Continuing good eating habits
Ok, so we know that healthy eating is good for us, but is that it? Just eat a few leaves and some brown bread and my health will miraculously change? No not really, but it can make a positive and often surprising change both in the short term and long term. This week I want us to look at some good eating practices that are often regarded as unimportant but in fact can have a significant influence on how your body performs.
1. Don’t miss breakfast
Most dieticians will agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. From the last meal of the evening your body is literally on a fast that you will break at ‘break-fast’. After 8 to 12 hours without some kind of meal, your metabolism and energy levels drastically slow down as your body loses glucose (blood sugar – also feeds the brain). By having breakfast you refuel your body and keep your metabolism moving. Many people try to skip breakfast believing this will help them to lose weight, but this actually does the opposite because it slows your metabolism down and can have the reverse effect by storing more energy when you do decide to eat. Even a small healthy breakfast like fruit and/or wholegrain cereal or oatmeal is better than nothing.
The American Dietetic Association state, “Studies show breakfast eaters tend to have more strength and endurance, and better concentration and problem-solving abilities. On the flip side, those who skip breakfast often feel tired, irritable or restless in the morning.”
Unless you have a very good reason, breakfast should be a non negotiable meal.
2. Drink plenty of water
The most important substance for our body is water. Approximately two thirds of a person’s body weight is water. Your body needs water for good digestion and the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Water also acts as a detoxifier, carrying away waste products from the liver and kidney. More water can help you to lose weight, keep your skin healthy and increase energy levels. One study cited that drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50%. Things like coffee, tea and fizzy drinks that contain caffeine actually aid in dehydrating the body.
3. Increase your food variety
A variety of food adds more nutrients and minerals to your diet. If you’re use to eating the same kind of food, it’s good to experiment and learn new recipes. If you’re not big on cooking, then start by adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet. Dark green and colourful vegetables are good. The UK department of health recommends that you have at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Also try different varieties of fibre, meat and dairy products.
4. Question what you eat
Why do you eat what you eat? Do you eat what you eat out of knowledge or convenience? Do you eat food because it tastes good or because it does good to your body? Do you eat what you eat because of culture and tradition? Most of our eating habits have been formed through our upbringing and environment. In many cases simple variations to the food we eat can add a positive change to our bodies. Let’s take rice for example. Many people eat white rice simply because that’s what they’re use to and because it’s easy to cook. But are you aware that there are at least 11 types of rice including basmati, jasmine, long grain and wild rice? In the case of brown rice, it has a high level of fibre, a moderate source of protein and a good source of B vitamins(energy) and minerals as compared to white rice. That’s not to say that white rice is altogether bad for you, but brown rice is more nutritious.
These 4 tips are often more important than we realise, but can have a significant effect both in the short and long term.
God bless and protect
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