You could be eating decently-healthy food but not getting the most value from it. The way you prepare it, cook it, season it and serve it can all impair the nutritional value of the food you put on your plate. If you’re making good food choices why undo some of that good work by not getting the most value from the potential benefits. With some simple changes and minimal effort you can ramp up the nutritional value you get from your food.
1. Reduce Salt Intake
Too much salt in a person’s diet can lead to a number of heath issues including water retention in the body. This then puts an extra amount of burden on your blood vessels and more importantly your heart, leading to a dangerous rise in blood pressure. A raised blood pressure significantly increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. An easy way to eliminate excess salt is avoiding pre-packaged and processed foods that are notoriously high in sodium.
2. Black Pepper
Lay off the salt, but when it comes to black pepper knock yourself out! Black pepper is extremely rich in vitamins C and K, potassium and magnesium, a combination that helps the body to properly transport and absorb nutrients from food into the body. Make a habit of adding black pepper to your salads, chicken dishes, egg dishes and much more.
3. Herbs and Spices
We all know that herbs and spices add oodles of flavour to your cooking, but what might be less well known is just how good they are for us. Many herbs and spices contain antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties that help to aid digestion, hair growth, heart health and metabolism. They have also been shown to reduce the risk and symptoms of arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes and cataracts.
4. Eat Food within Two Hours of Cooking
In today’s rushed culture, it has become popular to cook a huge meal and then refrigerate or freeze portions for easy dinners throughout the week. Whilst this is convenient, it is not the healthiest way to eat. Food experts have claimed that food loses up to half its nutritional value two hours after it has been cooked – especially vegetables. Therefore by preparing and then storing food, you are denying yourself a truly beneficial meal.
5. Swap Cookies for Fruit and Nuts
Tea and coffee breaks throughout the day are more than often accompanied by a sweet treat or two in the form of a biscuit or cookie. Try to change you routine habit by switching the sugary confection for a more healthy piece of fruit or handful of nuts. Both are great snacks that help to lower cholesterol, heart disease and even the risk of developing blood clots.
6. Use Olive Oil
Though to many of us they look like the exact same thing, in terms of health and nutrition there is a big difference between olive oil and other manufactured cooking oils. Make the effort to switch from other oils to olive oil for all your cooking and salad preparations. Olive oil is wonderful and has many health benefits including lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease and even increasing life expectancy.
7. Eat Breakfast within an Hour of Waking
After an entire night of ‘fasting’ during sleep, the body really benefits from being given fuel as early in the day as possible. By eating breakfast very soon after getting up, you kick start your metabolism, meaning that you begin burning calories much earlier in the day than if you hadn’t. On the flip side of this, waiting until lunchtime or later to eat means that your metabolism is slowed down and therefore burning calories at a much slower rate.
How easy is it to make these changes and yet the benefits are exponentially brilliant.
Which immediate changes are you going to make?