While the medical world has been combating COVID-19 through treatments and pharmaceuticals, many health care providers remind the public that one of the key components in fighting the virus is to stay healthy by focusing on a healthy lifestyle. Some in the health fields have promoted specific vitamins or other supplements to boost one’s immune system but it’s even more important to simply maintain a healthy diet.
Most people understand the basics of good nutrition – eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, include some kind of protein in every meal and cut down on fats and sugars as much as possible. But new research is providing insight into other types of nutritional information that should be known. The Sloto Cash online casino slots real money gaming site looks at some of the newest findings in nutrition research as the casino looks forward to encouraging players to enjoy their best health.
Some of the newest news from nutritionists around the world:
Cardiovascular disease – also known as heart disease – is the leading cause of death among Americans. A 2021 study conducted by the American Heart Association and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a potassium-rich diet can help you lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Potassium helps regulate fluid balance which ensures the body’s cells’ healthy function. It’s essential for the body to maintain a regular heartbeat, can help lower blood pressure and prevent hypertension.
Foods high in potassium include sweet potatoes, white beans, bananas, leafy greens, orange juide, avocado,dried apricots, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli), watermelon and many seafoods – tuna, halibut, salmon and cod.
Omega-6 fatty acids include gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid (LA). These are essential nutrients that your cells need to survive. Early research suggested that too much of these fatty acids could be associated with inflammation and arthritis which led to people reducing their consumption of foods containing Omega-6 but more recent research indicates that increased intake of certain omega-6s actually reduces inflammations.
Omega 6s are also heart-healthy foods which may lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. But it’s important to pair them with a nutrient-rich diet to enjoy full benefits and not to overdo intake. The Institute of Medicine recommends that for adults aged 19-50, 12 grams/day is adequate for women and 17 grams/day is adequate for men.
Foods high in omega 6 include pine nuts, hemp seeds, walnuts, grapeseed oil, corn oil and sunflower seeds.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
You may have seen probiotic yogurt in the dairy section of the supermarket but were unsure about what the difference was between probiotic yogurt and regular (other than the price. Probiotics are an important part of a healthy diet. They help enhance or restore our gut microbiome’s health – microorganisms that naturally live in our bodies and help regulate our digestive tract.
In addition to probiotic yogurt, the best food sources for probiotics are reheated rice, pasta or potatoes, kfir, green bananas, kimchi, sauerkraut and garlic.
Prebiotics produce nutrients after they are metabolized that support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut which, in turn, enhances nutrient absorption and can help reduce inflammation.
The best prebiotic foods are oats, green bananas, garlic, blueberries, tart cherries, lentils and asparagus.
Many people try to stay away from canned foods because there are rumors that canned foods lose their nutritional value. That may be true for some types of foods, especially vegetables, but if you like canned tuna, you can have your tuna and enjoy its nutritional value too. In fact, researchers have determined that the high protein content in a can of tuna makes it one of the most nutritious low-fat convenience foods available (that’s before you add the mayo).
There are issues to be aware of, including the fact that albacore tuna contains more mercury than “light” (yellowfin or skipjack) tuna though it’s more than twice as high in omega-3 content as is light tuna. Also, oil-packed tuna has many more calories than water-packed tuna. Sodium content is something that consumers should take into consideration – there is sodium in canned tuna so it’s wise to avoid adding salt.
Tuna has been shown to be a great food for balancing blood sugar, lowering triglycerides, reducing inflammations and helping to increase “good” HDL cholesterol. It contains the selenium mineral that protects against cell damage along with vitamin B12, vitamin D and, as mentioned, omega 3.
Up until 20 years ago or so, the only people who knew about quinoa were South American farmers for whom quinoa was a staple of the local diet. Today, due to its nutritional content, the demand for quinoa is so high that farmers in quinoa-growing areas like Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile have become wealthy by meeting the demand.
Quinoa is a gluten-free source of protein and carbohydrate that pairs well with many different kinds of food. Regardless of the color – there is red quinoa, white quinoa and black quinoa – it’s considered a nutritional powerhouse that packs a wide range of essential minerals and vitamins. Consumption of quinoa is even believed to prevent some diseases.
Quinoa is what is called a complete protein. It contains all 9 essential amino acids and is high in fiber, rich in minerals like zinc, phosphorus, antioxidants, manganese and magnesium. Quinoa is a low-glycemic food which makes it a good choice for blood sugar control.