Our health is one of the most important things in our lives, but we don’t always give it the attention it deserves. Part of the problem is that there’s so much misinformation about health and nutrition. It’s hard to know who or what to believe.
Sifting through all of the noise and figuring out what will assist us in improving our health can be daunting, whether it’s the newest fad diet or the hyped “superfood.”
We’ve put together this list of evidence-based tips for better health and nutrition. Each tip is backed by science and has been scientifically proven to work. So, you can be sure that they will help you improve the way you look and feel.
Say No to Sugary Drinks:
Most of us can’t go a day without having some sort of sugary drink. Whether it’s coffee with heaps of sugar, soda, or even juice boxes, we’re consuming more sugar than ever before. And it’s militating our health.
Sugary drinks are the significant culprits of the obesity epidemic, so chuck them and opt for water, unsweetened tea, or sparkling water instead.
The health conditions linked with excessive use of sugar include heart diseases and diabetes. If you are under the effect of any of these health concerns, we recommend consulting your doctor before making critical changes to your diet. Nurses are a great resource as well. With a relevant degree, whether it’s an online bachelors in nursing or a more traditional program, these individuals are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to help you make informed decisions about your health.
Change Your Sleep habits:
Eight hours! We all have been reminded that eight hours is the magic number when it comes to sleep. But for many of us, that’s nothing more than a pipe dream.
The truth is, most of us are not getting enough sleep. And it’s taking a toll on our health. According to Statista, in 2021, 28% of North American adults said that they would like to focus more on getting enough sleep and rest than they currently do.
Sleep deprivation is linked to a whole host of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
We all secretly know the main culprit is our phones. So, instead of staying up late, scrolling through your social media account, pick up a book, take a bath, or do something that will help you relax and get ready for bed.
Don’t Run from Probiotics and Fiber:
We have all been there. Bloated, gassy, and feeling downright uncomfortable. It’s no fun. But instead of reaching for that bottle of antacids, try incorporating more probiotics and fiber into your diet.
Probiotics are living bacteria discovered in fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. They have been found to improve gastrointestinal health and digestion. On the other hand, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. It’s found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber helps to bulk up stool and keep you regular.
Incorporate Vitamin D3 in Your Diet:
Vitamin D is crucial for strong bones and a healthy immune system. It’s also been linked to a lower risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and glucose intolerance.
Most people get their dose of vitamin D from the sun. However, during the winter months, or if you live in a place with little sunlight, it can be toilsome to get enough vitamin D. So, we recommend incorporating vitamin-D rich foods into your diet, such as salmon, tuna, egg yolks, and mushrooms. You can also take a vitamin D supplement.
Don’t Overcook Your Meat:
Well-done meat might be your preference, but it’s not doing your health any favors. Raw meat is a powerhouse of protein, fats, and liquid. However, when cooked for longer and at a higher temperature, you’re left with toughened-up muscles and dry, overcooked meat. That’s why we recommend eating your meat medium-rare or rare. It will be juicier and more flavorful and retain more of its nutrients.
You can also incorporate more plant-based proteins into your diet, such as beans, lentils, and tofu. These protein sources are healthier for you and better for the environment.
Choose Better Sources of Calcium:
Whenever someone mentions calcium, the first thing that springs to mind is cow’s milk. However, this vital mineral can also be found in other dairy products.
Yogurt, for example, is an excellent source of calcium. It’s also packed with probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health. When inquired, 20 percent of yogurt consumers in the US pointed out that they prefer low-fat yogurt.
However, if you are lactose-intolerant, you may want to switch to vegan sources of calcium. Leafy greens, tofu, almonds, and sesame seeds are all sources of calcium. These foods are also high in other nutrients like iron, magnesium, and vitamin K.
Be Mindful of Your Salt Intake:
Salt is a necessary mineral that our bodies require in order to function properly. However, the majority of us consume far more salt than we need.
Most of the salt we consume is sourced through processed and restaurant foods. In fact, a study conducted by NHCS highlighted that in 2021 approximately 260 million Americans consumed saltines and snack crackers. No wonder hypertension is among the most prevalent chronic diseases in the US.
You can reduce your salt intake by cooking more meals at home and avoiding processed foods. When eating out, request that your food be prepared with minimum salt. You can also read this guide about Sea Salt vs Himalayan Salt to learn more about healthier salt choices.
Take Time for Exercise:
Everyone leading a sedentary life understands how difficult it is to find time to exercise. But even a short workout may make a significant difference.
Exercise has improved heart health, mental health, and sleep quality. It can assist in reducing stress levels and promote weight loss.
The best way to get started is by finding an activity that you enjoy and setting aside some time each day to do it. It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous. A brisk walk or a light jog is enough to improve your heart rate and overall health.
When you have established a fitness routine, you can gradually increase the intensity of your routine to include aerobics, strength training, and other sorts of exercises.
As per CDC’s most recent findings, roughly 647,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, out of which about 50% of these deaths are caused by poor dietary choices.
Leading a healthy life doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of the tastes of life or stay on your feet throughout the day. It’s all about making small, simple changes that will significantly impact your health. Remember, it all starts with one step at a time.
So, what are you waiting for? Put down that processed food and pick up some veggies from the fresh produce aisle.