From a young age, we learn the importance of nutrition and how what we eat will help us grow big and strong. Yet, it can be tempting to skip the homemade meals or the healthier food option for whatever is most convenient, cheap, or satisfying. Although it’s normal to indulge in your favorite junk food from time to time, don’t let that become your new normal.
What you eat can not only have a short-term effect on your life, but will also affect your health long term. This is why it’s crucial you follow these tips on how to eat well for your mental and physical health.
1- Start Your Morning Right:
Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, and there is a reason for that! Your first meal of the day jump-starts your metabolism, and depending on what you eat will provide you with your energy for the day. Having a hearty breakfast will help you better focus on your daily tasks while equipping you with some much-needed vitamins and nutrients.
You don’t need a lot to prepare a healthy breakfast. Adding lean protein like eggs, whole grains from bagels or cereal, and some fruits like berries to your breakfast can not only manage weight gain, but will also help you feel more alert throughout the day. Protein-rich food can also increase your levels of dopamine which will increase your ability to think and plan.
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, then don’t worry; consuming caffeine in the morning can improve physical performance and lower your risk of developing heart disease. However, avoid low-fat and artificial creamers as they tend to be overly processed and add no nutritional value. Adding cinnamon or cocoa to your coffee are simple ways to add flavor without compromising your health.
Further reading: 8 Breakfast Foods To Avoid In The Mornings
2- Drink Plenty Of Water
Your body is 60% water, impacting the functions of your digestion, circulation, saliva, and many other body fluids. Make sure you’re maintaining the balance of your bodily fluids by drinking plenty of water. Health experts recommend eight full glasses a day. Although this can vary depending on body weight, diet, and other attributing factors, drinking at least eight glasses a day can help prevent a multitude of health issues. Staying hydrated will improve constipation, skin dehydration, and kidney stones. Drinking water has also been proven to improve mood and lower the risk of anxiety and depression.
3- Be Mindful Of How Foods Affect You
As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and your food can have a variety of effects on your body. Be cautious about what your daily diet might be doing to your health, as it can affect your mental and physical well-being. Food can cause:
- Stress & Anxiety: If you struggle with stress or anxiety, be cautious of eating overly processed foods. If you’re regularly consuming fried food, candy, or pastries, then be wary because that might result in you feeling more anxious than usual. One way to ease any food-caused anxieties is by cutting back on the processed foods and incorporating whole fiber-rich foods, legumes, or vegetables.
Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, can help reduce anxiety. If you’re still struggling mentally and feeling overwhelmed, try combating stress with vitamins or supplements that your body might need. You can even talk to your doctor about what medical options for managing stress work best for you.
- Gut Health: Having and maintaining a healthy gut is key to living a healthful lifestyle. However, there are many factors like lack of diversity in your foods that can affect your gut health. Foods high in prebiotics, like oats and bananas, promote the growth of good gut bacteria.
Drinking too much alcohol can be toxic and harm your overall well-being. Constant alcohol consumption can decrease the healthy gut bacteria causing dysbiosis. If you’re finding it challenging to regulate your gut health, try a prebiotic or probiotic supplement. They both work to promote and bring good bacteria to keep your gastrointestinal tract happy!
- Sexual Health: As you know by now, your diet can affect all aspects of your well-being, and that includes your sexual health. Eating a diet high in added sugars and unhealthy fats can negatively impact your sex life, resulting in erectile dysfunction or low libido. Consuming foods with loads of added sugar, like baked goods or soda, can reduce testosterone levels and leave you feeling fatigued, which is a sex killer.
If you want to maintain a healthy sex life and boost your libido, try to incorporate foods that provide vitamins that can increase blood flow, like avocados or figs. If you’re still struggling with sex-related difficulties, then talk to your doctor about choosing ED medications or how to manage your diet.
Adjusting your diet can seem complicated at first. However, create small goals for yourself to keep you accountable. Reflect on your past eating habits and where you want to improve. Making tangible changes will help you get into a routine and create healthy habits. Be patient with yourself, you won’t see changes to your health overnight, but if you stick to them before you know it, you will be living your healthiest life!
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