Do you know that by following some simple nutritional tips you can improve your health? Eating correctly is essential to be well, both inside and outside. However, sometimes it becomes an impossible mission due to lack of time and the current pace of life. The reality is that it is not as difficult as it seems. All you have to do is incorporate certain eating habits into your daily routine. Do you want to know which ones? In this post we give you 10 nutritional tips that will help you to be healthier. Before, let’s review some important concepts related to a good diet.
Do you eat or eat?
When sitting at the table to eat we can have two objectives: eat the first thing that we have on hand, or try to put on our plate foods that help us meet our nutritional needs and stay as healthy as possible. Which one do you identify with? It is true that the second option takes a little more effort, especially at the beginning. However, it is very worth opting for this option, since once we implement a diet and habits we will be betting on our health.
Also Read: Nutrigenetic test: personalize your diet to prevent diseases
You have probably heard or read that certain diseases depend on both genetic and environmental factors. Well, within the latter, food is the most relevant. If you think about it, it has all the logic in the world: the food we eat, with its good or bad properties, becomes part of our body. Therefore, before putting anything in your mouth, remember the nutritional advice that we are going to give you.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (CDR)
Our body needs certain amounts of nutrients , which must be part of the diet in a proportionate way: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc.
Although the recommended daily amounts of each nutrient are in continuous debate by experts, there are currently consensus that can guide us about the amount of each type of nutrient that we must incorporate into our diet daily to be healthy, depending on our age and sex.
The recommended daily amounts (CDR) present a practical problem: they are based on nutrient recommendations, so you have to know how to transfer this information to our diet. Luckily, to help us interpret these recommendations we have two tools: nutritional tables and mathematics.
How to use the nutrition charts
Nutritional tables usually indicate the amount of nutrients per 100 g of product. For example, in order to determine how much protein a specific food has, we must look for how much it has for every 100 g. A chicken fillet this weight contains 22 g of protein.
It is necessary to clarify an idea: it is common to think that some foods only contain one type of nutrient , however this is a wrong notion, since it is normal for them to include several. In fact, the 100g chicken fillet we were talking about before, in addition to protein, also contains carbohydrates (2.30 g) and fat (5.2 g), so we must also add those values.
Although it is not necessary to start counting the exact grams that we ingest of each type of nutrient, it is convenient that, at each meal, we include the different nutritional groups, to ensure a correct contribution: carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables should always be present in our dishes.
Tags: your allies
If we want to know the nutritional composition of fresh foods, we have no choice but to go to the nutritional tables. In the case of packaged foods we have an element that makes things much easier for us: the label. Therefore, it is important that you review them when you have questions about a product or want to compare two similar ones.
10 nutritional tips to improve your health
We know that having to continually go to the nutritional tables and calculations can be somewhat cumbersome, that’s why we want to make things easier for you with these 10 nutritional tips .
Following these 10 nutritional tips will help you eat better every day and be healthier. The more you put into practice, the better. But don’t worry, you don’t have to start with everyone at once. You can incorporate them little by little, starting with those that are easier for you. Your health will thank you!
1. Make vegetables and fruits the protagonists of all your dishes
If a boring menu dominated by green comes to mind, banish this image! Each fruit or vegetable has different qualities and includes different nutrients and antioxidants. The colors of fruits and vegetables – which come from chlorophylls, carotenes and carotenoids, flavones and anthocyanins – are indicators of their different properties and antioxidants. So now you know, turn your dishes into a festival of color! Below we explain the properties of each hue of fruits and vegetables:
- White: These vegetables contain potassium and antioxidants, which provides them with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and protective properties of the circulatory system. You will find them in vegetables like turnip, leek, garlic and onion.
- Yellow and orange : the color is due to the presence of carotenes and carotenoids, which are characterized by having a powerful antioxidant effect. They are related to the improvement of memory, and in addition, they reinforce the body’s defenses, contribute to the health of sight, skin and mucosa. You will benefit from them by eating foods such as carrots, squash or mango, among others.
- Reds and purples: the color of these foods is a consequence of anthocyanins or resveratrol, substances with antioxidant power and associated with an anticancer effect, cardiovascular protection and memory improvement. We can find them in strawberries, pomegranates, raspberries, blackberries, black grapes or blueberries.
- Green : vegetables of this color are rich in vitamin B9, C, minerals and chlorophyll. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory function. Take advantage of these qualities by eating spinach, chard, peas, avocado, arugula or lamb’s lettuce.
2. Limit red meat in your diet
If the vegetable has to be the indisputable protagonist of your dishes, red meat should only make very occasional appearances. As you know, its fame is not very good, since it has been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Recommendations about your maximum intake are reviewed periodically, based on available scientific information. However, it is not a question of totally eliminating this type of meat. You can consume hamburger or ribeye eventually, but it is convenient to replace it in your daily diet with chicken, turkey, or fish.
3. The fruit, better whole or in smoothies
When we eat the whole fruit , we provide our body with both vitamins and fiber. Instead, the latter is lost if we drink only the juice, for example squeezing the oranges or using a blender. In the event that you are lazy or do not feel like eating whole fruit when you wake up, a great option is fruit and vegetable smoothies or shakes , for many people they are more appetizing in the morning. The truth is that they are delicious! Best of all, with them, you will be ingesting a large amount of nutrients, something essential to start the day in the best way.
Whether you eat the whole fruit or in smoothies – either one is a good option – we recommend that you peel it before or, if not, that you buy it from organic farming, since today the presence of pesticides is frequent both in fruits and in vegetables .
We also encourage you to try adding foods as beneficial as ginger or turmeric to your smoothies . Incorporating them into the Mediterranean diet is complicated, however, they are the ideal complement to your smoothies. Write this recipe down: red berries, pineapple, cucumber, spinach, peppermint, ginger, and turmeric. If you try it you will love it! As you see, this nutritional tip can be delicious.
4. Slowly reduce the sugar in your diet
Today many foods contain large amounts of added sugar. For this reason, our palates have become accustomed to the sweet taste and are increasingly demanding it. However, if we gradually reduce it, we will ensure that it is not missing. And, in this way, we will be doing our health a favor , since sugar consumption is related to different pathologies:
- Blood sugar spikes, which put extra strain on the pancreas and increase long-term risk of diabetes
- Alteration of the intestinal microbiota or flora, today we know that a healthy microbiota is key to our defenses and our health in general
- Some studies indicate that there could be a link between sugar consumption and the risk of Alzheimer’s.
So now you know, cut in half that sugar you put in coffee or, even better, eliminate it from everything. As for sugar, in general, the less the better. In case you have a hard time giving up the sweet taste, you can use stevia , a naturally derived, calorie-free sweetener that can help you enjoy food without the harmful effects of sugar.
5. Choose integral
Today we have a wide variety of foods made with wholemeal flour, from pasta to pizza dough or bread. In addition to containing fiber, it is more beneficial than refined flour for several reasons:
- Wholemeal flour reduces the absorption of carbohydrates and fats , thus reducing the sudden increase in blood sugar caused by foods with refined flour.
- It serves as food for the good bacteria that we have in our intestinal microbiota , promoting their growth and improving our defenses, our intestinal transit and reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.
Important! We warn you that not all foods in whose packaging the condition of ” integral ” is. Therefore, it is best that you consult your allies, the labels. They will inform you if it is completely whole or if it is a food with refined flour to which cereals have been added.
For example, until very recently “wholemeal” bread could be made with refined flour, as long as cereals were added later as bran. However now the legislation has changed and is stricter in this regard. Since last July 1, for bread to be considered whole, it has to be made 100% with flour of this type.
In general, we recommend that whenever you are before an integral food , check its label. In addition to checking that it really is, you can detect if it contains preservatives and thus avoid them.
Finally, favoring a varied diet is positive, that is why we recommend that you incorporate different flours. There is life beyond wheat! Have you tried buckwheat flour, spelled flour or vegetable flour?
6. Feed your microbiota
Our sixth nutritional advice has to do with the intestinal microbiota . Do you know that some foods also serve to nourish it and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria? You have probably heard that potatoes, sweet potatoes, or rice are best eaten cold. This is based on the fact that these foods, after cooling down after being cooked, generate a substance called type III starch, key to the muconutritive microbiota , which produces a substance that protects our colon. We can reheat these foods before eating, but in a gentle way.
There are two other great friends of the microbiota:
- Kombucha – Fermented tea drink high in probiotics and available in many flavors
- Kefir : a product similar to yogurt.
It is very important to take care of our microbiota, since there is more and more evidence of the relationship it has with defenses , response to medications, allergies and even with mood.
7. Eat nuts
It is very important to consume them, although in their right measure. Dried fruits provide antioxidants , minerals, vitamins and are crucial for a healthy diet. Walnuts are especially important for cardiovascular health, but we must limit ourselves to the daily amounts necessary so as not to exceed our caloric intake, a handful a day is enough!
8. Abuse the fruit!
In this case, there is no restriction. The fruit is very beneficial because it provides vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and many other benefits for the body. Each one has different properties, for example, red fruits have a great antioxidant power and a high content of flavonoids. They are so beneficial that they should be eaten daily.
A trick to eating more fruit is getting used to choosing it over any processed food when you feel like snacking. We advise you to preferably consume seasonal fruit .
9. Avoid processed foods and additives
This is one of the most important nutritional tips . The ultra-processing of some foods makes them an unhealthy option, full of preservatives, dyes and all kinds of additives. Therefore, avoid them at all costs.
Today there are applications like Yuka , which are used to scan the code of a food and see if it is heavily processed, as well as to indicate the content of additives that can be potentially harmful.
10. Eat vegetables every week
They are very very healthy and can be consumed in a thousand ways. Do you want some ideas? Try them in salads, in the form of hummus, or as the traditional spoon dish. The legumes contain vitamins of group B (thiamine, niacin, B6 and folic acid), and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and iron. In addition, they are a food that contains both carbohydrates and proteins. Yes, protein! which, in addition, are of plant origin and almost fat-free .
To complete these 10 nutritional tips, it is also important that you hydrate and do physical activity. Therefore, drink an average of 2 liters of water a day to cleanse your body and exercise regularly. You will see the benefits!
We hope you liked these tips that we give you from Veritas and, above all, that you put them into practice. Investing some time and effort in healthy eating means investing in health, both now and in the future. Taking care of your body will help you find yourself better, stronger and healthier.