By Jackie Manning, ARNP, Strive! Health and Rehabilitation
Does my diet have an impact on how I feel? You betcha! A healthy, balanced diet is consistently shown to improve health. If you want to boost your overall health and immunity, the research is clear. Eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein will charge you right up for this journey we call life! So, how do we put this knowledge into action?
THE ROAD TO IMPROVED HEALTH
The transition to a better way of eating, can be a hard and difficult change for some. First, make small changes that are likely to stick for the long haul. It doesn’t do much good to dive into a plan that you will realistically, only stick with for a few days or weeks…only to return to your old habits. Take a look at your current diet and identify the strengths and weaknesses. You might already be eating well in some respects. Do you eat enough fruit and vegetables each day? Do you get enough fiber? Do you choose healthy, protein packed meats with Vitamin D like fish, over red meats like fatty cuts of pork or beef? Are you fueling up on short-term energy by chugging sugary drinks and snacking on candy and baked goods with artificial and refined ingredients, only to crash sooner than hoped? Take an inventory and see which categories could be improved. Keeping track of your food intake is important as well. You may want to put pen to paper. This way you can see if you need to eat more or less of certain food groups. Experiment with portion size, as well as changing it up by decreasing certain categories while increasing others. Take note of how you feel each time you make a tweak.
Strive for moderation in daily life over fad diets. Solid nutrition can lead to gradual health benefits, and these changes will be well worth it! Diet and exercise go hand in hand. One benefits the other, so don’t forget to keep your body moving. Also, maintaining a healthy diet can help with diabetes, hypertension, bone health and maintaining a healthy weight for your body type. As always, remember to consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes. Happy eating!