You’ve tidied the bathroom, decluttered the closet, and given the living room a deep cleanse--now it’s time to spring clean your eating habits! As we mentioned in our heart health post, a healthy diet is a cornerstone of overall physical and mental well-being. Plus, the energy boost that comes from cleaner eating will allow you to take full advantage of the longer, warmer days in the sunshine. Let’s dive into some changes you can implement that will help you eat healthier and feel amazing!
Seasoning Sans Salt
When it comes to flavoring, salt is the Swiss army knife of the typical American diet. Unfortunately, because salt raises sodium levels in your bloodstream, it can raise your blood pressure, increase inflammation, and leave you feeling sluggish.
Suffice it to say, we’d all be better off cutting back on salt. At the same time, no one wants to eat bland, flavorless food. Luckily, you can get creative with other ingredients that have added health benefits:
- Turmeric: A key ingredient used in many of delicious Indian dishes. It also carries a host of health benefits
- Garlic: it’s not just a delicious deterrent against the undead! Garlic is a healthy flavor alternative that may help lower your cholesterol
- Cinnamon: Did you know cinnamon was high in antioxidants? You do now!
- Thyme: Thyme is also high in antioxidants and may support cognitive function
Interested in the benefits of Turmeric?
Take Out? Cook In!
Now that you know the dangers of salt, all you have to do is avoid the salt shaker! Ah, if only it were that easy. In reality, up to 75% of the sodium we consume is hidden in processed foods like sauces, soups, condiments, and canned foods. While researching ingredients and scouring every label is a worthy endeavor, it can be a big drain on your time and energy. Luckily, there is a simpler solution:
Use this time to prepare meals for yourself as much as possible. This will give you more control and a keener understanding of what you’re putting in your body. Moreover, it will save you money!
Fruits & Veggies, Just Like Mom Said
The benefits of fruits and vegetables are commonly known: fruits are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and vegetables are a good clean source of energy. They also possess another secret dietary power… they keep you from eating other, unhealthier foods!
Best practice: fill at least half of your plate with fruits and veggies and eat them first! This will help curb your hunger and make sure you’re filling up on the good stuff.
More Fat! (No, Seriously!)
If you’ve scrolled through the #fitspiration tag on Instagram in the last year or two you’ve surely heard of the Keto Diet. As with many fad diets, some people have perhaps gone a little too far, but the idea at the heart of the ketogenic diet is actually solid!
The goal is to get your body into a state of ketosis, meaning that your body is burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This is good for a few reasons. First of all, fat is a very efficient source of energy. While the body can quickly burn through carbs and leave you craving more, a helping of fatty fish and a handful of cheese and nuts can give you energy to last through much of the day. Furthermore, carbs can raise insulin levels, increase inflammation, and prevent your body from burning fat!
If you’re interested in pursuing a ketogenic diet, check out this trustworthy source and be sure to consult with your physician first!
Looking for a Keto kick?
Drink Water, Eat Slowly
These last two tips are perfectly simple: drink lots of water and eat slowly!
Staying adequately hydrated comes with numerous health benefits: it flushes waste from your body, helps clear your skin, gives you more energy, can help your body burn fat, and can help you feel fuller longer.
Eating slowly can also aid in digestion. Plus, eating slowly gives your body time to recognize that you’re full, and can keep you from overeating.