Nutrition is a very important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Without the proper balance of nutritional components, our body feels depleted, aged and even ill at times. There has been much written about nutrition and sorting through so much information can often become confusing. Here we will outline some of the best tips to help you get started on your path to feeling healthier.
Make sure to start each day by eating a nutritious breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day and is much needed fuel to begin the day. Try eating items like oatmeal, low-fat yogurt, smoothies, whole grain toast, whole grain waffles and lean meats. This will not keep you full, but will help keep you full until your next meal.
Be cautious when using additives, such as dressings or condiments to your foods. It can drastically change your nutrition. Not only will it add a lot more calories to your meals, but these products have so many preservatives in them, that can be bad for your overall health.
Pay attention to the color of your urine. A very bright yellow color to your urine can indicate that you’re consuming too many of any given vitamin. A dark color can indicate dehydration. If you pay attention to what you put into the toilet bowl, it can help you to keep your nutrients at their ideal levels.
Divide your plate by an invisible line. On one half of the plate, fill it up with vegetables. You can use raw or steamed veggies. Be sure to not add butter or cheese. On the other half of the plate, fill have of it with whole grains, such as whole wheat pasta or wild rice, and fill the other half with your serving of meat.
Pay close attention to your late-evening snacking habits. Even after eating dinner, many people still make a habit out of indulging in a snack in that window between dinner and bedtime. This should be avoided at all costs unless you choose to snack on a healthy, nutritious food, like veggies or non-fat dairy products.
Many dieticians recommend replacing red meats in your diet with fish. If you had tried fish once or twice in the past but really don’t see it as something that you could ever eat on a daily basis, remember that there are dozens of different types of fish. Whether you opt for mackerel, mullet, snapper, sardines, or flounder, each kind has its own distinctive flavor and texture. Just because you did not like or two kinds does not mean you will not like any of them.
Bread isn’t the only food with a healthier whole grain counterpart; pastas like elbow macaroni, spaghetti, angel hair, and linguine are best consumed when made from whole grains instead of refined pastas. The difference in taste and texture between refined and whole wheat pastas is negligible, and even the pickiest eater would be hard-pressed to tell them apart.
When you are eating, it helps if you actually eat your food slower. When you savor your food, it is more likely that you will feel full much quicker, than if you just wolf it all down at once. You can even try eating half of your meal and then pausing for a few minutes and then finishing the rest.
Make sure you’re eating a balanced meal. 15-20% should be protein, 30% should be fats, and 50-55% should be carbs. This ensures that your body is getting everything it needs to function properly. Any diets that have high amounts or extremely low amounts of the nutrients deprive your body of what it needs.
You don’t have to give up your favorite fried foods or sweets to achieve good nutrition in pregnancy, just limit the amount you consume. Substitute some cut up vegetables or a hand full of almonds for just one of your daily sweet treats. Don’t feel guilty if you indulge from time to time, but picking a nutritious option instead will benefit your baby in the long run.
Vegetarians and vegans may want to supplement their diets with B12. Diets without meat and dairy may be missing on some essential nutrients. A deficiency can cause food malabsorption, fatigue, and a host of other problems. If you are concerned about your nutrient intake, consider seeing your doctor for routine blood-work.
When you’re looking for a tasty way to add nutrition to your diet, fruit smoothies are the way to go. Each smoothie is packed with nutrition from the fruit and yogurt required to make them. Smoothies taste remarkably good, and are a great replacement for fattening, unhealthy desserts such as ice cream or brownies.
Consider eating many smaller meals during the day instead of three bigger meals. Five or six small meals daily has been shown to help digestion and increase the nutritional value of the foods you eat (you absorb more nutrients). Plus, studies have shown that eating smaller meals may actually help you lose weight compared to eating three bigger meals!
Eat fruits every day. Fruits contain many essential vitamins and antioxidants which can help you have better skin and provide you with a nice energy boost. Use a variety of fruits like oranges, apples, and berries to supplement your diet. A good mixture of fruits is usually advised because it covers a broader spectrum of antioxidants and vitamins.
If you are looking to increase your antioxidant intake, try squirting some organic ketchup on your next meal. Tomato is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant theorized to play a role in fighting cancer. Organic ketchup is a bit darker than the regular stuff, and doesn’t have the corn syrup, either!
Everyone wants to feel healthy. Maintaining the proper balance of nutritional values is an integral part of living a healthier life. Proper nutrition leads to longevity, a more youthful appearance and decreased illnesses. Follow the tips we have provided in this article and you too can begin to reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.