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Following all the parties and celebrations you may be feeling as though you have over indulged recently. So with the start of a New Year why not try these simple steps to kick-start your healthy eating.
We may now know a lot about nutrients – thanks to extensive research into what they do and how they can be used – but the problem is that much of the advice given just doesn’t seem to relate to real people eating real food every day. So, with that in mind, here are my simple tips that you can easily incorporate into your everyday eating plan.
Magnesium has many roles in the body; from working with calcium to improve bone density, to supporting the adrenal glands and helping relax muscles making it great for relaxation and sleep – and even bowel regularity. Found in wholegrains such as brown rice, quinoa and oat bran as well as nuts and seeds, it’s especially rich in dark green vegetables.
One of my most valued nutrients is probiotics as they have an effect of their own while also improving digestion so you absorb more from the food you are eating. Good quality live yogurt contains various strains of beneficial bacteria, which are themselves easily absorbed from dairy products. Try adding a heaped tablespoon of yoghurt to muesli, or mix with a little lemon juice to make a sauce for vegetables for a double whammy.
Food gets broken down into glucose that is then used by the cells to make energy. You can help the process along by using cinnamon, which encourages the cells to absorb the glucose more readily, ensuring that what we eat is used to make energy rather than stored as fat. Try adding just a pinch to breakfast cereal or porridge, in a smoothie, sprinkled on coffee, or even on rice or vegetables at dinner.
The benefits of omega 3 fats is pretty well know – they can help keep the heart healthy, combat dry skin and maybe even improve memory. The best source is oily fish but if you don’t like fish, don’t worry; try walnuts and flaxseeds also have great levels, so think about making them your mid-morning snack.
A bowl of soup on a cold winters evening is a great way to warm up as well as getting easily digestible nutrients. Soups can be a bit light on the protein, so try emptying a can of mixed beans (with no salt or sugar) into a pan of soup as it’s warming as this adds fibre as well as protein – making that humble bowl of soup a complete meal in itself.