Our top 5 Health Resolutions for 2017!
There is a reason why most people’s New Year resolutions fall flat by the time the middle of the month arrives. and its generally because they are far too overwhelming or unattainable. Its wonderful to have goals to aim for – without them you may never get where you want to be – but its important that they are approached in small steps. Making changes slowly, steadily and with purpose are the best ways to achieving great health.
Here are our top 5 resolutions to help you live healthier and feel better. And yes – we know they seem very basic – but we can promise you that if you can do all these 5 things on a regular basis you will be well on your way to super-health!
You have to think of water as a nutrient your body needs that is present in liquids, plain water, and foods. All of these are essential daily to replace the large amounts of fluids lost each day, from skin, evaporation, breathing, urine, and stools. Without it your body will not function optimally and will not be able to do the jobs you requir
e of it. Stick to filtered water and try to avoid plastic bottles favouring glass wherever possible. If you struggle with plain water use an infuser and slice fruits into the bottle or glass to flavour the water slightly. You will get used to plain water after a spell. You really shouldn’t need to drink anything else and encourage these healthy habits for you whole family. Sugary soft drinks are one of the biggest health threats we have right now in SA with diabetes on the rise! Coconut water is low in natural sugars and a great way to hydrate after physical exertion like a run or a sports game, but should be used sparingly. We like to keep it to hand for hikes, outdoor activities and strenuous games where we need to replace electrolytes lost.
2. EAT WHOLEGRAINS DAILY
The beneﬁts of whole grains most documented by repeated studies include:
- stroke risk reduced 30-36%
- type 2 diabetes risk reduced 21-30%
- heart disease risk reduced 25-28%
- better weight maintenance
Other beneﬁts indicated by recent studies include:
- reduced risk of asthma
- healthier carotid arteries
- reduction of inﬂammatory disease risk
- lower risk of colorectal cancer
- healthier blood pressure levels
- less gum disease and tooth loss
Whole grains are packed with nutrients, including protein, fibre, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). Whole-grain diets also improve bowel health by helping to maintain regular bowel movements and promote growth of healthy bacteria in the colon.
How can you tell if the foods you are eating contain wholegrains? Make sure you read your labels! Terms like “multigrain,” “100% wheat,” “organic,” “bran,” and “stone ground” may sound healthy, but none actually indicates the product is whole grain. It must state 100% Wholegrain.
3. CUT OUT OR REDUCE SUGAR
Put simply, sugar is a crystalline carbohydrate that makes foods taste sweet. There are many different types of sugar, including glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose and sucrose – also known as table sugar.
Some of these sugars, such as glucose, fructose and lactose, occur naturally in fruits, vegetables and other foods. But many of the foods we consume contain “added” sugars – sugar that we add to a product ourselves to enhance the flavor or sugar that has been added to a product by a manufacturer.
The most common sources of added sugars include soft drinks, cakes, pies, chocolate, fruit drinks and desserts. Just a single can of cola can contain up to 7 tsps of added sugar, while an average-sized chocolate bar can contain up to 6 tsps.
It is added sugars that have been cited as a contributor to many health problems. In December 2014, MNT reported on a study in the journal Open Heart claiming added sugars may increase the risk of heart disease, even more so than sodium. And in February 2014, a study led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) associated high added sugar intake with increased risk of death from Cardiovascular heart Disease..
Perhaps most strongly, added sugars have been associated with the significant increase in Obesity. In the US, more than a third of adults are obese, while the rate of childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years.
When you look at this diagram and see the amounts of sugar that occur in these foods its easy to see how easy it is to over consume sugar daily! Its the hidden sugars that you need to watch.
We recommend that you change your palette over time to eat less sweet things- not just replace them with alternatives. However in the meantime we can help you on your way with these sugar free, and low sugar alternatives:
4. INCLUDE SUPERFOODS DAILY.
The quality of the food we consume daily is compromised with poor soil quality, lots of added chemicals and long distances to travel meaning that we are more than likely not getting what we need in terms of nutrition. For the first time ever we have cases of simultaneous malnutrition AND obesity. Its quite clear thsat the food we are eating needs a boost and with many of us too busy to plan our meals carefully to ensure we are getting what we need, we lack the energy we require.Whilst Superfoods are not the answer to everything – nor can you rely on them entirely they do offer us support in a convenient and easy to use way. Especially for fussy kids and picky eaters, adding superfood powders, seeds and berries to health shakes and smoothies can be a Godsend.
We would also add Maca Powder, Hulled Hemp seeds and Moringa powder to this list! Try adding a tablespoon of one or two of these to your smoothie or health shake and feel the difference in 2 to 3 weeks.
5. GO BACK TO BASICS!
By this we mean stick to eating as simply as possible and choosing natural ingredients. Again if you have to buy prepared foods then check the labels and dont eat foods that have ingredients in that you do’tn recognise or cant pronounce (except Quinoa ;-))
Culturally, we’re all encouraged to eat food that’s processed and packaged and has 95 ingredients, even though we all know about the negative health impacts of refined foods. Packaged foods seem easy, but they don’t nutritionally help us out, they skew our taste buds and our brain chemistries, and they warp our understanding of where food comes from and what it’s for.
This also means eating whats available and in season. Veggies and fruit are a staple in a healthy diet, they remind us that all food was once alive, and that we’re ecologically related to it. There are also so many varieties to choose from your meals need never be boring! Expand your horizons and try different grains and seeds – like Polenta – or Teff, Sorghum or Barley. Cooking new things won’t necessarily make your cooking more complicated. It might even increase the attentiveness you give to the preparation of your meals and to the taste of the food itself, which is part of the point. Healthy spices like Tumeric , Cinnamon, Cumin and Paprika can also help here by giving a health boost and extra flavour to your dishes.
We hope you enjoyed reading our hints and tips and we look forward to helping you all to be healthier and happier in 2017 !
Love from al of us at Natures Choice!