No matter what’s going on in your life, practicing the basics of good nutrition & health can only help to improve your situation.
First things first: Eat a healthy breakfast every morning ideally within one hour of waking up. Aim to include protein, fiber, fruits and even vegetables whenever possible!
Next up: Remember to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water throughout the day. Don’t reach for the sugar filled drinks that are so harmful. 60% of our body is made up of water-not pop!
Moving on: We know how important micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) are right? The best way to get them into our bodies is to “eat the rainbow”! Eat lots of colorful fruits & vegetables every day – the more variety the better. Deep-colored fruits & veggies are loaded with micronutrients, antioxidants and fiber that decrease our risk of heart disease, certain cancers and systemic inflammation. Deficiencies can cause, or make worse serious health problems including anemia, depression and a weakened immune system. For best results eat 5 to 7 servings of colorful fruits & vegetables daily!
Labels: When reading labels focus on the ingredient list. Generally speaking, the fewer number of ingredients listed the healthier the food. For example, an apple (if it had a label) would list 1 ingredient, APPLE. A bag of Dorito chips lists 50 ingredients most of which are artificial chemicals definitely not a healthy choice!
Exercise: We all know how important it is for us physically but how about mentally? By exercising at least 5 days a week cortisol (a stress hormone) will decrease. This is good because high cortisol levels can lead to weight-gain, high blood pressure, mood irritability, fatigue and disrupted sleep. Regular exercise helps to increase dopamine and endorphins which are the bodies “feel good” hormones that provide a feeling of calmness, well-being and help diminish pain. Lastly, exercising regularly improves both the quality and duration of sleep contributing to a more sound and restful sleep!
Gayle Griffith, RN, BSN
Nutrition & Wellness Consultant