Four Fun, Easy Tips for Better Nutrition

After the holidays many people set a resolution to eat healthier, and that’s a good goal to have at any time of the year! A balanced diet offers people many benefits, including more energy, sounder sleep, and increased attention spans. The best part? It’s easy to step up your nutrition game. Here are simple ways to get on the road to better nutrition.

Vary your protein

Proteins are considered the “building blocks of the body” because our bodies use protein to build muscle, transport nutrients, and repair tissues. It’s important that you get enough protein and eating a variety of proteins can help ensure you’re getting the right amount.

Lean cuts of meat like chicken, pork, or beef, and fish like salmon or tuna can be great sources of protein. There are other good sources or protein too. One large egg has six grams of protein, and a half cup of tofu has a whopping 10 grams of protein. Beans of all kinds are also good sources of protein. Mixing up your protein sources can ensure you get the amount you need and keep your plate far from boring!

Eat the rainbow

Have fun with your food by adding some color to your plate! Nutritionists encourage people to “eat the rainbow” and add whole foods of the following colors to their meals:

    • Red
    • Orange
    • Yellow
    • Green
    • White
    • Blue
    • Purple

 

Whole foods with these colors, think fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and other plants, have important phytochemicals, compounds that are believed to protect cells from damage that can lead to illnesses. By eating colorful whole foods with phytochemicals, you can decrease inflammation, strengthen your immune system, and reduce your risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Swap your sugars

Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up sweet treats! It can be as easy as substituting fruit in place of candy or other sugary delights. Fruit has multiple benefits that sugar doesn’t have, such as added nutrients and fiber, which can help you feel fuller, longer and can help avoid the sugar spikes – and crashes – that come with refined sugar.

A medium apple has 4.4 grams of fiber, while a medium pear has 6 grams of fiber. Raspberries are near the top of the list with a whopping 8 grams of fiber per cup. Need a packable sweet? Oranges fit the bill with 3 grams of fiber per fruit and they come in their very own “carrying case!”

Drink water

Water may be no calorie, but it’s far from no benefit! Water is essential to good nutrition because it delivers important nutrients to cells, so we can function optimally. And the benefits don’t stop there. Water aids in digestion, helps remove waste from cells, lubricates joints and tissues, hydrates skin and even boosts energy.

If you find plain water a little boring, spice up your water – and increase your intake – by making your own water infusions. Simply add any of the following to a cold glass or pitcher or water. Your taste buds will thank you!

    • Sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
    • Crushed fresh mint
    • Peeled, sliced fresh ginger or sliced cucumber
    • Crushed berries

 

Start off your new year with better nutrition! It’s easy when you follow these tips. Even small steps, like drinking an extra glass of water each day, adding a serving of whole grains, fruit or vegetables to your meals, or mixing up your proteins can lead to a positive effect on your health.

 

Resources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/walking-after-eating#potential-benefits

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/

https://www.verywellfit.com/high-fiber-fruits-4178482

https://diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/meal-planning/swaps-sustainable-healthy-diets

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/water/

https://www.uchealth.org/today/five-reasons-water-is-so-important-to-your-health/

https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/protein-structure-14122136

 

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