Are Your Food Habits Making You Sick?
We all know just how important food is to exercise. That’s how most of us will begin to start taking a serious look at what we eat. We know our goals and we learn what kind of nutrition we need to better reach them. But food impacts the health of our whole body. It can help us live longer and better or it can make us sick and prove a serious risk. In this article, we’re going to look at how you avoid those risks and get the best out of your food.
Keep a clean kitchen
Most of our experiences with food begin in the kitchen. That’s also where a lot of the risk begins. Most people put themselves at risk by not preparing their kitchen thoroughly enough. Keeping clean counters and clean utensils any time you’re handling food is vital. As is making sure you keep ready-to-eat food separated from raw food at all times and wash your hands after handling raw food.
Don’t take any chances with meat
Out of all the cases of food poisoning, the most common comes down to how people prepare meat. Meat can be and often will be contaminated will dangerous bacteria like E. Coli as you can see from UnSafeFoods.com. So, don’t take any chances when you’re handling it. Always use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s at a temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t think that you can tell how well cooked it is by sight alone. Just because it’s not pink inside doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat.
Even greens can be a danger
People might imagine there’s a lot less risk to be had overall from preparing fruits and vegetables. However, there’s still a risk of getting sick from them, particularly from the skins of them. You should always wash fruits and vegetables before preparing or eating them. Many make the mistake of thinking that just because they’re not eating the skin, they don’t need to wash it. Yet, if a potato has bacteria on the skin, you’re spreading it under the skin when you peel the skin or cut through it. So you need to wash the skin even if you just plan on throwing it away. Otherwise, you could be dealing with nasty threats like Listeria.
Gut health matters
Just as using food improperly can increase your risks of getting sick, using it properly can help you fight against getting sick. A lot of food related illnesses begin in the stomach. So taking care of your gut health is vital. Probiotics should be a part of any healthy, balanced diet. So should making sure that your digestive system is working as best as it can. With cases like irritable bowel syndrome, you need to start eliminating the foods that can provoke a reaction, too.
We all know that we’re meant to get our fair share of all kinds of vitamins and minerals. Yet sometimes it can seem like your diet just doesn’t allow for it. Especially when you have to cut out certain kinds of foods altogether. Regardless of what health conditions stop you from eating what foods, you can make sure you avoid deficiency. Do that by introducing vitamin supplements into your diet. A lot of these are best taken just after eating when your digestive system is already working and better absorb the value. Before you start taking supplements, however, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor.
Building a healthy heart
Your stomach doesn’t just play a big role in fighting off short-term sickness. It also helps you fight some of those most dangerous of problems in later life. A healthy heart is built, in large part, by an active lifestyle. But there are foods that can have just as big an effect. For instance, as EatingWell.com suggests, potassium in bananas helps you flush out sodium. Too much sodium buildup is one of the biggest factors in high blood pressure.
And a healthy mind, too
It’s not something a lot of us think of too often, but food can have a big impact on your mind. The science is growing overwhelmingly in favor of showing that diet can even help you control your mood. Stress, anxiety, and depression have a lot to do with energy levels in our body and the balance of hormones. When the balance is too high in favor of cortisol, we become stressed. Foods like leafy green vegetables help us produce a lot more dopamine and serotonin, instead. These are hormones which tend to produce happier, higher energy reactions in people.
Dealing with a weak immune system
When it comes to illness, the state of your immune system obvious has a big part to play. But there are some people with compromised immune systems who need to be even more careful of what they eat. Certain kinds of foods will always have a risk factor, no matter what you do to them. These are foods like raw fish in sushi, sprouts like beans and alfalfa, and soft cheeses. Do you have a compromised immune system, whether it’s because of illness, age, or pregnancy? Then you need to be doubly careful around these foods.
Pay attention to the news
If you really want to make sure your food is negatively affecting your health, then know what you’re eating. There are recalls and warnings put out all the time on produce. You can’t prevent the possibility of some food being infected. So instead, you need to pay attention to sites that give you news on recalls and the like. Simply check the news sites before you go shopping and before you start preparing meals. When you’re dealing with produce that has been contaminated, don’t take a chance. Either return it to where you got it or throw it out.
In all things, it’s all about education. Learn how to prepare food properly and safely. Keep an eye out on recalls and risk factors. Know what benefits you and how it does so. Never take the safety of food for granted.