Wellness Tip: Eat a Diet Rich in Whole, Plant-Based Foods
Recently, you may have seen the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of the best diets, where they ranked 38 of the most popular diets based on likelihood of weight loss, ease of following, and contribution to overall health. While the top 10 overall diets range from highly commercialized programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, which emphasize portion control and moderation of “less healthy” options, to very specific, medically-based programs like the MIND diet, emphasizing foods thought to promote brain health, and the DASH diet, emphasizing foods thought to fight high blood pressure, every top diet has one thing in common: a diet mostly composed of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
These nutritional staples are the true superfoods of any diet. Whole, plant-based foods are the health-promoting, cancer-fighting nutritional powerhouses that truly help your body achieve wellness. Want to feel fuller longer, have more energy, feel more focused, take less medication, lose weight, lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and boost cancer-fighting agents within your body? EAT MORE WHOLE, PLANT-BASED FOODS. While it may feel like an obvious solution to such myriad health problems, many people still believe that eating a “healthy” diet includes such items as Diet Coke, reduced fat Cheez-its, low fat sugary breakfast cereals, deli meats, and frozen Lean Cuisine meals.
The reality is that foods like these are full of sodium, trans fat, nitrates (post on nitrates coming soon!), added sugars, harmful preservatives, artificial flavoring and coloring, among other harmful ingredients. They work against your body and should be avoided at all costs, unless you don’t mind the potential for muscle damage, anemia, sexual dysfunction, memory loss, to name just a few side effects from taking tradition cholesterol-lowering medication. Of course high cholesterol is but one example of the dire health costs of these foods. You know what lowers cholesterol and doesn’t have any side effects? Leafy green vegetables like spinach, mustard greens, and swiss chard. Of course always eat organic veggies (and fruits and legumes and whole grains) when possible to lower your risk of ingesting harmful chemicals from contaminated soil and pesticides.
To summarize, any diet comprised mostly of whole, plant-based foods is the best diet for your health and wellness. Of course if you have any questions about this information or are seeking some diet motivation or lifestyle tips, don’t forget to ask your Apex Wellness trainer for some suggestions. Remember, abs (and healthy arteries) are made in the kitchen and not just during your plank sessions.
Interested in more information on the best diet for your health? Check out How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger, MD, and Gene Stone
This post was provided by long-term Apex Wellness client Yvette Holland Kirk, Esq.