With three out of five Americans overweight and cardiovascular diseases continuing to top the list of fatal conditions, it’s not a difficult leap of logic to conclude that ours is a country plagued by poor dietary habits.
Increasingly health advocates are calling for measures as extreme as a ban on sugar-packed soft drinks in schools, and many cities already require restaurants to post calorie totals on their menus.
Changing what we eat is the first vital step toward changing our national health-care model and, in the process, stopping the escalating costs that make medical care an “emergency only” option for millions of Americans.
Your Diet Has a Direct Bearing on Your Overall Health
With high concentrations of fast and processed foods filling the American plate several times a day, we are, as a nation, addicted to sugar, salt, and fat. Throw in an equal addiction to caffeine that masks epidemic levels of chronic fatigue, and the climate is ripe for opportunistic conditions like cancer and heart disease to take over.
Remove chemicals, additives, and animal products, however, in favor of a more plant-based diet, and the body’s incredible ability to heal itself takes charge. Cholesterol levels, for example, will show substantial improvement in response to a vegan diet in less than three weeks. Type 2 diabetics, as well as some insulin-dependent diabetics, will experience similar levels of positive changes to their health with this dietary change.
Opt for High-Value Natural Foods Like Flax Seeds
One of nature’s most nutritionally packed foods, ‘flax seeds’, offer a small, compact, and efficient boost to your daily diet. Rich in magnesium, manganese, and B vitamins, flax seeds also contain high levels of Omega-3 essential fatty acid. This “good” oil is heart healthy, and has also been found to inhibit tumor growth and to combat areas of inflammation that act as breeding grounds for cancer.
Additionally, flax seeds contain 700 to 800 times more lignans than any other plant. Lignans are antioxidants that help to balance female hormones, making flax seeds an important support for women experiencing pre-menopausal and menopausal symptoms. As an added benefit, lignans also guard against breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
In fact, flax seeds have a beneficial effect on virtually every system in the human body. They are instrumental in bringing down cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure, and they improve the functioning of the immune system and regulate the digestive system. (Note that ground flax seeds do go rancid, and should be kept in the refrigerator in a sealed, opaque container.)
While the greatest nutritional benefit is derived from ground flax seeds, flax seed oil is an excellent natural laxative, and when added to foods, is believed to lessen the symptoms of chronic conditions like arthritis and diabetes. (Some women prefer to use the oil in pill form to combat PMS symptoms because it does not contain high concentrations of fiber, and therefore does not have as intense a laxative effect as the flax seeds.)
This guest post was written by Sara Mackey, who works in the health care field as a cost savings advisor with www.reallycheaphealthinsurance.com.