4 THINGS TO DO FOR A HEALTHIER
“I wish I was healthier.” I am sure you’ve said or heard someone say this before, right? It’s easier said than done, with our lives getting busier and busier and less and less time for ourselves. How can we be healthier? Well am going to be completely honest, there is no shortcut to health. The truth is that being healthy should not be hard, it should be in all of our best interest and should be second nature for all of us. But with constant new revelations coming out on a daily basis and so much misinformation, like all of these so-called fruits and veg with special health benefits, make us believed that we need to eat these veg and fruit in order to be healthy, consequently making us believe being healthy is just too hard.
We have listed 3 things to a healthier you to help you effortlessly be health without needing so much brain power. Some of these points may even surprise some.
1- TAKE A DEEP BREATH
This is the most effective thing anyone can do to be healthier not just physically but psychologically as well. It’ll help you keep control of your stress levels. Stress can affect health and can even cause a weakened immune system due to your body’s natural reactions to repair the damage done by stress which can leave your body temporarily deprived of resources which will normally be used by your immune system to protect you from viruses and damage. It’s not necessary that you need to meditate in order to take a deep breath and de-stress yourself. Because it can be as simple as just taking a deep breath at any time of the day and it’ll only take a minute. Taking a deep breath brings in a huge amount of oxygen into the body reliving tensed muscles in the body. It also lowers the over heart rate and brings it to a normal level reducing the chances of health compilation such as cardiovascular complications.
With such busy lives, it is normal now that our heart rate increases even if we are not doing anything physical. A great practice for taking a deep breath is going to a quiet place or putting in some sound isolating earphones with some calming music if you prefer and just breath. Take in a deep breath to a count of 6, then hold your breath for 3-4, then breath out slowly to a count of 6. With practice, you will be able to do deep breathing exercise more efficiently.
The benefits of practicing this can be limitless. Did you know stress can cause common skin issues such as acne and even temporary hair loss again this is due to the fact that stress uses resources such as Zinc for example which is a key mineral in skin health. This is just one of many minerals that stress can deprive the body of.
2- CONTROL YOUR SUGAR INTAKE
Did you know that a normal western diet contains nearly all the minerals and vitamins needed for the normal functions of the body. Deficiencies are very rare because our diets are rich in vitamins, minerals and micro-minerals even though they may not look healthy, does not necessarily mean they're not. For example, a plate of fried chips contains protein, trans-fats, carbohydrate, dietary potassium, phosphorus, niacin, folate, fiber, magnesium, iron vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin c and vitamin B6. All of these minerals and vitamins can be found in just one Potatoe. So, the cause of the of many health problems is not because we are deficient in a certain mineral or vitamins because we get most of the daily recommend with ease from food. So, what is the issue? Sugar. Sugar is present in every food even in foods you’d think there is no sugar at all. For example, rice has natural sugar, pasta, tomato sauce, and even products which boast low calorie.
Sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. That’s why we crave it so much. Sugar can affect our health immensely. High intakes of sugar which can easily be achieved on a normal western diet which can cause havoc on the body's immune system and decrease its effectiveness to fight off common viruses. It can also reduce our recovery time so it’ll take our bodies more time to heal. Common skin problems such as acne, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis can also be linked to high sugar intake.
So how do you cut down on something that is contained in nearly all foods? The answer to tackling high sugar intake is being cautious about how much sugar we consume first of all. It’s fairly simple 25 grams of sugar which is roughly the same as 6 teaspoons of sugar is the daily recommended amount. How would you keep track of sugar? Well, it can be easily done within a few seconds. If you have a mobile phone download an app called Myfitnesspal. This app will not only track your sugar but also intake of important vitamins, fats, protein and the amount of calories consumed as well.
Try this. Eat whatever you want that you would eat on a daily basis and track it. Then in the end of the day see how much sugar you have consumed. Now using the app, you can see which meal contained the most amount of sugar and even the products with the most amount of sugar as well. Now all you have to do is remove the foods containing the most amount of sugar from your diet or reduce the portion size.
Cut the serving size of meals
Avoid foods with “added sugar”
Be consistent with taking sugar out of your diet. At first, foods may taste tasteless. This is due to our taste buds being used to high levels of sugar constantly, tasteless food is not bad for your health!!! Being consistent, in time your taste buds will adjust. Lowering sugar will have huge benefits to your health, sugar causes many illnesses such as cardiovascular problems, gut issues, fatigue, diabetes and the feeling of constant tiredness due to energy spikes and lows.
The overall goal is to cut or lower your sugar intake and NOT to cut sugar out completely. Your body still needs sugar, consuming very low levels sugar can be as dangerous as too much sugar so find a balance.
3- INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE
Drink water instead of a sugary drink. This will not only help you cut down in sugar but will also help your body get rid of substances that it does not need. Think of it like this water, not only hydrates the body helps clean the insides of the body. Water helps our organs work at their optimum levels every cell in our body uses water, without enough water this process can be interrupted and cause many health complications. Our body is constantly pumping out water from our bodies such as breathing, sweating, and digestion. So, our bodies are very dependent on water. We tend to supplement water by drinking sugary drinks, frizzy beverages, alcohol, and tea. These are not the equivalent to water. Drinking water also helps with skin problems such as dry skin, and acne, if you suffer from skin problems them it is recommended you drink more than the recommended as their bodies use more water.
Drinking plain water can also help us psychologically as well. Without the presence of sugar, water cannot alter our brains behavioral pattern or our energy levels. With sugary drinks causing vigorous spikes in energy levels and result in plummeting energy levels as well. This cause mood swings and fatigue. So, drinking just water will normalize energy spikes.
4- CUT OUT FAT
Fat is in nearly all processed foods. Meats, dairy, cakes, chocolate you name it nearly everything we consume has fat. There are good fat which our body needs and which can be utilized by our bodies but there are certain fats which are just deposited into our body.
Unsaturated fats which include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. These fats, when consumed in moderate levels, can actually reduce cholesterol therefore also reducing chances of heart disease.
Did you know excess fat can actually be the leading cause of diabetes? How? Well many and nearly all of us have always heard too much sugar can cause diabetes but in fact, it is the excess fat in our diets. When sugar is consumed it is either turned in to glycine by the body or just burnt off as excess calories by the body. Saturated fats, on the other hand, are not so easy to burn off. Saturated fats are found in cheese butter, processed meats, and dairy products. These fatty deposits build up into the blood and block off the blood cell walls with a thick fatty layer causing insulin resistance. This basically means that the sugar which is from natural foods that we get, cannot get into the cells where it is needed. This causes diabetes. Learn more about diabetes, diabetes.org.uk
Although excess sugar is not good at all the importance of cutting out excess fat in our diets is equally or more important for our health. Eating unprocessed meat is great and holds great benefits but there is a limit. A good measure is to eat red meat 2 times a week. Eat fish products 2 times a week. And also include a balanced variety of vegetables and fruits with unsaturated fats such as avocados, olives, nuts, and seed.
Again, an important measure is to keep track of it. With modern day technology it’s never been easier to keep track of our health. Count calories consumed and fats consumed with the My fitness pal app. This is not sponsored at all. It truly a great app.
Doing these 4 things mentioned in this blog will bring along a lot of change in your psychological health as well as physical health. Changes come in time and consistency so don't give up if you do not see changes with a few weeks because you may not see changes after 1 month or 2 months but change will come. It's easy to cause damage to our bodies but very hard to heal so don't give up. In our busy lives stress is a common issue and is very hard to control, but if you can control this then you feel better within yourself. Also with busy lives, we find ourselves not eat properly or not drinking water. A solution to that is planning ahead. Plan your meals with a meal planner and set reminders.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There will always be time if you make time”