Are you feeling stressed lately? Perhaps part of the problem is your diet. Even if your diet isn’t the catalyst for your high stress levels, allowing your body to function at tip-top shape gives your hormones the chance to balance themselves out. Eating well isn’t impossible, but it certainly isn’t the easiest thing in the world either, especially while we are bombarded with advertisements for convenient but unhealthy fast foods. Here are nutrition coach Suzanne Leyden’s five tips to help you establish your own healthy eating habits.
Eating a whole foods diet
Eating whole foods simply means eating the least processed version of foods possible. Processed foods have a lot of unnecessary sugar, salt, and chemicals, so cleansing your diet of them also eliminates these unhealthy add-ons. This means cooking from scratch whenever you can and sticking to fruits and veggies, beans, lentils, pulses, along with fresh meat, poultry, and fish (ideally organic).
Eating a broad range of fruit and veg
We all have our favorite fruits and vegetables that we turn to, however shaking things up by eating a variety of colors, flavors, and types can have a very positive impact on our micronutrient intake. The range of colors we consume reflects the range of micronutrients (think vitamins and minerals) we absorb. Every micronutrient plays a different role in the various systems in our bodies, so getting as many types of micronutrients as we can help boost overall functionality.
We’ve written a lot about hydration this year, but that’s because it’s so incredibly important! Not drinking enough water can lead to low energy and brain fog in the short term, and even more serious issues in the long term, like increasing our risk of cardiac arrest.
Cutting back on sugar
Refined sugar can put us on a spike-and-crash rollercoaster, which wreaks havoc on our hormones and can lead to chronic conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Try to stay away from soft drinks and too many sweets to keep your blood sugar balanced and your hormone function optimal.
Eating local and in season
Eating produce that is local and in season means that you are consuming food when it’s at its richest micronutrient-wise, you’re curbing your CO2 emissions because the product doesn’t have to be shipped from a distant country, and you are supporting your local economy. What more can we say to convince you?