We live in a world where we can easily access so much information though a quick web search it can get a bit overwhelming knowing what we really need to focus on when it comes to food and nutrition. There can be so much noise and so much filler with people trying to sell their products rather than give us unbiased information.
Rather than add to all that noise and overwhelm, here I’m breaking down a few things we can focus on that will make a big difference to our health.
Eat more vegetables
Vegetables are packed full of different vitamins and minerals so eating more of these can help make sure you’re getting all those important micronutrients, helping you to feel happier and healthier, and helping your body to function optimally. Vegetables are also low calorie so if you’re looking to eat a little less without missing out on eating yummy foods, pack your plate full of vegetables. Vegetables are also a great source of fibre and water helping to keep your digestive system regular. Whatever your aims are with food – eating more vegetables is always a good thing!
Eat less packaged/processed food
Processed foods contain so many additives and preservatives we’re often not aware of. These chemicals do nothing to help the body they often only serve to make a food a certain colour or make it longer lasting in supermarkets. Making meals at home can often be much cheaper, uses less packaging and helps us connect more with what’s in our food and what we are putting into our body. There are so many quick and easy recipes which can be easily found online if you need some inspiration.
Eat something different
Your gut microbiome is vital for your overall health. We can help improve our microbiome by eating a range of food, the more different foods we eat, the more good bacteria we have in our gut. Try to eat a new vegetable or legume or grain every week or two. It also means you get to try fun new recipes and foods and, who knows, you may even find a new favourite meal!
Eat less meat
It’s become more apparent over the past few years that one of the ways we can have the biggest impact helping the health of the planet is to reduce our consumption of animal products. Not everyone needs to eliminate animal products entirely but just removing these products from a few meals or days each week can have a big impact. Rather than changing your entire diet, could you just remove animal products from breakfast and lunch or maybe a whole day or two a week? If everyone did this, there would be a huge shift in the impact animal agriculture is having on the Earth. A reduction in animal products in your diet should also be combined with an increase in beans and legumes, vegetables, soy products and all of these provide amazing health benefits. Replacing minced beef in your Bolognese for lentils, chicken in your curry for chickpeas and prawns in your stirfry for tofu. Get creative and make it fun experimenting with new ways to eat old favourite meals.
Eat when you’re actually hungry
How often do you eat just because it’s lunch time or because there’s some cakes in the staff room at work? How often do you actually think about how hungry you are? How often do you eat your food without distractions, taking your time, being aware of the taste, enjoying the experience and stopping when you feel full rather than when your plate is empty? We can get into some unhelpful habits around eating. It’s not just what you eat that matters but how and when you eat. Listening to your body, learning to feed your body what it needs, when it needs it and truly enjoying food can take time to learn. Eating in a more intuitive way can ensure you do not over eat, emotionally eat or use food to either reward or punish yourself. Food is nourishment and is to be enjoyed. If you want to read more about intuitive eating try Just Eat It by Laura Thomas.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and it gave you some food for thought. There can be a lot of noise online about different health trends and diets. It’s important to keep it simple: listen to your body and what it needs, try to cook more meals yourself, try new foods, eat more veg and less meat.