Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice that requires a long-term commitment. To be able to eat healthily, you don’t have to follow a strict diet. You rather have to undergo some minor changes in your everyday meal plan to have a clean and healthy body. Eating healthy ensures that you eat a lot of unprocessed food, most of the time, that keeps you away from any mood-swings or unwanted cravings. If you’re looking to start a healthy lifestyle simply follow these 10 simple tips to eat healthy, one at a time.
1. Increase your daily water intake
Make it a priority to drink at least 2.5-3 litres of water every day. Water controls nearly all functions of our body from regulating body temperature to boosting the digestive system. Water even controls our blood pressure and boosts our skin health.
Start your morning by drinking one big glass of water on an empty stomach. Keep a track of your water intake every day. Whenever you get thirsty next time, drink water instead of juices, which are often packed with sugar.
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2. Do not skip any of your meals
It goes without saying that this is one of the most important tips to eat healthy. Whenever you miss a meal, your body readily switches to a survival mode i.e, you crave more food and end up binge eating which can be very bad for your health. Skipping meals also has some adverse effects on your body. It increases the risk of diabetes, alters your metabolism, changes your blood-sugar level, and even results in mood swings and affects your concentration.
Think twice, before you skip a meal next time. For late mornings and busy days, simply pack a quick breakfast or lunch. Sandwiches and breakfast smoothies are quick and very good go-to meals.
3. Incorporate more vegetables in your meals
Most of us miss out on eating the veggies portion of the meal every day but, needless to say, it should not be skipped at all. Being dense with nutrients, vegetables serve as a perfect complement to animal proteins. Consuming 3 to 4 cups of veggies every day ensures better health. It reduces blood pressure, helps in gut cleaning, and helps you fight against diseases.
There is a huge variety of veggies to choose from. Try to incorporate as many varieties on your plate as you can. The more colorful you make your veggies bowl, the merrier. Some common vegetables to eat should be spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, eggplants, and the list goes on and on.
Simply make a quick salad of your choice or stir fry the veggies and include them in your meals. Consuming raw or partly-cooked vegetables is one of the key tips to eat healthy.
4. Consume fresh fruits every day
I’m sure you’re aware of the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, it’s very true. More than you actually think. Consuming at least one bowl of fruit every day can reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as improve your gut and heart health.
Fruits are rich in essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that help your body fight against diseases. Incorporate fruits in your breakfast and lunch. Oatmeal breakfasts taste amazing with frozen berries or bananas. You can also opt for fruit smoothies or yogurt with your favorite fruits as a snack. Isn’t this one of the easiest tips to eat healthy without any preparation?
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5. Cut down on salt and sugar
To cut down on your salt and sugar intake, simply avoid processed foods. Stay away from food with high salt content like pickles, and make a habit of adding lesser salt in your meals. Also, avoid those sugary breakfast cereals, they contain a huge amount of sugar that gives it the delicious taste which is, in turn, harmful to your body.
Consuming too much salt causes high blood pressure, kidney disease, or even heart failure. Too much sugar intake may also cause diabetes. Needless to say, make a habit of eating food with less salt and sugar.
Avoid eating pastries, caramel, candies as much as you can and replace sugar with healthy natural sweeteners like honey, jaggery, and dates. Of course, you can indulge in these cravings once in a while to satisfy your taste buds, but make sure you do not get habituated in consuming these desserts on a daily basis.
6. Eat more home-cooked meals than take-outs
This one is absolutely a no-brainer. If you want a healthy lifestyle, and develop healthy eating habits, you must eat home-cooked meals almost all the time. That means you eat everything fresh, keeping your salt and sugar content low, and balancing all the proteins, vitamins, and minerals in your meals.
Balancing everything is what makes a complete meal rich with healthy carbs, proteins, and fats. Make sure you put this tip to eat healthy as your number one priority while setting up a healthy eating routine. One of the clever tips to eat healthy is to keep lots of healthy options available in your fridge/ home.
7. Use more whole grains in your meals
Utilising whole grains while preparing meals is one of the tips to eat healthy. Some essential whole grains to be consumed in a healthy meal would be oats, brown rice, buckwheat, popcorn, millet, etc. Whole grains are packed with nutrients and fibres. They help in easy and healthy digestion and are essential for people suffering from heart diseases and diabetes. Eating whole grains also helps in your bowel movement.
There are several delicious recipes that allow you to incorporate whole grains into your everyday meal plans like a quick oatmeal bowl for breakfast or an oatmeal smoothie with your favorite fruits and nuts. Try experimenting with some of these recipes until you find the one that suits you.
8. Eat more healthy snacks
We consume most of the junk food during snacking, which is often once or twice a day. Developing a habit of eating healthy snacks instead of munching on whatever you find around the house takes time, but isn’t too difficult if you are determined. Remember, healthy snacks don’t necessarily mean tasteless foods. You can make your snacks fun to eat and enjoyable even with healthy ingredients.
Start by having fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, etc as your snack or make a fruit bowl with all your favorite fruits. Having yogurt with nuts is another healthy snacking choice. If you love to munch around on something or the other, stock up your pantry with healthy oatmeal cookies or nutrition bars. This is one of the most effective tips to eat healthy even when you are swamped with work and have very little time to prepare a meal on your own.
9. Take all your meals in proper proportions
You must have heard doctors suggest, “Eat your breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar”. This is a very important tip for starting a healthy lifestyle that you must always try to follow.
Your first meal of the day, breakfast should be very filling and packed with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fibre, and minerals - all these things will provide you with energy and boost your activity throughout the day. As you go through the day, the amount of food intake should decrease gradually. Take more proteins, veggies, fruits, and whole grains for lunch and as you reach dinner, keep it low on carbs.
This routine will ensure easy digestion of your food and will help your body slow down throughout the course of the day.
10. Don’t forget to consume proteins and vitamins
Proteins and vitamins are two very essential components of your meal that you should not miss out on. While making a meal plan, make sure you’ve incorporated these two elements in quite a good amount. Some of the best sources of proteins are eggs, meat, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.
Some sources of vitamins are citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, carrots, spinach, kale, etc. If you have any prescribed vitamins or proteins make sure you take them.
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Here goes my 10 tips to eat healthy for anyone who is looking to start a healthy and better lifestyle. Some of these tips will be hard to get accustomed to all of a sudden but, as long as you enjoy the process of this major lifestyle shift, you’ll do just fine. To make your life easier start by following one tip at a time and pick up the other ones on the go.
Now, before you indulge all your energy into developing these healthy eating habits, there are some food safety tips you should keep in mind.
Rinse fruits and vegetables under clean running water after buying them from the market.
Keep raw meat, eggs, and seafood away from other food items in your refrigerator.
Cook food at a proper temperature. Check out this chart to find out the right temperature to cook different food.
Store your food in the refrigerator at a temperature of 4 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
So, which of these tips do you already follow? And which of them are you planning to incorporate within your healthy routine next? Let us know in the comment section below.
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Sudiptaa Sen - I am a writer of this and that, learning to make use of my creativity and passion. I have an interest in a lot of things including food, lifestyle, self-care, and is a travel enthusiast who loves to enjoy life from various perspectives and lives to tell the tale.