A healthy body is equally important to a healthy mind. Having a healthy body is essential to carry out our day-to-day activities with efficiency. A healthy balanced meal is required to prevent diseases and complications in the future and present.
14 Healthy Food Habits To Add To Your Diet
1. Drink Plenty of Water
I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of drinking plenty of water. You must have already heard this millions of times from your parents, the doctor, and even influencers these days promote drinking water.
When you drink enough water, your body flushes out the toxins and helps in smooth functioning of the organs and internal system. This helps to maintain a healthy body and allows your brain to function better.
Drink minimum 3-4 litres of water each day. Also remember to maintain a periodic interval between them. Don’t chug down a bottle of water right before going to bed just to fulfill your daily quota. Instead keep drinking water at regular intervals throughout the day.
Keep a bottle of water next to you always and take at least a sip of it every time you lay your eyes on it.
2. Do Not Skip Breakfast
Another common health tip is to not skip your breakfast. When we are sleeping, our body does not get any food supply for a long period of time. If we are to calculate our minimum sleep hours, then we spend almost 1/3rd of our day sleeping. Breakfast literally means to break the fast. So, after such a long duration of time, it is essential to add fuel to our body to prepare it for the long day ahead.
Skipping breakfast can have adverse effects on the body like heart disease, diabetes, headaches, etc.
Hence it is recommended to have at least a light meal for breakfast and avoid the heavy fried options.
Recommendations- Eggs(rich source of protein), milk, cereals, fruits, or any other light less-oily meals.
3. Having Vegetables In Different Colors
As much as you need protein in your diet, vegetables play an integral part to provide nutrition to our body. Including different coloured vegetables like
Green- cabbage, spinach, broccoli, lettuce etc. improves eye health and reduces the risk of cancer and cholesterol
Orange- carrot, pumpkin, yellow capsicum, etc. prevents heart diseases and boosts the immune system
Red- beetroot, tomato, radish, etc. helps to reduce the risk of hypertension, cholesterol, and cancer.
4. Include Low-fat Protein
Proteins are an important element of your diet and should always be included in the diet plan. Include low fat proteins like eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, lean meats, seafood to your diet to make a healthy diet and allow for the proper functioning of your body.
5. Include Probiotics
Probiotics are “good” bacteria and yeast that aids in the process of digestion and the proper functioning of the gut. Our body originally has both good and bad bacteria in a balanced form, however, when the bad bacteria exceed the number of good bacteria, we fall sick. They are known as ‘good bacteria’ because they help to keep the gut flora healthy and functional. So, we need to put in more good bacteria to fight the bad ones. A healthy gut is important for the overall functioning of the body.
Adding food items rich in probiotics are vital for the healthy functioning of the body. Some probiotic rich foods are yogurt, pickles, paneer, dosa, idli, buttermilk, etc.
6. Have Whole-Grain Bread
Breads are often a quick meal and cheap option for people on the go. But having white bread is not that healthy. Instead, switch up your regular white bread with whole-grain breads when making sandwiches or toasts. Whole grains are a rich source of iron, magnesium, Vitamin B, and fiber that are essential to maintain a healthy body. Whole grain breads contains the whole part of the grains which adds to its nutritional value.
7. Chew The Food Well
We have all heard in our childhood that we need to chew our food properly for better digestion, and the elders were indeed right. Chewing our food properly allows for better absorption of the nutrients and helps to break down the food for easy digestion. It also keeps the teeth healthy by producing more saliva which cleans up leftover food bits to prevent teeth decay and other gum problems.
Did you know that chewing food properly helps in making your pronunciation better and makes your words clearer? So, that’s an added bonus!
8. Include Salads
Salads are one of the rich sources of minerals, vitamins, multivitamins, calcium, fiber, and other nutrients which helps in the digestion of the food and in the healthy functioning of the digestive system. Salads are also low in calories which helps to regulate the metabolism. They are beneficial to maintain healthy skin and youthful glow.
Some common vegetables that can be included in your salads are lettuce, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, beetroot, cucumber, radish, onion. You can also make a salad dressing to amp up the taste of your salad and not make it boring.
9. Have Fruits
Similar to the benefits of consuming salads, fruits are also essential to maintain a balanced diet. Most fruits that we have are low in fat, sodium, and calories, making them an ideal choice when you want to remain full without having to consume heavy meals. Fruits contain vitamins, minerals, and fibers which are vital for our system. A diet that contains enough fruits can also help prevent diseases like heart problems, cancer, diabetes, stroke.
Include fruits like apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, or any other fruit of your choice to your diet.
10. Choose Olive Oil
When you hear Olive oil, do you think “It’s too high fashion”? If yes, then I am about to change your mind. Olive oil is a healthier alternative to your regular oil or butter that you use in your cooking. Olive oil is proven to help in the reduction of cholesterol. You must know that cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. Hence, we do not want too much cholesterol in our bodies. It also contains healthy vitamins like A, D, and E.
11. Reduce Salt & Sugar Intake
Salt & sugar are basic components in our food without which it is difficult to flavour the dish. But these basic components can do more harm than good.
Salt can cause high blood pressure and water gain which may lead to heart attack and stroke.
Sugar consumption can cause diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity.
Therefore, it is necessary to consume these in very limited quantities to avoid any such health complications.
12. Reduce Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks like colas and sodas are the go-to choice for a lot of people when they want a refreshing drink. But as refreshing as these drinks may be, these drinks are harmful and their consumption should be reduced as much as possible.
Most of these drinks contain caffeine which increases the excretion of calcium by the kidneys, hence leaving less calcium which can be incorporated into the bones. They also contain phosphoric acid which may lower blood levels of calcium by meddling with the normal working of the mineral.
Replace these carbonated drinks with cold water, lemon water, or lassi, buttermilk which are more on the healthier side.
13. Include Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements are commonly consumed by a lot of people nowadays. With our hectic schedules, we often tend to miss meals or under-eat, which adversely affects our recommended daily nutritional intake levels. Dietary supplements like Omega 3 fatty acids capsules, Vitamin D, and other supplements help to meet the required nutritional levels and also benefit the body in the long run. Always consult with a doctor before including any of these supplements.
14. Eat More Home-cooked Meals
Buying food from restaurants and take-aways may seem easier after a long hectic day, but having a simple yet healthy meal made at home is much healthier. Foods made in restaurants are often made a few hours prior to your purchase or sometimes fresh ingredients may not be used. With simple meal planning and prepping a few days earlier will help you make your meals easier at home and will save your body and your wallet as well!
It is very important for us to maintain a balanced diet to achieve a healthy body. So, following these healthy habits will show immediate results and are also beneficial in the long run.