Improving the quality of your life can be as simple as implementing some basic nutritional improvements.
We tend to complicate things unnecessarily, but I’ve always found it best to keep things simple. Nutrition is the foundation of health and our health impacts everything in our lives. So, it just makes good sense that by improving your nutrition, you will increase the quality of your life.
Here are 10 Nutrition Tips to Improve Your Quality of Life:
First and foremost, make water your drink of choice. Choose good, pure, clean water and make sure you are drinking enough to stay adequately hydrated. If you are dehydrated, you can’t digest your food properly and can’t effectively process emotions. So, my basic formula is one-half your body weight in ounces and ¼ tsp. of natural, unprocessed salt for every 32 oz. you drink.
Food Quality is Key.
I believe with our compromised food system, intentionally choosing the cleanest, highest quality foods you can find and afford is key. Avoiding foods that are genetically modified, contain hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides allows your body to focus on fully using that food as fuel rather than having to detoxify those questionable additives. Food then truly fuels energy, healing, and strength.
Choose Foods That Agree with Your Makeup.
We are each metabolically unique and what agrees with me may not be best for you, whether it is a “healthy” food or not! It is so important to pay attention to how foods affect you. For example, I recommend eggs as a nearly perfect source of protein. Recently my daughter realized that she was becoming nauseous about an hour after eating eggs even though she’s eaten them in the past with no problem. It doesn’t mean eggs are “bad.” It just means that right now they are not the best for her.
Choose Foods You Enjoy.
Besides choosing foods that agree with your metabolism, I strongly recommend you also choose the ones you truly enjoy. Salmon and sardines are very healthy fish but that doesn’t mean you should force yourself to choke them down if you really don’t like them! That will actually be counterproductive. There have been studies showing that when people eat foods they enjoy, they derive more nutritional value from them.
I always recommend focusing on meals around one-ingredient foods. That just means choose real, whole foods that would be considered ingredients, not those that have ingredients! Choose things like grass-fed and finished meats, eggs, broccoli, tuna, romaine lettuce, raspberries, apples, olives, walnuts, black beans. You get the idea!
Avoid Processed Foods.
This naturally follows the preceding tip. If you focus on real, whole, one-ingredient foods, you will automatically avoid processed, packaged foods. I consider these food-like products because if you read the label you will find there are ingredients you either can’t pronounce or don’t recognize and if you can’t, your body won’t either. This puts stress on all your organs of elimination to detoxify those ingredients your body can’t use for nourishment.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners.
I am listing this separately from tip #6 because too many people, particularly those trying to lose weight, think artificial sweeteners are healthy. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In actuality, they have been found to cause weight gain, along with many other very dangerous side effects. While keeping sugar intake low is important, replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is just replacing one problem with a bigger problem.
Don’t Eliminate Entire Food Groups.
Often fad diets have you focusing on or eliminating a specific food group. There are high protein, low carb or no carb, and fat-free diets. We need all three macronutrients – protein, carbs, and fats – to be healthy. But, again, choosing the best quality of each is what will make the difference. For example, your body needs healthy fats. Fat keeps you feeling full and satisfied and helps you absorb the critical fat-soluble nutrients in your foods. Carbs are energy foods, but grains can cause problems, whereas fruits and vegetables are top quality carbs.
No matter how clean and high-quality your diet is, no one’s diet is perfect. Also, soils are depleted, and critical nutrients are missing in our foods. According to some experts, many of the foods we’ve counted on for the highest nutrition are becoming as depleted of nutrients as the soil they’re grown in. In fact, one study showed that vitamin and mineral content in garden crops have been depleted by as much as 40%. Another study found that apples have lost 80% of their vitamin C and the vitamin A content of carrots has dropped by 99% due to soil depletion. This makes supplementing strategically critical. Cover your nutritional bases with some high-quality nutritional supplements.
Keep A Food Journal.
One of the most simple and useful tools for effective, long term weight loss is keeping a food journal. However, it is useful for more than just weight loss. Keeping track of what you eat and how it makes you feel will help you to understand your eating patterns, identify the foods you eat on a regular basis that may or may not agree with you, as well as, provide a record of measurable results to keep you motivated. You can use an inexpensive little notebook or one of the many apps available. Whichever you choose, just be consistent and honest and you will reap the benefits.
These are my ten top ways to improve your quality of life through nutrition. What are some of yours? Please share them with me in the comment section below!