7 Tips to Improve Nutrition
June 14, 2023
If your goal is to improve your nutrition this year, check out these helpful tips!
In This Healthy Insight:
- Drink more water
- Finding a balance
- Acupressure and reflexology
- Improving posture
1. Drink more water (and whenever possible, add lemon)
The average human body is made up of over 50% water and every organ, system and process needs water. Therefore, it should come to no surprise that we need to stay hydrated to function properly.
- Staying hydrated makes it easier for blood (and oxygen, nutrients, vitamins, minerals) to reach all parts of your body – improving energy, brain function, digestion and metabolism.
- Water provides fluids and electrolytes to cells throughout the body, preventing inconveniences such as headaches and muscle cramps.
- Hydration means moisturization therefore, staying hydrated improves the quality of your skin, hair and nails.
- Regulates body temperature
- Adding lemon to your water gives it a good taste, enforcing how much you drink.
- Lemons, a good source of vitamin C, help produce collagen and antioxidants giving your body the protection, immune system support and beauty boost it needs.
- Lemons are rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium which gives your water some substance, giving you nutrients and increasing your metabolic rate.
2. Finding a balance between “tastes good” and “is healthy for you”
Many people choose to eat processed foods simply because they taste better and are more convenient however these have little to no nutritional value. Some tips to consider when buying, cooking and eating.
- Stay away from processed food such as white bread – refined food entails removing all the fiber, vitamins and minerals so, try to buy whole foods instead. Incorporate whole grain flour when baking.
- Eat more fish, lean meat, fruits and vegetables.
- Red meat is extremely nutritious including B vitamins, vitamin D, iron and other essential minerals. However, you must know which types of meat you should eat and how often. Choose lean cuts of meat that come from grass-fed or organic farms instead of cuts overloaded in fat from factory farms. As for how often, moderation is key so whether your portions are small and frequent or you stick to a couple times a week make sure you include your other food groups.
- When applicable, remove the skin (for example – chicken).
- The less salt the better.
- Avoid sugary drinks.
If you work all day the chances that you want to deal with a busy grocery store are slim. This makes it difficult to pick healthy foods for you to eat throughout the week. If you fall into this category, adding supplements to your diet might be a good idea.
- Good and bad bacteria live in your body. Probiotics are considered good bacteria that improve your overall digestive system.
- There are 13 essential vitamins (they are called essential because they are required for the body to function properly). This link from MedLine Plus gives you insight to what these 13 vitamins are and why they are essential.
- Minerals are necessary for maintaining strong bones and teeth, cellular homeostasis, energy and nervous system support. The most beneficial minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, iron and a few trace minerals.
- Supplements don’t always have to improve your diet. People use supplements for vision support, better sleep, nervous system support, hearing support and more.
Due to the way our brains are wired, humans run on a natural circadian rhythm so throwing off your sleep schedule affects all aspects of your body.
- Increasing light exposure during the day and limiting light exposure at night will balance your neurotransmitters and hormones (for example melatonin) that keep your circadian rhythm in check. This includes unplugging from your electronics too!
- A consistent sleep schedule also keeps your rhythm in check improving the quality of your sleep in the long run.
- If you enjoy caffeinated beverages during your day, make sure you finish that last cup at least six hours before bedtime.
- Drinking alcohol limits the amount of “sleep hormones” produced therefore, it is better to avoid or, at least, limit alcohol consumption close to bedtime.
- Using your bed for only relaxing activities correlates relaxation with bedtime, providing a better sleep environment.
- Sleeping in cold environments helps your body produce melatonin, helps you fall asleep faster and improves the quality of your sleep, positively impacting your mood and all the daily processes your body experiences.
- Digesting food requires burning energy which isn’t ideal for falling or staying asleep. Try to eat an early-ish dinner to allow full digestion before you get some z’s.
5. Acupressure and reflexology
It has been said that your hands and feet are connected to all organs, pathways and systems in your body. These techniques can help support relaxation, better circulation, detoxification, natural healing and energy levels.
Many people struggle with bad posture and even though you may have changed the chair you sit on at work, adjusted the height of your computer screens and car mirrors that may not be enough. Stretching not only improves flexibility but is also beneficial for good posture.
- Stretching increases blood flow which makes it easier to circulate oxygen, vitamins and minerals
- Stress usually results in tension in your muscles and too much tension takes a toll on your body. Stretching is a good form of stress management because it helps relieve the muscle tightening and tension.
7. Improving Posture
It takes a lot of strength and energy to sit with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and ears lined up over your collarbones so it should come as no surprise when I say that 8 out of every 10 Americans will have back problems at some point in their lifetime. However, improving your posture does more decrease your chance for potential problems. Improving your posture:
- Will help reduce muscle strain (especially if you work at a desk and look at computers, phones, etc. a lot).
- People tend to look more confident, thin and overall more attractive when sitting or standing up straight
- Having good posture and a strong back allows you to breathe easier and deeper while improving digestion.