3 'Big Impact' Nutrition Tips
- Thursday, 06 September 2012
If health is on the top of your priority list this year, these nutrition tips are a sure way to start your year off on the right foot. With each new year, we are given an amazing opportunity to reflect on the previous year and start setting new goals for the upcoming one. New year's resolutions are great in theory, but it seems as though for many they last but a few short months (if that) and are subsequently forgotten.
The best goals are easy to implement, measurable, specific and realistic. This got me thinking about some basic nutrition tips which are easy to apply, but which have a great impact on overall health and wellbeing.
For me, it was a no-brainer to determine my favorite nutrition tips, as they are usually my first three recommendations to clients. Each one serves to better the body’s ability to digest and eliminate, which is considered by many to be the root of health. On top of that, they are are relatively inexpensive and easy peasy to add into daily life.
By far the easiest and cheapest way to improve your health! Water is essential for life, serving to flush toxins from the body, help our cells function optimally, keeps our bowels moving and lubricates our joints, to name a few. Yet so many of us are scraping by drinking the bare minimum.
We know that the human body will lose 2L of water daily through just sweat, breath and going to the bathroom (even with little to no physical activity). So the minimum amount of water we need to drink throughout the day is at least 2L. Seems straightforward, doesn’t it?
What’s more, our bodies need additional water when engaging in physical activity and/or drinking diuretics like coffee, tea and pop (all of which actually dehydrate the body).
Any water is better than no water, but my preference is to drink spring or filtered water. Now the important part is measuring your daily intake (remember only pure water counts), so bring a water bottle with you to work or to the gym so you are aware of your daily intake. We cannot improve what we cannot measure.
We all know that fiber keeps us regular, and being regular means more energy, less headaches, and so on. Fiber also has the very important role of pulling toxins out of our bodies through the bowels. In our increasingly toxic world, it is vitally important to get toxins out...asap!
Much of the fiber in processed food has been stripped away, therefore those living on a Standard American Diet (SAD in more ways than one) are simply not getting enough.
My all time favorite source of fiber is chia seeds (yup the same ones from the chia pet). Start slowly and work your way up to 2 tbsp/day, either in a smoothie, on top of a whole grain breakfast cereal or even in water with lemon (just put it in closed container and shake it up before sips).
Omega 3 Fats
Yes, they do in fact deserve all the hype they are getting! Omega 3s regulate hormones, decrease inflammation, boost immune function, and decrease blood pressure.
However, we must not be fooled by “health washing” - there are many junk foods claiming to be healthy because of added omega 3s. Also be conscious to avoid too many omega 6 fats, which are present in almost all processed foods in the form of “vegetable oil” (usually corn, soy or canola).
Where can we get Omega 3s? It is best to get them from real food, such as cold water fish (wild salmon, herring, sardines, trout), or from plant based sources like flax seed oil and hemp seed oil (use them for salad dressings, not for cooking). I also highly recommend taking a high quality fish oil supplement daily: 1 tbsp in a smoothie, some juice or straight up off a spoon!