People often think of nutrition as boring. Eating a healthy diet is fun, exciting, and a good way to stay in great health. As luck would have it, nutritionally balanced food can be delicious and adventurous. Try to look at the food that you eat as nourishment by applying these simple tricks to help achieve a healthier body.
One tip when thinking about nutrition is nutrient density. How rich in nutrients is the food you’re eating – not by weight, but by calorie? You would be surprised to learn, for example, that when measured by CALORIES, a vegetable like broccoli is surprisingly high in protein – comparable, calorie for calorie, to the amount of protein found in red meats. But of course you can eat far more broccoli for the same amount of calories, which also provides fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid.
Drink skim, low-fat, or non-fat milk on a daily basis. There are less calories and fat in these types of milk, but exactly the same calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients. Your body needs calcium to have strong bones. This is especially important in childhood while bones are forming and in old age when bone loss can occur.
Make sure that you are getting enough vitamin E in your diet. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant that helps maintain the health of cell membranes. It has potential benefits in the protection of the heart against disease. Vitamin E is also important to the health of your eyes and plays a role in the prevention of cataracts.
Cut back on salt. Fast food contains tons of salt, just like any kind of junk food. Once you start to eat less salt from day to day, you will notice that you become more sensitive to its taste. Therefore, unhealthy foods won’t taste as good to you. You won’t want to eat them as often.
Dairy products give us calcium and protein. But some people find cow’s milk indigestible. For them there are alternatives: lactaid milk, goat’s milk, and soy or rice ‘milk.’ Cultured dairy products such as buttermilk, sour cream and yogurt are especially high in nutrients and more digestible than milk.
Try to limit your consumption of processed and packaged foods. These types of foods are usually high in fat, salt and refined sugars. Also, if you are cooking for a large family, it can be a lot cheaper to make meals from scratch rather than buy large numbers of packaged ready meals.
A good nutritional tip is to be consistent with the timing of when you serve your child meals. Ideally, you’ll want to serve them meals around the same time everyday. It’s also a good idea to limit fruit drinks and soda to only meals because they can easily fill up on them.
To boost your energy in a nutritious way, eat foods high in magnesium. Magnesium helps your body make a substance called adenosine triphosphate, which significantly increases your energy levels. A wide variety of foods contain magnesium, including cashews, yogurt, and spinach. If you have a sweet tooth, the cocoa powder used in making dark chocolate is another excellent source of this nutrient.
To make it easier to get the most out of your pregnancy nutrition, start with small changes, like trading those sugary cereals for healthy whole grain cereals. Whole grains provide good carbohydrates to give you the energy you need. Make sure you read the package to see if the words “whole grain” are listed.
It can be hard to maintain proper nutrition during pregnancy when you’re feeling tired, so plan ahead for days when you just don’t have the energy to cook. Take advantage of those days when you are felling good to make a second tray of lasagna or a double batch of chili to freeze for later use.
Don’t let the latest fads convince you that you are doing things wrong. The fads change as quickly as the wind and as long as you follow the basic proven aspects of nutrition you will be living a better, healthier life. That fad will be over before too long anyway.
As you can see, eating a balanced, nutritious diet is easy and fun. There is a lot of room for creativity in the world of food, so it is a wonderful way to enhance your quality of life without limiting yourself. These tips are only the beginning to a new, healthier you!