How to eat your way to better health
Good health is something we take for granted when we have it. But it should aways be something you take care to protect. Find out how to east your way to better health.
When we enjoy good health, life is much better. We feel fit and full of energy, can think clearly and enjoy a consistent mood. But good health needs to be nurtured and protected, and while we may start out with good intentions, it’s easy to let bad habits take a hold.
The odd donut or vegetable-free meal won’t hurt us. But weeks of eating sweet pastries and avoiding meals with the nutrients our body needs will start to have an impact on our body.
In this article we look at two simple ways we can nurture our body and eat our way to better health.
Kick sugar to the curb
In recent years, it’s been recognised that consuming too much sugar is not good for you. It’s been named by experts as a major cause of obesity and several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. It can also lead to teeth cavities, mood swings, irritability and more.
So reducing the amount of sugar in your diet can be a good way to take back control of your health. That said, sugar can be highly addictive and if you’re used to a high sugar diet you may find it difficult to give up at the start.
As a first step, you need to be able to identify what foods and drinks contain sugar. Confusingly, it can be listed in several different ways on labels. Here are some names for sugar you may see:
- Fruit juice
- Hydrolysed starch
- Invert sugar
- Corn syrup
Food and drink that is high in sugar will have 22.5g or more of total sugar per 100g. And food or drink that is low in sugar will have 5g or less of total sugar per 100g.
One of the simplest ways to cut down on your sugar intake is to cook all your meals from scratch. Many prepared foods – even ‘healthy’ food like soup – contain surprisingly high levels of sugar. Condiments like ketchup and most breakfast cereals are best avoided too. It’s also wise to avoid fizzy drinks and even many fruit juices.
At first you’ll miss the taste of sugar, but after a while your taste buds will adapt and you’ll enjoy the taste of sugar-free food, and will notice improvements in how you feel, which can encourage you on.
Explore the world of vitamins and supplements
Sometimes, even when you make a conscious effort to eat a varied diet with lots of different food groups, you can still miss out on some of the most vital vitamins and minerals.
In the short term you may not notice any ill effects from not getting the right amount of nutrients in your diet, but in the long term deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can lead to serious health issues.
For example, low levels of magnesium can impact many of our body’s functions and increase our risk of common health problems and diseases including type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, migraines, asthma, and colon cancer. And a deficiency in B6 can cause skin rashes, cracked lips, a weakened immune system and exhaustion.
The best way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need is to eat a healthy, varied diet. But not everyone does this. And even then there are some nutrients you may miss out on. So if you’re worried, you can investigate which supplements may be helpful – from vitamin D tablets to peptides and more.
Just make sure you source your supplement’s from a legitimate supplier, and don’t fall for an MLM pitch and end up being persuaded to buy overpriced tablets you don’t need!
Photo by Elena Koycheva