5 Tips for improved nutrition & good health
With an emerging spotlight on the importance of having good health both mentally and physically, I thought it beneficial to revisit the steps I take to try to practice good nutrition. Truth be told I have work to do in the exercise department however my strengths are better when it comes to nutrition.
The following are general tips and tricks I have used to improve my nutrition. Why is this important? Aside from general physical health, what we consume does impact our overall health and mental well-being. Good quality food impacts your body positively compared to fast food. Good nutrition and cutting out things like sodas and reducing sugar impacts your hormones and mental state.
With all of life’s challenges and obstacles, including healing after pet loss, it’s important we do everything we can to keep ourselves healthy so we have the ability to face obstacles at our optimum level.
Please be advised I am not a doctor or professional nutrition expert however only sharing information I find to be helpful and that I currently practice in my daily life. I try to share tools that can possibly help you.
I’ve also referenced the sources of this information at the end of this post so you can further read and research for yourself.
So with that said, here is the first tip to reach better nutrition and better health.
Drink More Water
We’ve heard this one for the longest time. The benefits of water go beyond just hydration. According to www.webmd.com, drinking plenty of water helps maintain normal bowel function and kidney function. Drinking adequate water helps to flush your system and also help keep your skin looking good. It is also beneficial for keeping body fluids balanced and assists with cutting down on calories. When you drink glass of water before each meal, it helps to make you feel fuller faster but with less food.
How much water should I drink? According to MayoClinic.org:
“The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.”
Get your greens!
I don’t know about you but I know it’s a whole lot easier to drink a green smoothie than eat pounds of lettuce.
Superfoods such as wheat grass contains high concentrations of valuable nutrients, vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes to improve overall health in ways that our normal American diet cannot compete. I like Dr. Berg’s Organic Wheatgrass Juice Powder. Its high quality and rich in color. You can take it as a shot or blend in a green smoothie to get those nutrients.
Superfoods like wheatgrass and spirulina have high concentrations of chlorophyll and other nutrients beneficial in detoxing, purifying the blood and fighting free radicals which help prevent cancer.
You can learn more about the benefits of wheatgrass in the short video clip below.
Include more organic raw foods, less processed foods
“Organic food is pure food. It’s safer, more nutritious and free of chemical additives. Organic crops are grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers and organic livestock are raised without antibiotics, growth hormones or other drugs. Organic food isn’t genetically modified or irradiated.” Source: https://www.organicconsumers.org/organlink
With so much of our produce contaminated with chemical sprays, going organic or growing your own food is best.
I realize everyone cannot afford or have access to organic however when you can do it. I personally am a fan of shopping at Trader Joes as it’s a great alternative to larger chain stores for more affordable produce and more organic options.
As an alternative, if you cannot buy organic, the next best is buying conventional produce over GMO (genetically modified) foods. Because conventional foods have more pesticides and chemicals, I like to pre-wash or soak my produce in water with a splash of an apple cider vinegar.
For example. I love strawberries however buying organic isn’t always an option. So, when I’m ready to consume some berries I’ll soak them in a bowl with my mixture of water and apple cider vinegar for a few minutes to cleanse the produce and get rid of some of the pesticides. Rinse, dry and they are ready to eat.
Cut the sugar, salt and sodas
One of the reasons Americans are developing Type 2 Diabetes so fast is due to the amount of sugars we consume daily in our diet. The problem is that often times we think we are making healthy choices only to discover we are choosing foods with hidden sugars.
Cut the sodas, they are high in fructose corn syrup and bad for your teeth. Beware and read labels on your food. There are many hidden ways sugar is included in foods from salad dressings and sodas to condiments.
Also cut the salt. Too much salt consumption leads to high blood pressure, bloating and if uncontrolled, potential stroke.
Be sure to eat Breakfast
Don’t skip breakfast. According to www.webmd.com, a healthy balanced breakfast is important for the following reasons:
- A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
- Improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom
- More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
- Lower cholesterol levels
What we consume impacts not only our body but our brain. Taking care about what’s on your plate means you take care about your mental health too.
Check out this interesting short video clip about how food affects our mental health.
In conclusion, those are just a few tips I practice daily to have better nutrition in my life. Everything we consume mentally and physically impacts our quality of life. Be mindful that what you consume can help to prolong or shorten your quality of life.
Share your thoughts? What tips do you use to practice good nutrition? Do you get enough water everyday? Do you eat enough vegetables? Leave a comment below.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out some of my easy healthy recipes below.
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Originally published June 26, 2016. Updated November 18, 2020.