By Jon Sullivan [Public Domain], via Wikimedia CommonsIn our two previous posts in this series, Stillman and Friedland offered simple strategies for maximizing senior health after accident traumas. We discussed how working with your PCP or a specialist to reduce your load of medications can improve your health, while an increasing load of drugs can be debilitating.
In this post, we will show you the how-to for nutritional strategies to boost and maintain health, as well as helping you cut even more meds out of your daily routine.
The major takeaway points in today’s posts are:
- Cut out sugars and excess carbohydrates. Both are contributors to the diabetic epidemic sweeping Tennessee. Type II diabetes is reversible by correcting diet.
- Up the nutritional value of your diet, including brain-preserving essential fats and healthy prebiotic fiber.
If you have been diagnosed with high blood sugar, it is important to reduce your fasting blood sugar levels. Failure to do so can lead to the sad and disastrous results all too common today: high blood sugar and blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, mental decline, limb amputation and even cancer.
Step one is to clean out your refrigerator, freezer and pantry of non-nutritive high-carbohydrate foods, and resolve to avoid re-stocking these foods. In addition to obvious sugar and syrups, eliminate commercially prepared sauces and foods which contain hidden sugars. No more ketchup and barbecue sauce!
No need to suffer, though, just up the flavor quotient by increasing the use of herbs and spices, and making these items at home with an empty jar and a few ingredients. You will eat better and save money, as most of these items are priced far above their ingredient cost.
Here are a few links to tastier salads including Bacon, Mustard and Spinach Salad, Simple Chopped Salad, or a make-ahead easy Marinated Mushroom Salad.
Next, now that you have cut out breakfast cereals and toast, embrace eggs made in healthy butter, and add cream to your coffee instead of milk. The fats will give you a long-lasting sense of satiety, and help you cut out between-meal nibbling. For lunches and dinners, consider fatty fish such as salmon and tuna and meats with the fat untrimmed. Fats are essential for absorbing minerals such as calcium, and they provide key fat-soluble vitamins that you cannot get in pill or vegetable form. You can whip up a sizzling salmon steak or fillet in minutes; have a look here.
Finally, adding healthy greens will feed those gut bacteria you have been hearing about lately:
Many of you may be aware that you need to up your helpful bacteria by seeding your gut with doses of probiotics. However, what you may not know is that unless you are eating prebiotic foods that help feed those bacteria, you are like a gardener who plants seeds in the dark and never waters them. Results: zero.
Here are some top picks:
- Raw onions, leeks and garlic—ideal in salads
- Green bananas—use as a smoothie base with coconut milk and a cocoa, coffee or a quarter cup of berries
- Raw jicama, Jerusalem artichoke or asparagus--Just one caution, go slowly and add small amounts until your gut bacteria are built up enough to process these pre-biotics.
Another great way to add pre- and probiotics in one healthful and delicious serving is to pickle your own vegetables by natural fermentation. All you need are vegetables and herbs and seasonings of your choice, salt and a jar. While the process takes 2-3 weeks, your labor input is minimal. If you get in the habit of putting up jars weekly, you will always have an instant salad handy.
In addition to the pre- and probiotic bonus, eating pickled vegetables as a meal starter will boost your digestion and eliminate heartburn and indigestion. While cabbage and cucumbers are traditional favorites, pickle whatever you like that is in season and inexpensive.
Get started at this YouTube video and this YouTube video. As a quick and easy tip, you can simply salt, mix, and let vegetables stand for 5-10 minutes before packing into jars—no need to knead or pound, just pack firmly into jars.
To your health!
Because we care…