When you eat healthy, and think about healthy eating, you enjoy many benefits. Losing weight, having more natural energy, and just feeling great in general are among them. With an excellent diet, you can also enjoy improved immunity and stronger health. You may have noticed some of the positive effects of eating well already.
Have you ever eaten cake and felt all tired and sickly afterward (or had a sugar crash from it)? On the other hand, have you ever eaten a healthy salad full of a variety of veggies and beans and felt awesome both inside and out afterward? If you pay attention, there is a distinctive “dirty” feeling inside when you eat junk, and
a “clean” feeling when you eat healthy food.
These feelings can provide a basic guide for good eating, and using them allows you to follow your intuition when it comes to food. We are built to naturally know what is good for us and what we should avoid. However, it can be a little tricky to keep all this information in your head.
10 Tips to eat healthy and stay lean
In the spirit of making healthy eating as easy for you as it can be, so you can enjoy your new, more vibrant and energetic lifestyle, here is a handy guide for you on how to eat healthy.
1.Eat Fewer Carbs and More Protein
Carbs, such as pasta, rice, white flour, and white sugar all cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash, causing you to feel awful and tired shortly after eating them. They also convert to sugars in your body, which are nothing but empty calories, and will cause you to pack on the pounds.
While a little bite of carbs every now and then is fine, and part of a balanced diet, you should only make it a small part, and making it the smallest part of your diet is best. Instead, replace those carbs with lean proteins, such as skinless poultry, lean beef, seafood, beans, and tofu. Protein builds muscle instead of fat, and it creates natural energy. You will look and feel much better when your diet has minimal carbs and a generous portion of lean protein at each meal.
2. Put Plenty of Brightly Colored Veggies on Your Plate
Veggies are the basis of any healthy diet. In fact, you should be building each meal around them, with anything else being only small side dishes or lightly added flavorings. Vegetables are full of antioxidants and polyphenols, which have health-building and anti-aging properties. The more brightly colored the veggies, the more beneficial properties are in them.
To get the most benefits from veggies, each of which has its own unique health-building and healing properties, you should combine at least three or four different colors at each meal. If you want to use more, that’s even better. Fresh, cooked, raw, or frozen are all ideal ways to eat veggies (canned ones lose many of their nutrients, with the exception of tomatoes, which are more nutritious eaten cooked). Vegetable juice is also exceptionally healthy, as long as it is freshly made from whole vegetables and nothing else.
3. Don’t Neglect Fruits
Many people avoid fruit because they believe it will cause them to gain weight. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fruits are naturally low in calories, full of beneficial antioxidants and vitamins, and have natural sugars in them, not the processed ones that pack on pounds (or the ones in simple carbs that turn to fat-producing sugar).
While veggies should still be the main part of any healthy meal, you can eat a portion or two of fruit at each meal, and feel good about knowing you are filling yourself up with healthy food. If you are using fruit with edible skin, keep the skin on and eat it, too, as fruit skins have extra nutrients not found in the rest of the fruit, and also contains healthy fiber.
4. Herb it Up
When flavoring your food, use copious amounts of herbs. While a pinch of pure sea salt is good for you, don’t go overboard with it, and don’t use processed salt. Fresh and dried herbs, including freshly ground black pepper, are not only extraordinarily healthy, flavorful, and low in calories, they are actually used as medicines in most cultures in the world, and have been since the dawn of human time.
Most herbs have medicinal properties, so you can add a little extra healing to your plate while making your food taste delicious.
5. Add a Sprinkling of Nuts
Nuts of all kinds are full or protein and health-providing minerals. They are high in fat, so don’t go overboard with them. However, sprinkling a handful on top of a meal or side dish, or blending a few up in a smoothie, is an excellent way to give yourself more energy, and get extra nutrients into your body to make your health like a shield against the bad things of the world.
Any kind of nut is a good choice, and each one offers different beneficial properties and health benefits. Choose from things like walnuts, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and more.
6. Coffee, Tea, and Other Good Drinks
Coffee contains antioxidants, and there is some evidence it may protect against Alzheimer’s, and even improve your memory and concentration. You’ve got to leave out the sugar or sweetened creamers, though, or you negate its health benefits. Take it plain or with unflavored milk or nut milk. Green, black, white, and red (rooibos) teas are full of antioxidants, as well, and drinking several cups of these teas a day has been shown to have potentially anti-cancer, anti-autoimmune, and memory-boosting properties, plus it has less caffeine than coffee. Only sweeten it with honey, or take it plain, to keep it healthy.
And, you can’t go wrong with water. Water is the basis of life, and we all need its hydration. Pure, unadulterated, and properly filtered water is the essence of life and good health. It flushes out toxins and keeps your immunity strong. lemon can be squeezed or a tiny amount of other pure, unsweetened fruit juices to make it more flavorful, but use no more than a few drops. You want to keep the water as pure as possible.
7. Dark Chocolate
When eaten in small amounts, usually no more than a one ounce square a day, dark chocolate is a healthy treat. It is full of antioxidants, improves circulation, improves memory, and boosts energy in a natural and healthy way. Make sure you get unsweetened dark chocolate with at least a 70% cocoa content (higher is better).
8. Add Some Health Oils to Your Diet
While you shouldn’t eat too much oil, as all oils have fat in them, some fat is good for you….if it is the right kind of fat. Fats containing high amounts of Omega 3 and Omega 6 are best.
Olive oil is a wonderful oil to use for flavoring or baking (in place of butter, as it has a similar taste), but loses its healthful properties if it gets too hot, so only use it in low-heat cooking. You can use coconut oil and avocado oil for high heat cooking, and they have excellent healing benefits, as well.
Oils made from almonds, walnuts, and flax seeds make great flavorings, but should not be used in cooking, only on things that are already cooked. Grapeseed oil is another good choice.
9. Eggs are Your Friend
Remember back in the 1990’s, when everyone was saying to avoid eggs because of all the cholesterol? Yeah, well that is old news. New research into health and healing has revealed that some cholesterol is essential for our health, and that eating two to three eggs a week is actually good for us. Just pay attention to the type of eggs you use.
Cage-free or pastured eggs are best, because the chickens who lay them are treated well, and given the best diet for producing the most healthful eggs. These chickens produce eggs that are high in Omega 3 oils, which make them extra healthy, so choose these a few times a week, and you can’t go wrong with your healthy eating regimen.
10. Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes for Everyone
While starchy veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other root vegetables got a bad rap for a while because of their tendency to turn into sugar in your body, the new wellness wisdom is different. It turns out these veggies, especially with the skins still on them, are super healthy and healing. Just eat them in moderation, such as half a potato a couple of times a week, or a whole sweet potato and a salad as a meal (with some nuts sprinkled on top).
Just leave off the heaping quantities of butter and sour cream to avoid the bad fats in them. A dollop of each is fine, but nothing more. A pinch of sea salt, some fresh chives, and a drizzling of olive oil is a much better choice of topping.
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