Tips for a Healthy Diet: No doubt we all understand that eating healthily and in moderation is key to good physical health, but did you also know it can also enhance quality of life? A recent study from Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics demonstrated this point: people who consume healthier diets had greater mental wellbeing and overall better quality of life compared to those who don’t consume a healthy diet.
So what should you eat to improve the quality of life? Here are a few guidelines:
Consume a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which can significantly improve your overall health while decreasing the risk of chronic diseases.
Aim to consume different colored produce in order to receive various nutrients – for instance dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich sources of iron while orange fruits such as oranges and sweet potatoes contain an abundance of Vitamin C.
Substituting whole grains in your diet is an easy and healthy way to ensure fullness and satisfaction, providing essential fiber. Plus, they contain key B vitamin and iron nutrients. Choose whole grain bread, pasta and rice; or explore new grains such as quinoa, farro and bulgur for variety!
Opt for lean sources of protein
Protein plays an essential role in developing and maintaining tissues within your body. Opt for lean sources like chicken, fish, beans and tofu over processed meats like bacon and sausage as sources of lean protein.
Integrate healthy fats.
Consuming nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil with healthy fats such as walnuts can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health – aim to include at least one serving daily!
Limit processed and sugary foods.
Sugary and processed foods have been linked with chronic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes, so try cutting back your consumption by opting for whole, unprocessed food instead.
Water is key to both physical and mental wellbeing; aim to consume at least 8 cups a day (more if active or exposed to high heat), or more as needed based on activity level or weather conditions.
Respect Your Body.
Every individual’s nutritional needs differ, so it is essential that you listen and eat according to what makes you feel good. Keep track of how different foods affect you and adjust your diet as necessary.
Consuming a healthy diet can not only improve your physical health, but it can also improve mental and overall quality of life. A study published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics demonstrated this. Those who choose healthy eating patterns experienced better mental wellbeing with lower rates of depression and anxiety compared to those who don’t eat healthily.
Another study published by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that people who consume a healthy diet experience better overall quality of life, including improved physical functioning and social facets, than those who don’t eat healthily.
Stop waiting, and start eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats and water to enhance both your physical health and mental wellbeing. Your body and mind will thank you!
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