Everywhere you turn there seems to be someone talking about the latest way to get fit and healthy, change your life or find the ‘new you’. It all sounds very impressive but also a little drastic for many of us. However, there is a simpler approach that is about looking at new foods to try, new approaches to what you eat and replacing the odd unhealthy food with a healthier option.
For starters, rather than drive yourself nuts trying to fit a formal diet into a busy life, why not consider adding a few healthy foods into your daily routine and reap their benefits?
A simple one to start with is the lemon. This little yellow fruit contains over 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C we require which helps increase the good HDL cholesterol in our system as well as boosting bone strength. It also contains citrus flavonoids which may help reduce the growth of cancer cells as well as being anti-inflammatory. And it is easy to add to your diet – add a slice of lemon to a mug of green tea or even just to plain water to start getting those benefits.
A surprising one is dark chocolate – one fourth of an ounce a day can reduce blood pressure in healthy people while the flavonoids it contains reduce the bad cholesterol and increase the good stuff. A perfect treat that helps your body too!
Another area to look at is balancing the foods you eat to give your body everything it needs. Omega-3 is one of those substances that is much discussed – a fatty acid that helps reduce blood pressure as well as improving mood in winter. It comes from eating fish such as salmon and sardines as well as some kinds of tuna. Alternative, walnuts and flax are non-fish ways to get the substance.
Adding fibre to your diet is an area that can be easy to do and have good, solid benefits. The recommended amount of fibre is 21-38 grams a day and this helps to prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers as well as helping to lose weight. Whole wheat couscous, quinoa, bulger and polenta are all easy ways to increase your fibre intake.
Eating healthy isn’t always about just eating fruit and vegetables and not much else. It’s about eating the right kind of foods to get the balance you need.
Pizzas are seen as the enemy by many ‘diet experts’ but that doesn’t quite cover the whole story. Take the sweet potato crust pizza. This uses sweet potatoes, known for having a huge list of health benefits, along with almond flour, baking soda, Italian seasoning and a little salt to create a base. Mashed up and laid on a baking tray it creates a tasty base that can then be added whatever you like. A little mozzarella, some tomato sauce and then some halved tomatoes and basil is one idea but you can use whatever you like.