A healthy and balanced diet has been shown to improve the quality of life and protect us from various chronic diseases.
Suppose one is willing to make positive changes in overall diet and lifestyle; it is always good to begin with minor modifications as they significantly prove beneficial and are more manageable. Moreover, sudden major changes might be demoralizing at times.
Here are some health-boosting tips that one can consider for a healthier life.
- Eat slowly: Studies have shown that most people who eat fast have a high BMI. Hormones play a vital role in regulating our appetite, and it takes around 20 minutes to signal our brain that we are hungry or full. Therefore, there are more chances of excess calories intake than required when you eat fast.
- Eat a protein-rich diet: Try including a source of protein in every meal. Protein-rich diets help boost our metabolic rate, promote a healthy weight, and strengthen muscles.
- Include coloured vegetables in your diet: Dark green, orange, red and yellow vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They promote a healthy weight due to less calorie content and also reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies.
- Maintain adequate water intake: Drinking water is unquestionably crucial for everyone. We need water for the smooth functioning of all bodily processes and for maintaining a healthy fluid-electrolyte balance.
- Prefer whole fruits instead of fruit juices: Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But fruit juices lack fiber content and instantly spike blood glucose levels. Also, canned and packaged juices are sugar-loaded and might increase inflammation and diabetes risk in the long run. To maximize the benefits, pick a whole fruit as it contains dietary fiber.
- Exercise regularly: Nothing like good nutrition accompanied by an active lifestyle. Apart from strengthening our joints, bones, and muscles, regular exercise promotes healthy metabolism and weight loss and relieves everyday stress and anxiety.
- Focus on whole grains: Whole grain foods have dietary fiber, protein, and B-vitamins to help you stay healthy and full longer. One must choose whole grains like oats, whole wheat, bran, quinoa, and millets instead of refined ones.
- Limit salt intake: Too much salt intake is linked with hypertension and other heart-related disorders. It is good to keep the salt intake to less than 5 g per day. Processed and ready-to-eat foods generally have high sodium content; read the label carefully before buying them.
- Healthy fats for a healthy diet: Try to meet your daily fat requirement through dietary sources packed with good fats like omega-3 fish oil, fatty fish, olive oil, coconut, avocado, and nuts. Limit the consumption of baked, fried foods and pre-packaged snacks, and foods containing trans fats.
- Avoid meal skipping: Skipping meals is not advisable as it can lower our metabolic rate causing weight gain and making us feel sluggish.
- Keep healthy snacks handy: To satisfy those mid-meal cravings and avoid bingeing on junk foods, consider these healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, fresh fruits, peanut butter toast, salads, fruit yogurt, and protein bars.
- Consider omega-3 and vitamin D supplements: The deficiency of both these nutrients is widely prevalent. Omega-3 fats and vitamin D play a critical role in preventing inflammation and strengthening our immune health. Therefore, if you feel that your dietary intake of these nutrients is not sufficient, you can consider vitamin D and omega-3 supplements.
- Be cautious of so-called ‘diet foods’: Packaged foods labelled as diet foods might be misleading at times. Foods marked as ‘low fat, ‘fat-free’, or ‘low calorie’ are often high in sugar and other additives to compensate for the less fat content.
- Limit alcohol intake: Excess alcohol intake might leave you dehydrated and reduce the absorption of certain nutrients in the body.
- Practice mindful eating: Eat slowly, check the portion size, try to include food from all food groups, and understand the difference between actual hunger and emotional eating.
Try incorporating these small tips into your diet, and you will observe that they will cause a more significant impact in making you overall healthier.