Your health and wellbeing are essential. With summer on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to change your diet to improve your health. Poor diet has been associated with several health complications, including obesity, high blood pressure, and type two diabetes, so you must look to make healthier choices wherever possible. The key to a healthy and balanced diet is eating a wide range of foods. In this post, we take a look at the 5 things you should be eating every single day to improve your health.
Fruit and Vegetables
The recommended daily allowance for adults is 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day; these can be fresh, frozen, tinned, dried, or juiced, meaning it’s super easy to get your recommended daily allowance in. Fruits and vegetables contain all the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs to grow and function, including Vitamins C and D. You should aim for half of your plate to be fruit or vegetables wherever possible and limit juices to a minimum as they usually contain high levels of sugar.
Foods high in protein such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, and tofu are essential to a healthy diet. Proteins help the body to repair and grow cells and are what keep you fuller for longer. Not consuming enough protein in the diet can lead to health complications such as extreme fatigue and muscle loss, so you must get the right amount of protein every day. Different types of protein provide the body with various vitamins and minerals the body needs to stay vital and function, so you must vary your protein sources. As well as eating meat and fish, you should look to incorporate meat alternatives such as tempeh, tofu, or beans and pulses.
Eating more whole grains is an easy way to improve your diet. Whole grains such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta, barley, and buckwheat are full of nutrients, including fiber and Vitamins B. Research has shown that a diet high in whole grains can help to reduce severe many health issues such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some forms of cancer. Eating whole grains can improve gut health, too, as they are much easier to digest than refined carbohydrates.
Fats and oils
Contrary to popular belief, fats are essential to the body’s function. We need fat to protect our vital organs and absorb vitamins into the body to help us grow healthy and strong. Many of us need to be mindful of our fat intake as it’s high in calories. The recommended daily allowance of fat for adults is around 70g per day, of which no more than 20g of saturated fats should be consumed. Saturated fats are often found in junk food as well as pork, butter, and cheese. Overeating these fats puts us at a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, so it’s essential to minimize these where possible.
Dairy (and alternatives)
Milk and other dairy foods such as cheese are essential in your diet, as they provide calcium which helps keep bones and teeth strong and healthy. They also offer an excellent source of protein and provide many other vitamins and minerals that play an essential role in your body’s health. Some dairy foods can be high in fat. Opt for lower-fat options wherever possible such as semi-skimmed milk and low-fat cheeses. You can get plenty of calcium from non-dairy sources, too, including leafy green vegetables, almonds, oranges, sesame seeds, and some types of beans.