Eating healthful meals every day needn’t be a drag. Jazzing up a meal with more colour, or adding in a different protein can make a huge difference to the enjoyment of sitting down to eat. The tips outlined below are the makings of a super healthy diet. A term that can be incredibly misused without the right foundation.
If a food not listed below slips in on a weekend or when you are rushed, don’t panic. Getting back on track with your next meal and carry on.
Follow the following eight tips to eat healthier every day.
- Eat 10 different fruits and vegetables daily. Vary colour of fruits and vegetables to include a rainbow every day. Red peppers, orange sweet potato, yellow corn, green spinach, blue (but really purple) blueberries and purple blackberries should get you going.
- Include fibre-rich foods like beans–think hummus, lentils in a soup, root vegetables like carrots to go along with hummus or bean dip. All fruits and vegetables, whole grains like quinoa, oats, rice or barley all are high fibre carbohydrates that can find their way into every meal of the day.
- Beef up your protein (pun intended). With each meal and snack, add in a protein source from meat, dairy; cottage cheese, greek yogurt, cheese or kefir, quinoa, eggs, tofu and tempeh or nuts and seeds. A smoothie with a tablespoon of almond butter and chia seeds pack a serious protein and mineral punch.
- Avoid white flour and refined foods. White bread, pasta, cakes and pastries taste good on the way down, but don’t provide the minerals needed to balance out the surge of energy that comes with white food as it’s void of most of its fibre. Whole grains, bread with flax or chia seeds provide essential fats along with high fibre to keep the digestive system working like clockwork.
- Put down the teaspoon (or tablespoon) of sugar. A diet high in sugar is known to pave the way towards insulin resistance and type two diabetes. As the pancreas, responsible for secreting insulin, becomes over taxed, your cells become less sensitive to insulin or it slows in its production of this essential hormone. Enjoy honey or maple syrup in baking, drizzled on oatmeal or toast instead of sugary cereals and sugar laden jams.
- Reduce salt from the shaker and processed foods. Although we aren’t born with a salty tooth, we sure develop a taste for it. Found in all processed foods, salt often makes up for a lack of taste once food makes its way through the factory. Most quick snacks of chips, crackers and even some nuts contain huge amounts of sodium that throws off your fluid balance. From heart disease to wrinkly skin, salt needs to be reduced or eliminated from everyones diet.
- Increase fish and lean meats. Oily fish; salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna and herring provide the brain boosting omega 3 fats that increase IQ in your kids, help maintain memory and mood in everyone. Lean meats from poultry make a healthier option over steak and higher fat cuts of beef. Limit beef intake to once a week or every two weeks.
- Limit alcohol to once or twice a week. Ending the day with a glass of wine or beer may feel good going down but alcohol actually depletes the body of nutrients. It’s called an anti-nutrient as it uses up many of the B vitamins along with vitamin C to process it. The liver, our filter system, gets overburdened with waste products without extra to deal with from your favourite tipple.
Although this may seem like a tall order to fit into your day, start with number one and work your way down the list until the tips become apart of every day life.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised as your energy may increase, you remember your shopping list as your memory improves and sleep is sound and restful. Making positive changes to your diet will only have a positive affect to your health. Don’t wait any longer to give it a go.