We all know we should exercise and prioritize sleep, but it is just as important to eat the right foods. In our fast-paced lives, it can seem difficult to eat healthfully, especially if we are always in our cars, driving from work to school to children’s activities. Practicing some simple habits, though, can help us to be more balanced with our meals and to make better choices when we do have to eat on the road. The benefits of making these changes are worth the way they help us feel. Here are 7 ways to wellness through food.
1. Drink Water
Proper hydration helps all our body systems function correctly. While it is true that we do obtain some of the water we need from food and other beverages, that is most true when we are eating and drinking healthfully. In addition to helping our kidneys and bowels function correctly, drinking water helps limit brain fog, muscles to use energy, and skin to look good. Drinking water can also help us balance our calorie intake because sometimes when we feel hungry, we’re actually thirsty, and if we drink water before we eat, we’re less likely to overeat because we’ll feel full sooner. Carrying a reusable water bottle reminds us to drink.
2. Eat at Home
Prepare your own meals as much as possible. When you cook at home, you are in control of what goes into your food. Restaurants, especially fast-food restaurants, serve food that is higher in sodium and fat because that makes the food taste good to us at a low cost to them. When you cook at home, you can experiment with spices and seasonings that will make your food taste good to you without including large amounts of salt, which can have negative effects on your heart and bones. Carrying healthy snacks such as vegetables and nuts can limit drive-through temptations.
3. Include Protein at Every Meal
We all know we need protein for our muscles, but we also need it for healthy skin, hair, and blood. According to the Mayo Clinic, we should aim for 15-30 grams of protein at each meal. That translates to 3-4 ounces of most meats or ½ - 1 cup Greek yogurt. 1 cup of lentils or Quinoa or ½ cup of cooked black beans have 8 grams of protein. Each large egg has 6 grams and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter have 7 grams. It is easy to mix and match foods to obtain the correct amount of protein.
4. Choose Healthy Fats.
The amount of fats you need per day depends on your size, age, and activity level. Very low-fat diets can have negative effects on our bodies because we need them for the functioning of all our systems. Choosing healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, or butter and making sure to include Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet from foods such as fish and flax will help you enjoy the food you are eating and make you feel more satiated eating less.
5. Add Whole Grains
Include whole grains. To be considered a whole grain, the kernel must still include the outer, middle, and inner segments, even if they are cracked, rolled, or crushed. Including whole grains in your diet can help you feel fuller and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes because they are full of nutrients and fiber. You can cook with them or look for products that include whole grains. Read the labels to make sure the products don’t also include refined grains.
6. Eat Your Veggies
Integrate vegetables into all your meals. Vegetables can give us most of the nutrients we need to be healthy if we eat a variety. Incorporating them into every meal helps ensure we are giving our bodies what they need to do their jobs. Some people aim for 5 colors of vegetables in every meal. Some focus on adding green, leafy vegetables every day. Regardless of the system you use to motivate yourself, choosing to eat vegetables will help you feel better. If you have picky eaters, blending cooked vegetables into soups and sauces can help them eat their vegetables, too.
7. Eat Berries Every Day
Berries are truly nature’s superfood. They contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that help our bodies function well and stave off disease. They also taste amazing and are versatile enough to be included in every meal. Aronia berries are one of the most healthful berries, containing a wide range of nutrients and have the highest level of antioxidants compared to other fruits.
If you want to feel better throughout your life, following these simple guidelines will make that goal easier to reach. Superberries Aronia berry products are an excellent resource to begin your healthy eating journey. Superberries Aronia berry concentrate or frozen Aronia berries can be included in everything from breakfast to desserts and used in a variety of beverages.