There are plenty of associations between food and your health. Some people say you are what you eat, others suggest that food is the best medicine — but is there any truth to those statements?
Most people know that eating right and enjoying things in moderation can help with your overall health. A good diet can keep you fit, give you energy, help you live longer, and more!
But if you have a pre-existing medical condition, can your diet really make a difference? The answer is a resounding yes. While certain health issues do require things like medication, exercise, and additional treatment solutions, what you eat can have a huge impact on how you feel and how frequently your symptoms flare up. By making changes to your diet, you can help to reduce the negative effects of certain health problems naturally.
Let’s take a look at a few conditions that can be helped by making some adjustments to your daily diet.
Dealing With Diabetes
Diabetes can sometimes be a complicated disease. Those who deal with it have to be constantly aware of their blood sugar levels, and they need to eat healthy meals and snacks to prevent spikes and lows.
If you’re a diabetic, you know that eating frequently isn’t the only thing you should do to keep symptoms, such as swelling in the feet and poor circulation, at bay. It’s what you eat that can actually make a big difference.
Some low sugar cereals, or cereal made specifically for diabetics, can help you to feel fuller longer, and will be digested slowly so you won’t experience any sudden spikes in your blood sugar. Almost any food with carbohydrates that are able to be digested slowly will be best for diabetics for this reason. Others include dark leafy greens and whole-grain bread.
Foods that keep you fuller longer, including protein-packed choices like eggs and peanut butter, can also help to prevent spikes, while the natural sugars in something like peanut butter will prevent you from experiencing dangerous lows, too. So, in addition to always making sure you have enough to eat, make sure you’re picking the right snacks to control your diabetes, too.
Your Diet and Mental Health
Food has to do with so much more than just your physical health. What you eat actually has a huge impact on your brain. For example, certain foods can give you more energy to think while others can improve your focus and concentration.
If you struggle with any kind of mental health condition, changing certain dietary habits can also help to improve your symptoms. For example, if you struggle with stress and anxiety, things like getting more sleep and practicing mindfulness can help. But a different nutritional strategy can also help you to manage the conditions, too.
Studies have shown that foods rich in antioxidants can help to reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety, including fruit, nuts, and beans.
When people are stressed or feeling anxious, it’s not uncommon to reach for comfort foods that are often laden with fat and sugar or are heavily-processed. These foods might make you feel good for a short amount of time, giving you a boost of energy thanks to excess sugar — but, the “crash” afterward can be much worse.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, can help you to manage your symptoms of stress and anxiety on a daily basis.
Can Dietary Changes Help With STDs?
Changing your diet may not be your first idea when you’re diagnosed with an STD. While most sexually transmitted diseases do require some kind of medical attention, dietary changes can help by boosting your immune system.
Yogurt, for example, will not only help your immune system, but it contains helpful bacteria that can fight against harmful bacteria in your gut and genital area. If you’re taking an antibiotic for your STD, eating yogurt can also introduce good bacteria back into your system, since the antibiotic will be killing off both good and bad in an effort to treat the problem.
Garlic and honey are also foods that should be included in your diet if you have an STD. Both have antibacterial properties that can help to fight against infection. Additionally, garlic has antifungal properties that can deal with other issues like yeast infections.
Making small changes to your diet can help with a lot of different conditions. You don’t need to completely change the way you eat in order to reap these benefits, but adding a few certain foods and eliminating others can help to manage health conditions you might already have.
While dietary changes aren’t meant to replace traditional treatment options, they can help when it comes to alleviating symptoms and getting back to a healthy state faster. Talk to your doctor about changes you could be making in your diet, and you’re bound to notice a difference in how you feel very quickly!