Health And Food

I once met a Zen monk who said, "Health experts agree that we live longer, by eating less."

First we have to be honest and say that many of us overeat and that alone has extremely negative health effects. Then, we must acknowledge that we can't follow our desires blindly and base our diet on fast food. No matter how busy you are, the body hasn't been designed to run on fat and sugar alone...

A Healthy Attitude

Let's not be extreme and position ourselves at either end of the stick. How about aiming for a balanced diet based on healthy foods and allowing for less healthy alternatives occasionally.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Let's take a look at a healthy diet. The key to health is a varied food intake, which means we can't even base our diet on a small number of foods that are considered healthy. Our diet should be varied and based on grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat and egg. As a vegetarian I don't eat any meat and get protein and calcium from dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds and beans.

The classic food pyramid tells us to base our diet on grains, an average amount of vegetables and fruits, a lesser quantity of dairy products and finally a small amount of meat and egg.

In addition to these basic recommendations it should be said that the consumption of fat, sugar and salt should be kept to a minimum. Opt for using healthy oils such as olive oil, unrefined sugar and unrefined sea salt. Also eat as much whole grains as possible and less refined grains such as white bread.

Health And Superfoods

Heard of superfoods? I used to be vegan and to make sure I would get enough nutrients I supplemented my diet with various superfoods such as alfalfa, aloe vera, spirulina and chlorella. If you don't get enough vitamins and minerals, you can take a supplement, but don't think these so called superfoods will create any miracles, so don't overdo it. A varied diet does the job more than well.

You could call something as ordinary as raw garlic and raw green vegetables superfoods because of their superior health benefits.

Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

This can not be over empathized. If we only consume cooked or canned fruits and vegetables, we miss out on all the important enzymes. So let's make it really clear, raw fruits and vegetables are essential to good health.

As a rule of thumb, eat two thirds fresh vegetables and one third fresh fruits. Most of us tend to do it the other way around since fruits are sweeter and therefore tastier than most vegetables. However, eating large amounts of fruit is not considered healthy due to the high sugar content.

It is said to be healthier to have a small fruit salad than just an apple. A mix of fruits tastes good too and is rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Why not sprinkle some lime or lemon juice on top?

The same holds true for vegetables. It's healthier to eat a vegetable salad than a single vegetable. You can prepare a tasty and healthy salad dressing by mixing lime or lemon juice with a small amount of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.

Dried fruit is a practical alternative to fresh fruit. One of the great benefits is the long shelf life. Just make sure the fruits haven't been sprayed with artificial preservatives. The enzyme content will generally be lower than in fresh produce unless it's been dried at low temperatures.

Healthy Eating Habits

Breakfast, lunch and dinner make up the main three meals of the day. Without a substantial breakfast, most of us won't make it till lunch without feeling light headed and low on energy, don't push yourself.

If you don't have much of an appetite in the mornings, settle for a lighter breakfast and have a healthy snack before lunch. In addition to the three main meals we should eat healthy snacks in between. A fruit salad, vegetable salad, sandwich or just a fruit make good snacks.

Eating a main meal after 7 pm is not recommended. The body's metabolism slows down in the evening which means we're more likely to put on weight. It's also more difficult to fall asleep on a full stomach, however you shouldn't go to bed hungry either.

A healthy approach is to have dinner round 6 pm, that way you won't need another main meal until breakfast. It's alright to have a snack in the evening though. For example a cup of tea and a sandwich or a small vegetable salad or why not some yogurt with fresh fruits.

A final note. Caring for your health makes for happiness and wellbeing. Not only will you benefit now but in the future as well. By caring for your body and mind you naturally develop a loving relation to yourself, which boosts the sense of wellbeing. Make good health a priority and enjoy life to its fullest...

Best of luck!

Related:   The Healthy Salad   2 Healthy Snacks   Weight Loss

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