As the new year begins, there is a good chance that one of your resolutions for the new year revolves around eating healthy good and managing your diet. At the end of year, we often look back and find things that we could have done better. Our health goals such as losing weight are often on this list. Before we commit to any other health goal, it is important to start eating healthier in order to empower your body and to help you achieve your health goals.
Are you wondering what does eating healthy entail? Healthy eating is commonly referred as clean eating or detoxifying the body of toxins. I would love to extend this to other elements of optimal health as well.
Principles of optimal health include:
- A balanced diet comprising of high-quality nutrient-rich foods
- Positive self-image
- Adequate sleep with a sleep routine
- Regular exercise and rest
- Regular exposure to natural light
- Good hydration
- Social connection
Principles of healthy eating:
- Eat whole, unrefined foods high in nutrient density and as close to their natural state as possible
- Eat a wide variety of foods
- Eat foods that not only help to prolong longevity, but foods that make your soul happy and help you be close to the purpose of life
- Eat foods that align with your body’s needs. We all have our own unique biochemistry and dietary needs
- Eat foods that complement your lifestyle
Simple tips for healthy eating
While these principles of good health and healthy eating guide you, here are some tips to get you started on your new year’s resolution of eating healthier.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
They are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help in balancing blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation in the body, prevent diseases, improve digestive health and keep skin and hair happy. You can experiment with vegetable juices, soups, salads, sauces made with veggies, herbs and spices and creative vegetable dishes in meals.
Consume adequate fluids in the day
It helps to remove the toxins from the body and reduce inflammation. Water is necessary to maintain appropriate energy levels and keep the immune system happy. Also, a dehydrated body cannot burn fat, build muscle or help with performance. You can experiment with lime water with pinch of rock salt and jeera, coconut water, diluted vegetable juices with herbs like ginger and salt, water infused with fruit pieces to add flavor, fennel water and plain water.
Eat whole fruits as opposed to fruit juices
Fruit juices are high in sugar and can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. Whole fruits help to release sustained blood sugar levels and prevent insulin spike. Fruits must be consumed in the first half of the day to avoid weight gain. You can include high fiber fruits such as apple, pear, orange, sweet lime, guava and papaya in your diet.
Table sugar can lead to high blood sugar levels and insulin spike, creating inflammation in the body, the root cause of many lifestyle diseases. Replace sugar with natural sweeteners like honey, jaggery, herbs like cardamom, cinnamon and stevia. You can also experiment with fruits and dried fruits in recipes instead of sugar. Remember, the natural sweeteners can still hold calories, so balance is key.
Crowd out processed foods
These are high on sugar, sodium, chemicals and wrong type of fats and devoid of nutrients. This can lead to toxic built up in the body which is linked with inflammation and ill health. You can replace processed snacks with wholesome nutritious foods such as dalia upma, moong dal chilla, besan chilla, snacks made of pulses such as kala chana salad, hummus with carrot and cucumber sticks and moong sprouts salad. You can flavor these with herbs, spices and salt. Try to include unpolished pulses and beans to get the most amount of nutrients from your snack.
Consume coconut oil
This helps to reduce inflammation in the body and is essential in creating best quality hormones in the body. You can consume it in luke warm water, vegetable juices and other food preparations.
Try fermented vegetables
Experiment with making your own fermented vegetables at home. All you need is a glass jar, water, vegetables, salt and herbs. These fermented vegetables are filled with beneficial bacteria that help keep the body’s internal system clean and promotes health. You can consume 1-2 tablespoons at lunch and dinner.
While these tips for healthy eating may seem simple, they can have a powerful positive impact on your body if you follow them to the tee. Start small and simple and work your way up to your bigger health goals. Start the new year, as a clean slate and begin a happier and healthier life.
The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.