For maintaining health and development, good nutrition is essential. Good nutrition at all ages can help our health because it can reduce the risk of diseases and increase longevity. In present times, much nutrition information is available, and there are many views attached to it. But, in this science-based nutrition article, there are many tips to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Nutrition tips for a healthy diet
A person can follow these tips to select a healthy diet.
1. Include protein in the diet
A study recommends that patients with Type 2 diabetes can benefit from a protein-rich diet. Research shows balancing blood sugar can aid cardiovascular problems and weight management.
2. Consume oil-rich fish
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids present in fish are necessary for brain and eye development, cell signalling, and gene expression. Studies prove that intake of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research also proves that the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Consume whole grains
People are recommended to consume whole grains in place of refined grains by AHA (The American Heart Association (AHA). It is because nutrients like iron, fibre, and B vitamins are present in whole grains. These nutrients aid in the body’s normal functioning, like balancing blood sugar, carrying oxygen in the blood, and regulating the immune system.
4. Eat different coloured vegetables and fruits
Eating different coloured fruits and vegetables helps people because various coloured plants give beneficial antioxidants like anthocyanins and carotenoids to health.
5. Eat green vegetables
The USDA (Department of Agriculture) recommends green leafy vegetables because they are a great source of nutrition like vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. The vitamin K in the green leafy vegetables helps prevent osteoporosis, and the folate in the green leaf helps protect against cancer.
6. Add beneficial fats
According to USDA, trans fats should be avoided by people and they should reduce the intake of saturated fats. So, unsaturated fats can be used in the place of saturated fats. Unsaturated fats can be found in foods like avocado, vegetable oils, and oily fish.
7. Consume extra virgin olive oil
According to the health report of 2018, extra virgin olive oil has benefitted in controlling weight, blood pressure, and heart problems as a measure of the Mediterranean diet. So, extra virgin oil should be added to vegetables, salads, or while cooking the food at a minimal temperature to make healthy diet choices.
8. Consume nuts
AHA suggests eating daily one portion of nuts instead of processed or red meat, dessert, or French fries as it may stop weight gain and help good health. But in particular, AHA recommends Brazil nuts as it aids in stabilizing blood sugar and making one feel fuller.
9. Add fibres
As per AHA, consuming fibre helps improve the level of blood cholesterol, and in turn, it can reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. So, eating vegetables, pulses, whole grains, and beans can give us the required amount of fibre to our body.
10. Add abundant plant foods
According to research work, plant-based diets help in avoiding obesity and overweight. Doctors connect obesity to many diseases. So, adding plant foods to the diet can decrease the risk of getting diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
11. Consume pulses and beans
People with a plant-based diet can add pulses and beans to their diet and get plenty of protein. But people who eat meat can also add them occasionally. Pulses and beans contain minerals, fibre, and vitamins. Research says pulses make a person feel fuller and helps in reducing weight.
Nutrition guidelines on what to drink
12. Drink water
It is necessary to drink plenty of water for good health. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), drinking plenty of water benefits in controlling body weight. Drinking plenty of water can help older adults avoid dehydration. If plain water is not to your taste, spice it up by adding mint leaves or some citrus slices. Herbal tea is also beneficial.
13. Enjoy coffee
According to a 2017 study, consumption of a moderate amount of 3-5 cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. But, according to the same study, pregnant and lactating women should reduce the consumption by 2 cups a day.
14. Consume herbal tea
Research indicates the presence of antimicrobial properties in the catechins of herbal, black, and green teas. Herbal teas also keep a person hydrated the whole day, and they are free of caffeine.
Food and drinks to avoid when keeping up with good nutrition
15. Cut down on sugar
Research indicates consumption of high fructose corn syrup, dietary sugar, and dextrose can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. So, people should opt for glucose, fructose, and sucrose. But repeated consumption of natural sugars, like maple syrup, and honey can lead to weight gain.
16. Consume moderate alcohol
According to the recommendation of the American Dietary Guidelines, moderate consumption of alcohol is good. So, they advise two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. But too much drinking can lead to violence and chronic diseases. It can even affect cognitive function over time.
17. Say no to sugary drinks
CDC often associates sugary drinks with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cavities, tooth decay, weight gain and obesity, kidney disease, gout- a type of arthritis and non-alcoholic liver disease. So, people must avoid sugary drinks and opt for water.
18. Consume less processed red meat
A study in British Medical Journal shows that people eating excess red meat over eight years had higher mortality rates. An increase in processed and unprocessed red meat intake of at least half a serving per day was correlated with a higher mortality risk of 13% and 9% respectively. But, there were lesser mortality rates among people who opted for nuts, eggs, and fish.
19. Avoid processed foods
A review in Nutrients indicates an increase in depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and cancer when consuming ultra-processed foods. So the study authors suggest consuming whole foods instead and evading foods with processed ingredients.
Tips for extra good health habits
In addition to consuming healthy drinks and foods, a person can take many steps to improve one’s health.
20. Aid microbiome
A Nutrients 2019 review article indicates how a balanced diet enriched with high quality fibres and vegetables can reduce the danger of chronic diseases. Moreover, this enriched diet can also aid microbial diversity. But consuming excess sugar and refined carbohydrates can be harmful.
21. Add a Vitamin D supplement
600 international units or 15 micrograms of Vitamin D is the suggested dietary supplement. Vitamin D can be found in some foods and sunlight. But people with less exposure to both these can take a supplement for Vitamin D.
22. Control on serving size
Because overeating can harm both diet and weight, the USDA gives important tips on serving sizes of varied foods. So people should follow guidelines for that.
23. Include spices and herbs
Using spices and herbs can add health benefits. A 2019 article indicates that ginger can help in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Curcumin in turmeric may act as an anti-inflammatory and protect the health. Garlic has benefits of antioxidant properties and anti-inflammation.
24. Opt for fasting
Erratic fasting may have health benefits and reduce energy intake. So, a 2020 research suggests intermittent fasting can improve heart health, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
25. Maintain a food journal
The American Society for Nutrition research suggests that people can maintain a journal to keep a note of their food intake, calories, and food habit. So, maintaining a journal can benefit weight control and a healthful diet. Some can achieve their goals with the help of apps like MyFitnessPal.
26. Rinse vegetables and fruits
CDC suggests it is always good to wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them raw because they contain germs.
27. Avoid plastic containers in microwaves
Research proves that using plastic containers in the microwave can disrupt hormones by releasing phthalates. So, the usage of ceramic or glass containers is always commendable.
28. Consume diversified meals
Selecting diversified meals can help in achieving nutrient intake. So, consuming varied protein and vegetables is very helpful.
29. Eat carefully
Mindful eating is very helpful in controlling obesity. Less consumption of sweets aids in managing blood glucose, and according to another study, diabetes can be controlled by careful eating.
People can add nutrition and bring small changes to their diet to lead a healthy life. But, adequate sleep, exercise and activity, and stress strategies are also essential for good health.