If health can decline because of food, science shows that health can benefit and improve because of foods.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common metabolic disorders (making up about 25 percent of all metabolic disorders). This is when insulin stops working properly, which could be due to an excess of simple carbohydrates and sugars; a lack of foods like fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins, minerals and fiber; or chronic physical and mental stressors.
When we eat foods that negatively affect our internal environment (E), and when our metabolic pathways are negatively affected (M), we get out of balance and aren’t able to reach health (H). But remember, foods can also lead you toward health and homeostasis.
For example, people who consumed upward of 9 servings per day of green leafy vegetables and root vegetables had a 16 percent reduced risk of diabetes compared to those who had less than 1 serving per day. This may be due to nutrients in these foods like vitamin C, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and phytochemicals—all needed for running and fueling the metabolism.
One study showed that after just six weeks of eating ½ cup of almonds daily, there was a significant improvement in HDL levels (the good cholesterol), in addition to improving lipid metabolism.
Research continues to show that eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with lower risk of metabolic disorders including coronary syndrome (low functioning of the heart and arteries), a slower onset of atherosclerosis (arteries getting smaller and harder), and reduced inflammation.
When researchers looked at the diets of more than 3,000 European men, they found for those who had the highest intake of fruit, vegetables, and vitamin C, there was a significant decrease in inflammation and inflammatory markers.