Good Sunday morning, everyone! Every year in January we get a new year. Sometimes we are so glad to see the prior year go because it was just a difficult year and sometimes it will always be remembered for the great and lasting memories it brought.

No matter we often feel we are getting a new year to start over. So, here is my food for thought.

“You are what you eat.” How many times have you heard that phrase? Well, I am here to tell you it is spot on.

Two years ago, in January, I was told I had an underactive thyroid and was given medicine for it. I had a severe reaction to the medicine and my journey began with what the doctors call Hashimoto’s disease. I was taken off the medicine and to this day I am not taking any medicine for it and both my TSH level and Antibodies TPO are in the normal range.

I had a good friend who enlightened me on food, gluten and night shades for starters, being the reason my thyroid was out of whack. In my two years I have visited a lot of doctors, none who had any idea how to help me.

So, as everyone knows we bite into a piece of food, chew it, swallow it and it then enters our stomach area where the food is digested, and this is how we get our nutrients. Sometimes this process doesn’t go that well and we get an intestinal discomfort that we will take an antacid for and go our merry way.

But what is that really doing? We have ignored our bodies grumbling stomachs, excess weight, lack of energy, foggy brains for too long.

The way we lived, ate and drank in our 20s and possibly continued on catches up with us later in life. Our vital organs, our brain, heart, thyroid, liver, kidneys are all affected. But, as I have found out, changing your diet can change your health. Here are just a couple of facts I found to share with you.

• Drink water — A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that even mild dehydration in men reduced memory and increased tension, anxiety and fatigue.

• Put down the french fries — A Cambridge University study found that high-fat diets made lab rats not just slow, but dumber.

• Sugar = bad — A recent study at UCLA found that a diet high in fructose slows the brain, hampering memory and learning. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds can counteract it.

More to come on how easy it really can be to live healthier this year and get your health back. Let’s make the most of 2020.

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.

Sherri M. Askren is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 28 W. North St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone: 442-3512

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