Sleep is just as important to your children's development and well-being as nutrition and physical activity. The amount and quality of sleep we have can affect our safety, how alert we are, as well as our memories, moods, behavior, and learning abilities. Establishing good sleep practices while your children are young will not only benefit you, but it will help them for many years to come.
I agree with David (9th July comment) with regard to diet. Whole grains can indeed have the effect of spiking blood sugar (whole grain bread as just one example) and creating gut inflammation, and therefore low-grade, sub-acute inflammation in general. This is the biggest contributor to chronic disease that we are facing, long-term inflammation. The standard food pyramid is, in my opinion, all wrong. I believe we should eat a more Mediterranean diet, and minimise the grain-based carbohydrates, and the sugars. Then we are considerably further down the track towards a healthy diet that promotes longevity. Of course, all of the other factors mentioned are important as well, but what we put into our mouths is probably the most important, given the skyrocketing rates of obesity first world countries are facing, and now even asian countries as well, who are well and truly catching up.
A healthy lifestyle is a valuable resource for reducing the incidence and impact of health problems, for recovery, for coping with life stressors, and for improving quality of life. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows our lifestyles play a huge part in how healthy we are. From what we eat and drink, to how much exercise we take, and whether we smoke or take drugs, all will affect our health, not only in terms of life expectancy, but how long we can expect to live without experiencing chronic disease.
Eating apples was associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease in the Iowa Women's Health Study, which has been tracking more than 34,000 women for nearly 20 years. And Finnish researchers studying dietary data collected over nearly 30 years from 9,208 men and women also found that frequent apple eaters had the lowest risk of strokes compared with non-apple eaters. What explains the heart-healthy benefits? Researchers say it's the strong antioxidant flavonoid compounds found in apples. These compounds play a key role by stopping inflammation and preventing the buildup of plaque in arteries. Apples are also rich in pectin, a form of soluble fiber known to help lower cholesterol, and they provide a decent amount of vitamin C, another antioxidant.
Replace "I should" with "I choose." So instead of "I should be eating more fruits and vegetables," it's "I choose to eat more fruits and vegetables" or "I choose not to," because it's more powerful language," Williams says. "It shows that you're in control, you're making the choice. So if you choose to or you choose not to, you make the choice and you move on."
“We are learning more and more about the benefits of a healthy microbiome, so there’s a lot of interest about ways to feed the trillions of bacteria in our guts,” says Samantha Cassetty, RD, in private practice in New York City. The microbiome is the community of bacteria in the gut that may play a role in the development of health conditions such as diabetes, eczema, cancer, and depression, according to the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah.
Of course, you don't have to stick to just pinto beans! Go for a wide variety: black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, cranberry beans and fava beans, plus other legumes like chickpeas, black-eyed peas, lentils and more. They're chock-full of fiber, magnesium and potassium—all nutrients that help lower blood pressure and keep your heart going strong.