We all want to live a healthy and long life and we sometimes find it difficult to find out what it is we should be eating and not eating. Firstly, I’d like to clarify that a “Healthy diet” does not mean losing weight or starving yourself. It means that you balance what you eat on a daily basis and enjoy life while you are at it. In fact we shouldn’t even use the word ‘diet’ because it puts a lot of pressure on us. Pressure that makes us not enjoy the food we eat. Rather we say a healthy lifestyle which means that we monitor the portions and types of foods we eat.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle means making a few changes about what you would usually eat. This means knowing what it is that we’re putting into our bodies. And above all else, how much we can and should be eating. So what healthy foods should you be eating? To get the vitamins and minerals we need, it is recommended to eat at least 5 cups of fruit and vegetables each day. Each season brings different varieties of fruits and vegetables giving us an enormous range to choose from. It’s best to eat only what is in season as this also helps our bodies metabolize the food better. Not only that but eating seasonally is more wallet and environmentally friendly.
I understand that sometimes people say they don’t eat certain foods because they don’t like it – without having tasted it before. I say it’s about how the food has been prepared, and keeping an open mind. After all, you may just be surprised. So ladies, here is my list of healthy foods to eat for a better you:
- Vegetables: You could never go wrong with eating fresh vegetables for supper. Vegetables taste better when you let them cook on their own and you can taste the freshness and goodness. You can also try to use spices to season your veggies. When boiling or steaming its important not to overcook them as then they lose their nutrient value and their fresh, crunchiness. Another healthy way of cooking your veggies is to bake them. Some veggies taste great raw and are a delicious snack to have throughout the day. Vegetables have few calories and are high in fiber so you can really eat as much as you want.
- Fruits: There are so many fruits to choose from. We don’t have to choose the traditional banana and apple all the time. For a change we can choose our kiwis, litchis, mangoes, nectar fruits. You can make delicious drinks from your fruits and also fruit salads which are always refreshing in the warmer months. You can eat fruit as a snack during the day. You’ll see the difference in your body and energy to perform all your tasks
- Wholegrain: Examples of grain foods are your wheat, oats and rice. Wholegrain foods are healthy because they contain fiber. We all need fiber to keep us regular and our intestinal system working properly.,The choice made where wholegrain is concerned is between brown bread over white bread, brown rice over white rice, bran flakes over corn flakes.
- Dairy: Dairy products are also important in leading a healthy lifestyle Instead of buying sweetened yoghurt you can buy unsweetened yoghurt and add your own fruit to it. It’s good to mix it up a little sometimes. Adding honey is a natural way to sweeten your yoghurt. Not only is it a healthy alternative to sugar it is delicious!
- Healthy protein: Chicken breasts (without the skin), fish, eggs, dairy (cheese), beans, nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds and pumpkin seeds), all fall under healthy proteins. A high in protein lifestyle means that you burn calories more and your metabolism becomes faster. When eating your protein foods you feel full and for a longer period of time. The proteins burn on their own and that means that you’re not gaining any fat and that energy you can use throughout your day.