1. Load up on fresh produce
Most of us aren’t hitting our recommended five-a-day, even though eating more fruit and vegetables can significantly reduce our risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cancer. The fibre found in whole produce also keeps the good bacteria in our gut thriving, reducing our risk of autoimmune diseases by fighting off infections.
In particular, dark, leafy greens such as kale, spinach and broccoli are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that keep our bodies in prime condition. And they can be easily incorporated into any meal. Have a side of mixed green salad, add some sautéed spinach into your omelette, or throw some kale into your breakfast smoothie.
2. Eat the rainbow
When it comes to any diet, like moderation, variety is key. Eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and spices ensures that you attain the array of benefits from your diet. And the easiest way to make sure you’re getting all those essential nutrients is by eating a naturally colourful range of food. Go for bell peppers, sweet potatoes, berries, greens, and turmeric — all of these contain plant compounds and nutrients that keep cells healthy and in good functioning order.
An easy way to add brightly coloured produce to your diet is by having a salad of mixed fruits and vegetables per day, and dress it with olive oil, apple cider and turmeric for extra nutrition.
3. Always choose whole grains
It’s old news that a high intake of refined carbs is associated with higher risk of diabetes and obesity. A much cleaner alternative is whole grains that are rich in fibre and nutrients.
Swap those cakes, pastries, white rice, white bread and pasta for brown rice, wholemeal bread, oats, and quinoa.
The cleanest whole grains are the least processed ones. They retain most of their antioxidants, fibrous germ and bran, heart-healthy folate and inflammation-fighting phytonutrients. Eating whole grains also keep you full longer as they maintain stable blood sugar levels, so you’ll be less tempted to snack between meals.
Look out for labels that make whole grain claims. They should always have whole grains as the first ingredient and contain minimal added sugar.
4. Cut down on meat
Research has shown that cutting down meat consumption not only saves your health, but also the planet. You don’t have to cut out meat entirely though. Simply reducing your meat intake can lower your blood pressure and risk of heart disease, as well as keep your weight in check.