Good nutrition is a necessary aspect of health and development. It promotes optimal body functions, allows us to stay fit and healthy, boosts immunity, and helps to protect our body from negative outside influences, all of which can aid in leading a longer and happier life. However, with the faced-paced lifestyles we lead today, and an abundance of conflicting health information we are faced with, it can often be difficult to construct a balanced and nutritious diet that meets our everyday needs.
To that end, here are some simple nutrition tips for physical and mental longevity that can easily turn into healthy and sustainable daily habits:
Eat protein with each meal
Eating enough protein every day is essential for optimal health, as it provides your body with the raw materials needed for creating new tissues and cells. As a higher protein intake might help to boost your metabolism, it could also reduce cravings and aid in maintaining a healthy body weight, with some studies even suggesting protein could balance blood sugar and be beneficial for diabetes.
For this reason, it’s recommended to eat protein with each meal. This is most commonly done through high-protein foods such as chicken, turkey, lean beef, eggs, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese. For those on a plant-based diet, on the other hand, protein can easily be included through foods like oats, quinoa, lentils, broccoli, or even protein supplements.
Focus on fruits and vegetables
No healthy diet can be maintained without fruits and vegetables. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and prebiotic fiber, all nutrients that have wonderful health benefits. Some studies have even shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables often live longer, having a lower risk of obesity, heart disease, and other illnesses.
To that end, try to ‘eat a rainbow’ with every meal, as including different colors of fruits and vegetables on your plate will help you ingest a variety of beneficial nutrients. Whether that means eating a vegetable salad as a meal or side dish, or even snacking on colorful fruits in between meals, varying the color of plant foods is the key to a healthy diet.
Snack on healthy nuts and seeds
Being chock-full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals, nuts and seeds are highly nutritious foods. This is why they make for brilliant snacks between meals, helping to reduce hunger, increase the daily nutrient intake, and even aid in weight loss in some instances.
What’s more, nuts and seeds are also easily accessible. For example, you can effortlessly find raw pistachios online, one of the best sources of antioxidants, proteins, vitamins E and B, minerals like iron and calcium, as well as a number of other beneficial nutrients. Among other nuts and seeds to try are also almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, chia, sesame, and pumpkin seed, all of which can be great additions to a balanced diet.
Get enough fiber and whole grains
It’s generally recommended to choose whole grains over their refined counterparts, as whole grains contain healthy nutrients like fiber, iron, and vitamin B that are necessary for balancing blood sugar, carrying oxygen in the blood, and improving the immune system. Oat, rice, corn, quinoa, and buckwheat are considered to be among the best whole grains to include in a healthy diet.
However, it might be beneficial to include even more fiber in your diet, as it could help to lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy body weight, as well as encouraging digestion and promoting good gut health. To that end, you might want to opt for foods such as avocados, beans, broccoli, potatoes, apples, and berries, in an effort to increase your fiber intake.
Include more healthful fats
While many people might be afraid of including fats in their diet, the truth is that only saturated fats could be harmful to our health. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are necessary for a healthy and balanced diet, helping with muscle movements and blood clots, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
When it comes to unsaturated fats, it’s recommended to increase your intake of fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and trout, as they are high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. For a plant-based alternative, foods such as avocado, chia seeds, cacao, and vegetable oils can all be great sources of unsaturated fats.
Evidently, eating a balanced and nutritious diet every day isn’t as difficult as it might initially seem. Even small changes in your daily meals can aid in physical and mental longevity, adding years to your life, and making you a healthier and happier person overall.
Guest Author Bio:
Sophia Smith is Australian-based beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger. She is very passionate about latest fashion trends, DIY projects and natural beauty products. Sophia writes mostly in beauty and fashion related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is regular contributor at High Style Life.