Eating well has an incredible impact on your health; along with being important for maintaining a healthy weight, a well-balanced diet can improve your energy levels, promote overall health, and even reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
With different fads and trends in diets and eating habits emerging all the time, it can be hard to know what “healthy” eating actually entails. Although there can be some dispute among experts and commentators as to what we should be putting into our bodies, some foods and habits have indisputable health benefits.
See our fool-proof tips and tricks below for what to eat for better health.
#1: Eat Your Greens
Green vegetables such as kale, spinach, arugula, and broccoli are the original superfood. They are rich in vitamins (especially vitamin A, C, K, and E), calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. All of these are vital to keep your body healthy and strong, keep your energy levels up, and avoid illness.
If you’re struggling to include enough green vegetables in your diet, there are some sneaky ways to incorporate more greens into your day. Try a green juice or green smoothie at breakfast time or as a snack anytime during the day. You can also add more greens to your diet by incorporating them into your regular meals – think adding broccoli to your scrambled eggs or a green side salad with any meal.
#2: Cleanse Every Morning
Cleanse your system every morning with a cup of hot water and lemon. Put the juice of half a lemon with 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water. Benefits include improving your digestion and boosting your metabolism. It’s also great for the health of your liver. This hydrating,alkalizing drink is a much better alternative than having a cup of coffee in the morning.
#3: Eat Plenty of Protein
Health experts recommend that we eat 0.8g of protein per kilo of body weight per day, which works out to around 56g for men or 46g for women.If you have a higher body mass or are particularly active, your intake of protein should be higher.
Be aware, however, that this refers to pure protein, not the total amount of protein-rich food. For example, an 80g portion of steak contains around 29g of protein, while one egg has approximately 6g of protein. Other protein-rich foods include fish, legumes, chicken, dairy products, and soy beans.
Eating protein is important because it provides our bodies with amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, form the primary component in our organs and tissues, and play an essential role in almost every metabolic process in the human body.
Our bodies can produce only 11 of the essential amino acids we need, so consuming an adequate amount of amino acids is critical to maintain energy levels, mood,cognition, and general health. Amino acids can be found in high-protein foods,but it can be beneficial to take supplements for muscle mass to ensure your intake is high enough.
#4: Drink Enough Water
We cannot over-emphasize the importance of drinking enough water. Staying properly hydrated will improve your immune system, flush out toxins, boost your energy levels, and help with weight loss.
Individual requirements vary depending on age, height, weight, and health conditions;however, as a general guide, adults should consume a minimum of six to eight glasses of water (or 1.2 to 1.5 liters) a day simply to replace regular water loss. This intake should increase when you are exercising, unwell, or in hot or humid conditions.
#5: Cut Your Sugar Intake
A high-sugar diet can be dangerous for your health. Sugar has been linked to heart disease, cancer, skin problems, diabetes, mood disorders, and, of course,obesity. The simple truth is, even if you don’t binge on sweet drinks and doughnuts, you are probably eating too much sugar. It is recommended that adults and children over 11 consume no more than 7 tsp, or 30g of sugar per day. To give you an idea of what that means, one can of regular Coca-Cola contains 39g.
You also need to be wary of foods that may contain hidden sugar. Check the labels of foods for the amount of sugar they contain; you’ll be shocked at how much sugar can be found in bread, for example, or soups and sauces.
#6: And Reduce Salt
Most adults also consume too much salt. The recommended daily intake of sodium is ¾ tsp, or 3.75g, though most people eat far more than this. Sodium in these doses is good for the body; it balances fluids, aids nerve impulses and muscles, and regulates blood pressure.
However, excessive amounts of sodium can cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and even heart failure. In modern diets, most of our sodium intake comes from processed foods, so to address too much salt in your diet, try to eat fresh, unprocessed foods.
Also, Keep Fit!
Obviously this is not something you eat, but having a fitness routine is incredibly important to your health and well-being and must go hand-in-hand with any healthy eating plan.
Working out is not just about weight loss. Other benefits of a regular fitness routine include improved condition of vital organs such as the heart and lungs, increased strength, better energy levels, and better balance, coordination, and flexibility.
Experts recommend moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes, three to five times a week. Moderate exercise could be a brisk walk, swimming, Zumba, or resistance training, for example.