By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
Healthy eating should happen all year round. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a challenging task. Take a look at these 10 nutritional tips — and keep them in mind as you move forward on the path to a healthy lifestyle.
Our bodies are about 60% water — with muscle mass carrying much more than fat tissue. Drinking water is important to keep your body system running smoothly. By staying hydrated you’ll:
And those are just a few of the tasks helped with hydration. Besides water, electrolytes are important especially if you exercise.
These colorful gems provide essential phytonutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes — all of which are just as important for your health as the macronutrients we often hear about (think carbs, proteins and fats).
A cup of broccoli, for instance, offers fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and more!
There isn’t a consensus on whether it’s best to have six small meals throughout the day or the more standard three (breakfast, lunch and dinner). There may not be a single answer that applies to everyone. Your best bet: Figure out what feels right for you.
And avoid skipping meals entirely. Having high quality small snacks, mini meals or fresh juice throughout the day will help boost your energy and prevent you from overeating once mealtime arrives.
Limit distractions and take time to experience eating and engage your senses. If you’re watching TV, answering an email or talking on the phone, you might wind up eating more than you intended.
Digestion begins in the brain so by looking at, thinking about and smelling your food, you can help your body benefit from the wonderful nutrients locked away in that meal while enjoying the experience even more!
Read labels carefully. Make natural, homemade versions of store-bought foods. That way, you’ll know what’s included (and what’s left out, like food coloring and artificial flavors). Try making your own staples, such as hummus or granola bars!
Local eating not only has more nutrients, but it can also save you money.
You don’t have to get everything organic if that isn’t feasible. Organic foods are often more expensive than conventional ones and with some items, it’s less important than others (like apples and strawberries). Pick and choose when it comes to organic foods.
Eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat! Many immune supportive vitamins, like Vitamin E or beta-carotene and hormones, like Vitamin D, require some fat in the diet for absorption.
The key is to choose wisely when it comes to fats. Pass the avocado, please! (And skip the trans fats.)
Protein-rich foods can help to reduce reflux and keep blood sugar levels stable while supporting healthy muscles and your immune system.
Adding protein to your diet doesn’t have to mean putting hunks of meat on your plate. There are plenty of plant-based proteins. If you want to add more protein to your juices, chia seeds, hemp seeds or spirulina are great choices.
For weight management, it’s preferable to focus more on inclusion of healthy foods — and less on restriction of portions.
Eating should be fun, not a series of stressful choices and measured portions. People are designed to enjoy eating for a reason: it’s how we get the nutrients we need to survive and flourish.