Healthy Eating Supports a Healthy Mind
If your family requires some reasons to pursue a healthier lifestyle, try bringing up the positive mental effects of healthy eating. Just like how our bodies are affected by the way we deal with stress, the way we eat and drink drastically affects our mental health. A group of researchers found that people who eat more vegetables, fruit, and nuts were 30 percent less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, while less than half of people who suffer from mental health problems regularly ate a healthy meal. Whole grains and leafy greens help regulate moods, with the added bonus of keeping you full longer.
Take a Healthy Meal to Go
Whether you’re headed to work, school, or even a weekend hike, you’ll need sustenance throughout the day. While it may be tempting to eat out, it can prove to be a strain on your health, as well as your wallet. Instead, take an extra five minutes in the morning to pack a healthy lunch. Leftovers from a previous night’s dinner will work, as will the traditional sandwich -- use whole grain bread and preserves made with real fruit, or fresh vegetables. Include some handheld veggies, like carrot sticks, broccoli, or celery, or fruit for a snack.
Finally, skip the soft drink and hydrate yourself with some water. Hydrating throughout the day is another key component of a healthy lifestyle. Drinking water with your meals helps your body absorb the nutrients in your food and improve the digestive process. Taking breaks to drink also helps slow down your eating process, which prevents overeating. Staying hydrated also reduces aches, pains, and headaches and improves your sleep, leading to an improved mood throughout the day.
Fast Cooking and Appealing Dishes
One of the most common problems people experience when they plan to live a more healthy culinary lifestyle is that cooking takes a significant amount of time -- time that could be spent with familial or professional duties. However, all you need to do is to teach yourself several basic techniques that are quick, easy, and can be used in a pinch.
Sauteing vegetables usually takes four to eight minutes (more time is requiredfor firmer vegetables, such as carrots) and only requires a single pan and a burner. Season lightly with salt at the beginning and end of your cooking session to bring out the natural flavors of the vegetables.
If your family members say they don’t like vegetables, typically this is because the vegetables they have tasted are over- cooked or underseasoned. Cooked veggies shouldn’t be limp and pallid at the end of the cooking process; in general, they should still retain some snap and their colors should be bright. As they cook, add a dash of your preferred seasoning. Finally, instead of drowning your food in sauce, make a light vinaigrette to support, rather than overpower, the flavor of the dish. Properly cooked vegetable dishes will help encourage kids and adults alike to eat them thanks to their great flavor and bright colors.
Diet Tips for Seniors
Your golden years are a time to really focus on your overall health. With age comes slower metabolism, weaker senses, and the risk of developing chronic health conditions. It’s crucial to maintain a healthy diet (in addition to regular exercise) to overcome these challenges and stay in the best shape possible. In order to get the necessary nutrients, your meals should include protein and essential fats from free-range animals, eggs from cage-free chicken, no sugar and carbs from processed foods and desserts, except fruits and vegetables. When seasoning your dishes, use fresh herbs and pure spices. For portion size, go by the recommended serving size, if it is satisfactory; otherwise seek the advice of a naturopathic doctor.
Your doctor visits should also include a wellness check, which is covered annually by Medicare. This exam assesses your current diet and lifestyle, and your doctor will recommend a wellness plan tailored to your overall well-being. Make sure you schedule and follow through on these visits annually so that you stick to your personalized preventive care practices.
All it takes are a few small changes to start eating healthy all year long. Wake up five minutes earlier each day to pack a lunch, and get your family in the kitchen at dinnertime to bond while crafting a delicious meal. Finally, if you’re a senior, stick to a healthy diet tailored to your needs, which can help prevent the development and progression of chronic health conditions.
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