, you have been impacted.

And whether you realize it or not, your mind and body are under stress.

People have asked me what they can do to support their minds and bodies during this time. 

So today my goal is to provide you comfort and actionable ways to take care of your whole self and support your sympathetic nervous system.

Please note this post is not meant to minimize the direct impact millions of humans experienced. I recognize the grief I’ve experienced pales in comparison to the heartbreaking loss others have suffered. Even so, I want to acknowledge the stress we are all experiencing and provide ways to help us all cope.

Here are three actionable and evidence-based ways to help support your nervous system.

 

1. Meditate

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By now, you know I am a huge fan of meditation. Particularly during stressful times. 

 

So what type of meditation is best?

 

There isn’t one type of meditation that is better than others. However, there are types that have been better studied. For example mindfulness meditation, a form that focuses on awareness and being in the present moment, has been shown to decrease stress and improve mood. 

 

Want to learn more about how to meditate? Check out my post on How to Meditate.

 

2. Fuel Your Body with De-Stressing Foods

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While it can be easy to reach for comfort food (like chips, cakes, and fries), they may actually make your mind and body feel worst.

Green leafy vegetables — spinach, kale, lettuce — are a great way to support your body. They are full of wonderful micronutrients that decrease stress and promote feelings of wellbeing.

Berries, which contain antioxidants and phytonutrients, improve your body’s response to stress. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and reduce surges of stress hormones. Omega-3’s can be found in fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and egg yolks. 

3. Move Your Body in Ways that Make You Feel Good

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Exercise can be a serious stress reliever so don’t neglect it during tough times. 

Right now focus on forms of exercise that make you feel you good and is supportive to your wellness. 

My personal picks right now include yoga, running, and biking.

Action Time

There you have it. Three actionable and evidence-based ways to help support your stress and wellness. Which will you choose to incorporate into your wellness routine? Let me know below!

Until next time,
Skye

 

 

When Pills Don’t Work: Using Alternative Therapy for Drug Resistant Ailments

Change of Plans

I had something entirely different planned for this week.

But then I received notice of something I feel compelled to share with you.

In the past when I’ve published articles, I haven’t promoted them on A Better Way Wellness. At times it was because they didn’t always directly apply to the topics we discuss here. Other times it was out of fear of melding my academic life with my passion for holistic wellness. And because of my discomfort with self-promotion.

After the incredible, kind, and supportive response from last week’s confession post (thank you!), I’ve decided to leave fear behind and share everything I can to help you make the most informed choices about wellness.

So here we go!

Evidence-Based Article on Alternative Therapies

Yesterday, I had an article published in Frontiers in Medicine that was in the same vein as my (vulnerable) confession post last week.

And I want to share this article with each and every one of you.

Why?

Because the article highlights solid scientific evidence to support the use of alternative therapies in treating conditions when drugs have failed.  Yoga, diet, probiotics, folic acid, and even music therapy have helped patients with drug-resistant ailments such as depression, pain, and epilepsy.

So if you want to learn more about what to do when pills don’t work, please read the short commentary I co-authored in Frontiers in Medicine. It’s available free at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmed.2017.00037/full.

Please Share

If you find the article interesting or useful, please share with friends, family, or on social media. My wonderful co-authors (Sarah Elizabeth Levitt and Grzegorz Bulaj, two bright and accomplished professionals and researchers) and I want our message to spread as far as possible.

Thank you for your support and sending you good vibes for the week,
Skye

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