5 Tips For Better Nutrition
Whether you’re looking to lose weight or eat more healthily in the new year, nutrition is a key component to your overall health and well-being. Nutrition is more than following a diet. The d-word is misleading and makes some people immediately make a grab for the French fries. Eating for nutrition is a lifestyle, and it’s one that is easier to follow by incorporating small changes over a period of time. Here are a few tips to help:
Track What You Eat
For one week before focusing on your nutrition, make no changes to your normal foods and drinks and keep a diary of everything you put in your mouth. SparkPeople and other free apps are great tools to track your current nutrition. After a week, you’ll be able to see not only how many calories you’re averaging, but also which nutrients you may be lacking. This will help you know what to look for, and how many empty calories (calories with no nutritional benefit) you consume.
Sugary drinks are among the worst things you can put in your body. Sugary drinks are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many other health problems. They’re also the source of many empty calories. If you’re used to adding sugar to your coffee or tea, try reducing the amount you use before giving it up altogether. If you drink a lot of soda, transition to flavored sparkling water before transitioning to water with lemon or berries. Sugar can be a strong addiction, so if you try to cut it out too fast you could end up with side effects including increased cravings and mood issues.
Watch Your Gut Health
The bacteria in your gut, collectively called the gut microbiota, are incredibly important for overall health. Probiotic yogurt and sauerkraut contain probiotics, but if you don’t enjoy the taste of these items, talk with your doctor about taking an over-the-counter supplement. Also, be sure to eat plenty of fiber, which stimulates your gut health. According to the American Heart Association, the daily value for fiber is 21-38 grams per day on a 2,000-calorie diet for adults, depending on gender and age.
Eat A Rainbow
In general, the more varied colors of food you eat, the better it is for your health. If you had blueberries as part of your breakfast, have a green salad as part of your lunch, snack on raw carrots and enjoy grilled red peppers as part of your dinner. Thinking of the colors in a rainbow will help you determine which nutrients can be added to your meals.
It’s easier to keep track of your nutrition and avoid preservatives when you eat at home, but some days you just want something fast. Taking a few hours to meal prep on your days off work helps ensure nutritious food is just as quick to prepare as driving to a fast-food restaurant. Stock up on glass storage containers and prep a week’s worth of salad ingredients washed and cut fruit and vegetables, and grilled chicken or turkey breasts cut into cubes or slices. Also, place serving-sizes of nuts and other snacks into Zip-loc bags. With the work done in advance, you’ll be less likely to fall back into bad habits.
Dr. Kimberly Muhlenkamp-Wermert and the team at Live Well Chiropractic Center knows that nutrition is a huge part of your overall health and well-being. We are proud to offer a variety of supplements and support products, as well as a full suite of chiropractic care, orthotics and corrective exercise for your entire family. Give us a call at 513-285-7482 to find out how we can help improve your nutrition and overall health. And be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!