Foods that promote overall health, especially as you get older, are very important. A diet for strong bone, brain and heart health is essential; in fact, you can improve your overall health, even if you don’t like kale. The consensus is that about 1800 calories per day is the right amount for most people to stay healthy.

A diet that is heart-healthy can protect you; it can also give you fewer sleepless nights. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast can also be an important factor in overall health. Diet plays a role in promoting less anxiety, building the immune system and protecting your heart. Here are five foods to improve your overall health, rather than just parts of the body.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should be included in a diet that is heart-beneficial. Blueberries, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables are foods that are also good for your brain, as they are filled with antioxidants to help fight inflammation. Although not a fruit or vegetable, walnuts are also good for your heart and brain health.

2. Whole Grains

The fiber that is present in whole grains can help you avoid heart disease. It also helps in digestion; grains high in fiber can help older adults stay more regular. Oats and oatmeal are especially known for promoting heart health.

3. Fish

If you are looking for a healthy diet, fish should be included. It is a recommendation of the The American Heart Association that fish is part of our diet two times per week. With important nutrients such as vitamin D and protein, fish also contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids vital to your brain and heart health. Omega 3 fatty acids are also known to do the following:

  • Lower blood pressure, promoting a healthier heart
  • May decrease the risk of depression
  • During pregnancy, can help the development of vision and nerves
  • Prevent inflammation and risk from arthritis

What about mercury? According to the American Heart Association guidelines:

“For middle-aged and older men and postmenopausal women, the benefits of fish consumption far outweigh the potential risks when the amount of fish are eaten is within the recommendations established by the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency.”

Some recommended choices when it comes to fish are salmon, trout, herring, sardines, canned light tuna, canned mackerel and oysters.

4. Milk, Dairy

Eating lower fat dairy products is recommended for growth of muscles and bones. As you age, your body needs more protein; breaking down takes place, so building up is needed to maintain health. Low-fat or fat-free yogurt, cheese and milk are all good sources of protein.

5. Eggs

Eggs provide the protein for building the body without the saturated fat that are found in meats. Eggs do not have saturated fat and cholesterol should not deter you from eating them. According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy adult can eat up to seven eggs per week.

These five types of food can be very beneficial to your overall health and can add to a healthy and active lifestyle as you age.

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