Nutrition is important

Nutrition is important when trying to lose weight. But nutrition isn’t just about calories. Nutrition is about eating foods that help build muscle, burn fat, boost energy, reduce inflammation, and improve overall health.

There are many different types of diets out there. Some are restrictive, some are not. Some are based on science, others aren’t. And some are short term, others are long term.

But no matter what type of diet you’re following, it’s important to eat healthy foods. The problem is that most people don’t understand what constitutes a healthy food. They assume that any food that doesn’t come in a box counts as a healthy food.

That’s simply not true. There are certain foods that are unhealthy, and there are others that are healthy. So here are the top 9 foods that are healthy and should be included in every meal plan.

1. Berries

Berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are low in calories and have high levels of fiber. This gives them an edge over other fruits because they won’t cause spikes in blood sugar while also providing plenty of nutrients. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that consuming berries can actually promote brain health by preventing cognitive decline. Brain-healthy fats contained in berries may even protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Whole Grains

Whole grains contain more vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and less carbohydrates than refined grains. Whole grains are typically higher in fiber and lower in sodium than their processed counterparts. Studies show that whole grains may significantly lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and stroke.

3. Fish

Omega 3 fatty acids from fish like salmon, tuna and trout have been shown to benefit mental performance. According to research conducted at Harvard University, men who ate two or three servings of fish per week performed better on tests of attention, memory and reasoning than those who rarely consumed fish.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale contain compounds called indoles which help detoxify heavy metals and pesticides. These veggies also provide anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin K and C, folate, fiber and lots of water for hydration. Broccoli has been studied at Tufts University where scientists discovered that one serving provides 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps support strong bones, teeth and immune system.

5. Nuts

Nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which studies show lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Peanuts in particular are loaded with magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Magnesium is vital for bone strength and energy metabolism. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and DNA synthesis. Zinc aids in wound healing, tissue growth and maintenance of normal skin.

6. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, antioxidants that reduce inflammation and fight free radicals. It’s also a good source of magnesium, potassium and copper — all important nutrients for maintaining muscle function and nerve transmission. One small dark chocolate bar (70 grams) provides about 15 percent of the day’s calcium requirement. Calcium is critical for keeping our bones and teeth strong as we age.

7. Eggs

Eggs are inexpensive, easy to cook and packed with nutrients. They’re rich in B12, choline, lutein, zeaxanthin, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin D, selenium, phosphorus, manganese, iodine, iron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, chromium, nickel, cobalt, fluoride and potassium.

8. Beans & Legumes

Beans and legumes are inexpensive, filling, nutritious and offer plant-based sources of protein, fiber, iron and other nutrients. A half cup of cooked beans offers 10 grams of protein, 473 mg of potassium, 25 mcg of folate, 1.1 mg of vitamin B 12, 6.2 mg of magnesium, 2.9 mg of zinc, 0.5 mg of iron and 2.3 mg of copper.

9. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens such as kale, collards, spinach, Swiss chard, bok choi, arugula, mustard greens, turnip greens, beet greens, watercress and romaine lettuce are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Vitamin K helps form proteins in the blood; vitamin C supports collagen formation and keeps teeth enamel strong; vitamin A strengthens mucous membranes in the eyes and lungs; and vitamin E protects cell membranes from oxidative damage. Minerals include iron, which carries oxygen throughout the body, and calcium, which builds bone mass. Iron deficiency leads to fatigue and poor concentration, while too much calcium can lead to kidney stones, so it’s essential to get enough of both. Fiber fills you up without adding calories.

Dietary Tips -

diet slow down

The pace at which you eat affects your hunger levels and likelihood of gaining weight. A study published in the journal Appetite found that people who ate slower had lower BMIs compared to those who ate faster. Researchers believe this is because fast eaters tend to overeat due to increased feelings of hunger. On the contrary, slow eaters tend to feel less hungry and eat smaller portions.

A similar study conducted by researchers at University College London showed that participants who ate slowly consumed fewer calories throughout the day than those who ate quickly. They attributed this to the fact that slow eaters felt fuller sooner and therefore ate less overall.

Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who ate slowly reported feeling hungrier later in the evening than those who ate quickly, suggesting that they stopped eating earlier than others.

Don’t diet without a list

Grocery shopping can be stressful enough without having to worry about whether you’re making healthy choices. But it doesn’t have to be. If you know what you want ahead of time, you won’t end up wasting food because you forgot something. And if you make sure you eat well throughout the week, you’ll avoid those impulsive purchases that aren’t good for your health.

The best way to ensure you stick to your list is to make one ahead of time. Start by writing out everything you think you might need for each meal during the next few days. Then, add things like snacks and beverages to round out your list. Finally, take inventory of your pantry and refrigerator to see where you could use some help. You might find yourself surprised by how much you actually do need.

Once you’ve got your list ready, head to the market armed with a pen and paper. When you start browsing the produce section, jot down notes on the items you see. This will allow you to remember which ones you liked and which ones you didn’t. As you move along, circle anything else you’d like to purchase later. Once you’re done, check off the items you bought and take a look at your list again. Did you forget anything? Now you know what to pick up next time.

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Eat a dietary rainbow – Why it matters

The saying “Eat a Rainbow” was coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Super Immunity. He says eating a rainbow every day provides you with a wide range of nutrients that are essential to good health. This includes vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, iodine, silica, chromium, molybdenum, fluoride, and many others. These nutrients help prevent disease and keep us healthy. They also provide a boost of energy and vitality.

Dr. Fuhrman says there are four reasons why we should all eat a rainbow each day. First, because it tastes great. Second, because it makes our skin look beautiful. Third, because it gives us the feeling of being well nourished. And fourth, because it keeps us safe from cancer.

What Is a Healthy Diet?

Eating a healthy diet isn’t about strict limitations, staying unnaturally thin, or depriving yourselves of the foods you love; rather, it’s about feeling better, having more energy, and improving your health. And although there are many different diets that claim to help you achieve those goals, none of them work well for everyone.

The problem is that people tend to follow one type of plan for too long, which leads to poor results. A recent study found that people who followed a low-fat diet for three months lost less weight than those following a high-carbohydrate diet. Another study showed that people who ate a Mediterranean diet for six weeks had lower blood pressure than those who ate a standard American diet.

If you’ve tried multiple plans and still aren’t seeing results, it might be because you’re trying to do too much at once. Instead, focus on making small changes to your lifestyle that add up to big benefits over time. You don’t have to give up everything you enjoy to eat healthier—in fact, research suggests that you won’t lose weight unless you make sustainable changes to your daily habits.

Setting yourself up for dietary success

Eating healthy isn’t rocket science, but it does require some planning and preparation. For one thing, it takes a little practice to know how much protein, carbs, fat, and fiber each meal needs to contain. But there are plenty of ways to make sure you eat well without having to count every calorie.

For instance, you don’t need to go crazy trying to avoid packaged and processed foods. Instead, focus on choosing more whole foods over junk food. If you do want to indulge, opt for foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients rather than empty calories. And remember that cooking more meals at home can really help you take control of what you’re putting into your body.