Eating healthy has a major positive impact on many areas of one’s life, including personal development, career, social relationships and even dating. Adopting a healthy nutrition and developing the habit of reducing unwanted, unhealthy foods is not “rocket science”, and everyone can master it with a little effort and dedication. Although the process may seem boring and stressful at first, the rewards will not hesitate to show up in the form of an enhanced love life, better functioning at work and more energy for interesting projects.
Start by Reducing or Eliminating Unhealthy Foods and Nutrients
Although the Internet is full of scary reports about toxic compounds, unhealthy foods and food preservatives, it is more than enough to pay attention to a few most commonly encountered undesirable nutrients in your diet. Cholesterol is one of them. Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is not toxic nor health damaging by itself because it naturally occurs in the human body and is a “building block” for cellular membranes and several hormones, such as testosterone, estrogen or cortisol. It is the excessive amount of cholesterol that is dangerous, because it can cause an accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of small arteries causing blood flow obstruction to the brain or heart, which may translate into strokes or heart attacks.
Reducing the amount of cholesterol in your diet to ensure proper brain and heart health is easy because cholesterol is contained only in animal-derived, high-fat foods. Examples include full-fat dairy, egg yolk, butter, bacon, and high-fat meat cuts like as pork or beef. Fish, nuts, seeds, legumes such as lentils or soy, cereals or oil-containing fruits like avocado have negligible amounts of cholesterol or no cholesterol at all. It is thus natural and obvious to suggest a reduction in the amount of foods from the first category and replacing them with more foods from the second category.
Low-fat dairy, lean meat, such as turkey or chicken breast, contain a moderate amount of cholesterol so they are relatively safe to consume as part of a healthy diet, especially because they are abundant in high-quality protein. Other harmful nutrients you may want to reduce include salt, sugar and foods containing considerable quantities of artificial colors or chemical flavors.
A Healthy Diet Contains Adequate Amounts of Micronutrients
Macronutrients are nutrition components that are abundant in virtually any diet. They are only three categories, which consist of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Average, healthy individuals don’t need to worry excessively about macronutrient proportions other than reducing the amount of animal-derived fat and processed sugar. However, there are certain nutrition components that may not be abundant in an average diet because they are contained in small amounts in some selected food categories.
Micronutrients can be grouped into three types, which are vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Heat-processed, cooked food contains low amounts of certain vitamins because they are destroyed by the high temperature achieved during cooking. It means that one should ingest vitamins in the form of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds or vitamin supplements. The same is true with minerals, excepting iron, which is abundant in meat, and calcium that is present in high amounts in milk-derived foods. Fish, nuts and seeds are especially rich in minerals. Antioxidants are a special category of micronutrients because they are naturally occurring substances that protect the cells of your body from toxins and metabolic waste. Fresh vegetables, especially the green colored ones, green tea and fruits are very rich in antioxidants, besides their excellent vitamin and mineral content.
Eating healthy to achieve a happier life and more energy for work, study and love is not difficult if one follows a few basic suggestions. Reducing the amount of high-cholesterol, high-sugar foods and replacing them with lean meat, fish, nuts, low-fat dairy, vegetables and fruits is a great way to dramatically change your nutrition habits in a positive direction without going too deep into nutrition science and fitness research. Whole-grains and cereals are also an excellent addition to one’s diet because they contain slow-digesting carbohydrates, which are a great fuel for one’s muscles and brain, especially when you need a steady yet healthy supply of carbohydrates for academic tasks or challenging work-related projects.