From Muscle Sport Magazine
The one thing that binds us all together, irrespective of race, nationality, culture, religion, educational level, societal status, is Food. Yes, Food. Everyone needs food for survival, animals, and plants too. Which means it is more of a necessity than a choice. Food comes with its intrinsic pleasures but more importantly, the kind of food you eat matters too especially to your health and wellness.
Eating healthy is pivotal both to maintain good health and stay in shape. Just before you cringe your nose and turn away; eating healthy doesn’t just involve eating greens and veggies. You can still eat a variety of foods from all classes that boost your mood, keeps you refreshed, energized and overall improves your health. There are several examples of meals that fall into this category.
Nutrition is all about nourishing your body. You do this of course by eating the right kind of food. In our world today, fast foods are the rave. They are easy to come by, appealing to the eyes and stimulate your taste buds. Unfortunately, they are typically high in calories and unhealthy fat and low in nutrients your body needs. This means that you will have to consciously choose to eat healthily and make a habit of it. Here are a few ways to help master the art of healthy eating.
- Cook more, eat out less: by now, I’m sure you must have a thousand and one reasons why this can’t work, but I’ll give you a few reasons why it can and why it will if you put your mind to it. First, it saves costs. Cooking your meals yourself is way easier on your budget.
You can do the math; how much you spend in a week on eating out versus how much you’d spend when you cook your meals. Cheaper right? Also, if you cook in large portions, there is always the option of refrigerating till the following day, which means you get to eat another healthy meal. And lastly, but most importantly, you know what is inside! You cooked it so you can be certain of what’s inside and save yourself the headache of worrying over how many calories you are munching down. Click here to find out some of the ways fast food affect your body.
- Do not skip breakfast: This is like the thumb rule for healthy eating. Breakfast is the king of all meals and must be treated as such. When you skip breakfast, there is a higher tendency to feel hungry and sapped of energy quickly and of course, turn too fast foods for replenishing and revival. Two things have now occurred; you’ve lost out on nutrients your body needs and you’ve eaten unhealthily. A healthy breakfast, high in fiber and protein, low in fat, sugar, and salt, would keep you energized longer and of course, supply the necessary nutrients.
- Add fruits to your meals: Fruits and veggies are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber and these are nutrients that improve your health. Fruits such as apples, avocados, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, plums, peaches, grapes, etc., are very healthy. Aim to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruits each day. You could eat them before or alongside your meal.
Swapping a mid-day snack with a banana or apple could also do the trick. Plus, fruits come in a variety and they add color to your meal. More importantly, try to eat your fruits and not just drink them. The sugar in fruits is easy to digest and cause less harm to your body than those in the fruit juices. This is because; many of the fruit juices contain added sugar which can cause an increase in your blood sugar level.
- Take more proteins: Protein-rich food such as eggs help you build and retain your muscle mass. Research has shown that eating eggs in the morning can greatly contribute to weight loss and is very beneficial to one’s health. This is because eating eggs in the morning would make you full and less hungry. As a result, the tendency to want to consume more calories is lessened. Make sure to add a source of protein to each of your meals.
Other sources of proteins include dairy products, nuts, beans, and lean meat. Here are some simple tricks to help you add more protein to your diet https://www.thehealthy.com/nutrition/how-to-eat-more-protein/
- Cut down on fat, sugar, and salt: Saturated fat is unhealthy because too much of it can increase your cholesterol level which can hurt your heart. On average, males ought not to have more than 30g of saturated fat per day and females, not more than 20g. Saturated fats are found in foods such as sausages, butter, cakes, pies, cream. Try to add more unsaturated fat to your meals such as vegetable oils, avocado or oily fish.
Fats in every form are high in energy so have them in small portions. Sugar increases your chances of developing obesity among other health-related issues. Most fruits and milk contain sugars already so try to reduce your intake of added or “free” Sugars. Checking food labels could help you caution your sugar intake. Too much salt can increase your blood pressure and that increases the risk of heart disease or stroke. Most foods already have salts in them so be sure to check the labeling. Any food containing more than 1.5g of salt per 100g is already high enough and children should not eat more than 6g of salt per day.
- Drink plenty of water: Getting dehydrated is a sign of not having taken enough water. Water is very important for your health and is advisable to take instead of beverages or fizzy drinks. It helps to flush out toxins and waste from your body and of course, keeps you hydrated. Water also helps in weight loss and weight maintenance as it decreases your intake of calories.
Developing a healthy eating habit isn’t a day’s job, so don’t get discouraged if you find yourself slipping off. Think of the long term benefits of good health, weight loss and maintenance and nourishment to your body. You don’t have to change your eating habits all at once, take your time you’d get the hang of it soon. You could commit yourself to try out a new recipe each week to spice your food.