There is a lot of confusion and conflicting definitions when it comes to what nutrition is. But, one thing is certain; nutrition is far broader than diet alone. Read on for seven tips for living a more nutritious lifestyle.
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#1 Drink water before meals
While the benefits of drinking water are obvious and plentiful, did you know drinking it just before meal time is the key to optimum nutritional intake? A glass of water 20 minutes before you eat can make you fuller in half the time meaning you consume half the quantity of food you usually would – a great hack for those prone to overeating! Drinking water before food can also help to boost your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn.
#2 Don’t overcook your vegetables
Flavour isn’t the only reason to avoid overcooking your veggies. Generally, the longer you cook food, the greater the nutrient loss. This is due to the chemical reaction that occurs within food when it comes into contact with heat. Some vitamins, like vitamin B and C, are more sensitive to the effects of cooking. Overcooking will not only result in the loss of key nutrients but also make it more difficult to digest and metabolise. Also, studies have found burnt food to contain carcinogenic substances and many experts caution that overdone foods generally contain cancer-causing chemicals…eek! Light steaming, baking and stir frying are the best ways to cook vegetables. Where you can, try to avoid boiling vegetables like nanna used to 😉
#3 Take it slow
Eating is definitely one of those occasions where slow and steady wins the race. The benefits of eating at a sensible pace are endless, including improved digestion, weight loss and management and greater satisfaction. Conversely, if you rush through meal time, everything suffers. Picture this: you hoon down your food in lightning speed, finishing the meal before your stomach even has a chance to signal to your brain it’s full. The end result: You’re uncomfortable, overstuffed and not feeling too hot. Sound familiar? Don’t worry we’ve all been there but trust us; no one ever regrets taking it slowly.
#4 Gut health is equally as important
Health really does stem from within. The gut, often referred to as the “forgotten organ”, plays a vital role in your body. It helps to control digestion, regulate your metabolism and boost your immune system. When your gut is disrupted, like after a stomach bug, it’s more at risk of serious diseases such as obesity and diabetes. To improve the overall health of your gut, eat probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut. Alternatively (or in addition), try adding a supplement to your diet like our Multi-Flora Probiotic or High Potency Probiotic Support, which both assist with balancing good and bad bacteria in the gut.
#5 Get enough sleep
The benefits of adequate sleep cannot be overstated. The importance of eight hours quality shut-eye extends well beyond just banishing under-eye circles and improved mood. Quality sleep is an integral component of a healthy lifestyle, benefiting your weight, heart, mind and overall wellbeing. Have you ever found yourself ravenous when you’re tired? There’s a reason for that. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain so when you’re feeling fatigued, certain hormones go up in your blood, which throw your appetite all out of whack. So, before you start on some crazy diet, you might want to plan an earlier bedtime first!
#6 Take Vitamin D
The reality of living where we do is that we tend to over protect ourselves from the sun – so much so, that most of us are inadequate in vitamin D. With our sun being so harsh and the highest incidence of melanoma skin cancer in the world, increased sun exposure is not an option for most – and we definitely advice against it. Supplementing with Vitamin D has been shown to have numerous benefits for health and nutrition, including improved strength, mood, bone health, lower risk of cancer and it’s even said to help you live longer.
#7 Spice things up!
In addition to adding a bit of oomph to your meal, herbs and spices have a host of health benefits. Boasting antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties, even small quantities deliver powerful rewards. The wellness wave has given rise to Turmeric but we promise it’s not just a fad. Curcumin, its most active compound, has many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Lesser known but quickly gaining traction for its health benefits is Garlic – but more so in its raw form. Used for thousands of years medicinally, garlic helps maintain healthy triglyceride and cholesterol levels and supports heart health. Try to include as many different herbs and spices as you can in cooking – your palette and health will reap the rewards.