Want a handful of easy ways to enhance your diet and live healthier? These dozen nutritional tips are simple to implement and can make a big difference in how you feel day to day, as well as lay a solid foundation for living healthier in the long term.
1. EAT BREAKFAST
You wake up ready to conquer the world. Maybe you think you’ll feel leaner and lighter and live healthier if you bypass breakfast. Think again. Studies like this one show that people who eat breakfast regularly are actually less likely to be overweight and more likely to have a healthy metabolism. In fact, many experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We understand it can be tough to get a wholesome meal when your to-do list is calling. That’s what makes a protein drink like our Rise and Shine Protein Shake a great addition to your morning. Just toss in the ingredients and the BlenderBall® wire whisk into your favorite BlenderBottle® shaker, secure the leak-proof lid, shake, and you’re ready to go—breakfast in hand.
2. PACK IN PROTEIN
Protein has numerous important functions in the body and is key in any list of nutritional tips. Protein is essential for the growth and repair of tissue and cells, it helps support a healthy functioning immune system, and it plays a role in manufacturing hormones. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (that’s 56 grams daily for the average sedentary man and 46 grams daily for the average sedentary woman). For active adults, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.0–2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, depending on training volume and intensity. What’s one of the easiest ways to ensure you get enough protein daily? You guessed it—mix up a high-quality supplement in a BlenderBottle® shaker.
3. EAT WHOLE FRUITS
Fruit juice sounds like a healthy beverage option, and when compared against soda it is a nutritious choice. But your best bet for living healthier is to reach for whole fruits more often than fruit juices. The high-fiber content of whole fruits is a nutritional benefit you don’t want to miss. Additionally, fruit juices alone are quite high in sugar, which can cause a spike in metabolism and subsequent sugar crash.
4. EAT IN SEASON
When it comes to produce, one of the best nutritional tips is to eat what’s fresh and in season as often as possible. Seasonally fresh produce is picked when it’s ready to be consumed, meaning it’s had longer sun exposure and more opportunity to develop natural antioxidants. Plus, seasonal fruits and veggies taste delicious, giving you motivation to eat more of them. How can you tell what’s in season in your area? Head to your local farmers’ market, where local growers sell their current harvests.
5. EAT IN COLOR
You’ve probably heard the expression “eat the rainbow.” This refers to including a wide variety of fresh produce—a rainbow of colors—in your diet. Fruits and vegetables contain a wealth of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Eating a broad mix of produce is an easy way to get the complete range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs for living healthier. For example, blue and purple produce (blueberries, blackberries, and eggplant) contain antioxidants believed to help fight cancer and aging. Orange and yellow produce (citrus fruits, carrots, corn) promote positive immune function and eye health.
6. AVOID OVERLY PROCESSED FOOD
A majority of packaged, processed foods contain refined grains and added sugar, which serve as empty calories with little nutritional value. Opt for whole-grain carbohydrates over white bread and white rice in order to better bolster your diet. Limit your intake of soda, candy, junk food, and fast food—which tend to be high in sugar and unhealthy fats, and can derail a nutritious diet plan.
7. SODIUM DOWN, POTASSIUM UP
Eating too much salt is another common dietary downfall. Our bodies require sodium to help regulate fluid balance and other important functions. But far too many people consume more than the maximum RDA of 2,300 mg for healthy adults, or 1,500 mg for people sensitive to sodium. Excess sodium is known to raise blood pressure and can contribute to heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Potassium is another critical mineral, and some people do not get enough. A potassium-rich diet, incorporating high-potassium foods like bananas, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, and yogurt, is associated with a lowered risk of heart disease.
8. INCLUDE PROBIOTICS
Gut health is a trendy nutrition topic these days, and for good reason. Poor gut health can be linked to numerous conditions and diseases, including bloating, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Disease, and autoimmune conditions. One way to help keep your gut functioning properly and live healthier is by eating probiotic foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha, or by taking a daily probiotic supplement.
9. EMBRACE HEALTHY FATS
Yes, eating fat is a critical part of living healthier. The Mediterranean diet, which contains high volumes of both olive oil and nuts, has been widely studied for its health benefits, including a decreased risk of heart disease. Don’t fear fats—just be sure you’re consuming healthy ones. Some of the best sources of healthy fat are extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, fatty fish, whole eggs, and—wait for it—even dark chocolate.
10. STEER CLEAR OF SUPERSIZE
The “supersize” trend of massive drink cups and all-you-can-eat buffets can have a negative impact on your waistline and your healthy living nutrition plan. It’s simply far too easy to eat everything on your plate, even if you’re not that hungry. Pay attention to portion sizes on any packaged foods, and try using smaller plates and bowls when cooking at home to avoid overeating. Slow down enough to enjoy your food, and stop when you’re full. You can always reach for seconds if you’re still hungry, but you won’t feel compelled to clean your plate if you’ve already eaten enough.
Literally every system in our bodies utilizes water, which accounts for roughly 60 percent of total body weight. Water works to flush toxins from our bodies and transport nutrients to our cells. A lack of water, or dehydration, can have dangerous consequences, including impaired cognitive, gastrointestinal, kidney, and heart function. A number of variables contribute to the right amount of water to drink. To be sure you’re getting plenty, keep a large refillable bottle, like the BlenderBottle® Pro45™ bottle, on hand.
What does sleep have to do with nutrition? Sleep affects nearly every aspect of our lives. It impacts our sports performance, mental function, emotional well-being, eating habits, and physical health, development, and healing. Lack of adequate sleep can hinder digestion, negatively impact the immune system, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, and contribute significantly to weight gain and obesity. The right amount of sleep varies throughout our lives, but for most adults the ideal range is 7-9 hours nightly. The bottom line: getting your Zs is probably as important as what you eat and drink in terms of living healthy.
Have any additional nutritional tips to live healthier? Share your best advice in the comments below.