Most of us have great intentions when it comes to nutrition, but we can also live very busy lives, and so it’s normal for our healthy eating habits to get side-tracked from time to time.
Improving our nutrition can help reduce the risk of developing preventable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as increase our mood and energy, and give our bodies the nutrients it needs.
Nutrition can be easy and enjoyable if we focus on small improvements. For starters, we can look to things you can add to your lifestyle to improve our diet.
Here are 4 easy things you can add to your diet to benefit your nutrition now:
1. Add more water to your day
Getting and staying hydrated throughout the day is essential for your body to perform properly. Water helps the function of cells, aids in transporting nutrients throughout the body, and keeps a regular body temperature through sweating.
You’ve probably heard the advice to drink 8 classes a day… it’s a great goal to aim for. Although there’s no set amount that everyone needs per day, aim to drink enough so that your thirst is adequately quenched. And if you’re active on a given day, you should increase your water intake even more!
2. Add a probiotic to your day
Probiotics are among the most popular supplements and for good reason – they contain beneficial bacteria that feed your gut and can improve processes like mood regulation, digestion, immune function and even weight loss. Not sure what they are? Our body is full of bacteria both good and bad and probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are especially good for your digestive system.
5 probiotic foods:
- Pickles (persevered in salt and water)
When choosing a probiotic supplement, Megan Green, RD, LD at Launch my Health has a few tips..
- Choose a supplement with multiple strains over one with a single strain. Check the label for a combination of multiple lactobacillus and bifiobacterium strains.
- Check to see if it’s shelf stable or if it must be refrigerated so you don’t accidentally waste it. Probiotics do not need to be refrigerated to be high-quality!
3. Add adequate amounts of protein to your diet
Eating enough protein is key for optimal nutrition, as it provides the substance your body needs to create new cells and tissues. Some benefits that result from a high-protein diet are an increased metabolism, controlled hunger levels and a heightened mood.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is the minimum amount of protein you need to meet your daily nutritional requirements. The more active you are, the more protein you need in your diet. For example, many organisations suggest that endurance athletes should consume 1.2g of protein per kg of body weight, and strength and power athletes should consume 2g of protein per kg of body weight.
High protein snacks:
- Eggs – contain around 7 grams
- Greek yogurt – 1 C contains about 15 grams
- Peanut Butter – 2 TBS contains about 7 grams
4. Add more extra virgin olive oil to your meals
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest plant oils you can cook with. It’s loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and powerful antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties.
It has been associated with a wide range of powerful health benefits and may help prevent heart disease, promote brain function, and protect against certain types of cancer.
To reap these benefits, try to add 1-2 tablespoons a day. You can incorporate it when cooking a meal, as a salad dressing or you can even try drinking it!