You may remember learning about healthy diets as a child. Perhaps numerous times across your childhood. But how much of that information do you actually remember? I know I didn’t remember much at all. But if you want to start eating healthy now, we have you covered! And don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as you might think.
The first part of an easy diet is easy. Just make sure you stay hydrated. It’s recommended that an adult drink 2 litres of water every day. Many people fall way short of this. Don’t overlook the benefits to both your physical and mental health.
The first component of a health diet is eating plenty of fresh vegetables. Vegetables are packed with essential nutrients. They contain vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and calcium complex carbohydrates. Vegetables like broccoli, celery, carrots, spinach, beets, turnips and tomatoes are rich in these vitamins and minerals. Not only do these provide great nutritional, they take more time for the stomach to break them down. This might sound like a bad thing but, it just means that they keeping you energized throughout the day. Not only that but you will actually burn calories breaking them down! They will help your body function at its best and maintain a healthy weight. A well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps you stay away from certain health problems. Eating a diet rich in vegetables helps prevent heart disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer and a number of other conditions and diseases.
Berries and fruits are an excellent source of fibre. Fruits with high-fibre content are take longer to digest and increase the rate of metabolism. This helps your body to burn calories faster. Additionally they will keep you feeling full for a longer time and prevent fat gain.
Any credible source will highly recommend vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet. Low in calories and with very low-fat content, fruits and vegetables are great additions. However, you should keep in mind their serving sizes. It is important that you eat these in moderation to avoid overeating.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, researchers found that olive oil has high contents of antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants help rid the body of harmful free radicals that can cause damage to vital organs. Researchers also discovered that olive oil contains high levels of monounsaturated fat, which is essential for good cardiovascular health. Another nutrient-rich food is nuts, which contain healthy fatty acids and fibre. Nuts also help lower cholesterol and prevent heart diseases.
Whole Grains & Carbohydrates
Whole grains are full of carbohydrates. The media might make you believe that carbohydrates are bad for you but this is not true at all. Carbohydrates are your largest source of energy. Many diets advocate low or zero carb diets and while this can work, it will often leave you feeling fatigued. Of course too much will not be good for you, but that goes for anything no matter how healthy. Whole grain foods include pasta, bread, cereal, rice and potatoes. They provide you with steady slow energy throughout the day. This is the reason they are often recommended to be a key part of your breakfast.
When shopping for grains, it is important to make sure that you are buying the grains have low-sugar content. Grains such as oats, barley, quinoa, couscous and bulgur are some examples of high quality grains. Looking for bread products? Choose one made from whole-wheat flour. You will be able to eat that bread without worrying about unhealthy additives. Paleo bread is a great choice.
Meat & Protein
Protein is another key part of any healthy diet. Protein is used to build up and repair the body. The proteins themselves are made up amino acids. These amino acids are sometimes referred to as chemical building blocks. Amino acids are important as your body requires them to build and repair muscles and bone. Your body also uses them to make hormones and enzymes. Getting enough protein should help you feel more more energised and will help your immune system fight off diseases. The muscle building properties are why high protein products and protein supplements are so popular amongst gym goers.
Meats, like chicken, pork and beef are the most common and largest sources of protein. Fish and eggs, perhaps unsurprisingly, are also fantastic sources of protein. If you a vegetarian or vegan then making sure you get enough a protein can be a little more tricky. Of course there is the easiest solution of taking protein supplements but there are some options if you want to obtain it naturally. Tofu, Chickpeas and lentils are great sources of protein that make a good base to a meal.
For snacks, nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, chestnuts and hazelnuts are very recommended. A diet rich with nuts improves better management and immunity against diseases.
What should you avoid?
So we know what you should be eating. But what should you be avoiding? It’s generally quite easy to spot the unhealthy food. Anything high in free sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and saturated fats you should try to avoid. Well you don’t need to avoid them entirely, but definitely try limiting them. Unfortunately, a lot of the foods we all love to eat are not the healthy ones. However if you commit to a healthy diet, you begin to appreciate the healthy flavours more. And that’s the icing on the cake of feeling physically and mentally stronger and energised.
Keep it balanced!
It’s all about balancing your diet so it’s important to add lots of fruits and vegetables in your daily meals. The most recommended diet pyramid would be a mix of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. To achieve the healthful aspect of these diets, moderation is key. Eating too much may cause unnecessary side effects so keep portions low and enjoy!
The benefits of having a healthy balanced diet goes far beyond simple weight loss and healthy heart disease prevention. Eating a well-balanced diet is essential for a healthy lifestyle and overall well-being. It also helps in improving mental health, reduces risks of depression, diabetes and other heart diseases. Eating healthy helps reduce stress and anxiety. The longer one engages in a balanced diet, the more at ease he becomes. Consuming too much saturated fat, sugar and salt can cause many physical disorders.
To top off your new healthy diet, try some exercise. A healthy diet and good regular exercise really go hand in hand. Some even argue that exercise is even more important for your physical and mental health than a perfect diet. You should be getting at 30 minutes of exercise everyday. But that could be as simple as walking to or from work. But if you really care to eat healthy, try get couple real sessions of exercise a week. That can be a run, a bike ride, or a trip to the gym. If that all sounds too boring for you, take up a sport. Its much easier to stay motivated to keep exercising when you are actually enjoying whatever it is you are doing. Just remember to stay hydrated!