I get it. Eating healthy isn't always easy. It seems like one day this food is great for you, and the next...hmmm..maybe not so much. In general, though, choosing whole foods is more nutritious than focusing on the sum of its parts.
A vitamin C supplement may give you a vitamin boost, but it won't provide the fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E and vitamin K that you'll find in a kiwi.
Even when we do our research, it's still easy to miss out on beneficial nutrients simply by making common mistakes.
Hell, I know it's hard to choose carrots over Cheetos, but if you're trying to make healthier choices, it's great to know you're giving your body the best you can. Maximize health benefits with these five changes.
- Know your carbs: careful of the anti-carb train...this macro-nutrient is essential for giving your body quick energy and storing energy for when you need it later. Look beyond the pasta, bread, and potatoes...fruits, veggies, and beans are great carbohydrate sources that also provide needed fiber.
- Flax a little muscle: adding flax seeds to your yogurt, oatmeal, or snacks for an antioxidant and fiber boost? Unlike chia seeds, unless flax is ground or the shell is broken, your body can't absorb the nutrients. So, either give them a little smash with a mortar/pestle, grind them in a coffee or spice grinder, or purchase them already ground.
- Keep the fat: yes, fat is another essential macro-nutrient. Fat gives our foods flavor and helps us stay full longer. When products are "low-fat" or "fat-free" the flavor has to be replaced with something else...usually sugar or synthetic ingredients. And, since you're likely to be hungry again faster without the fat, more calories are often consumed. Go ahead, add that avocado!
- No yolk about it: the whole egg is important. Skipping the yolk because of the cholesterol? Unless you're under a medical professional's direction, skipping the yolk means more than missing the cholesterol...you're also missing the protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12,pantothenic acid, vitamins A, D, E, and K and all of the essential fatty acids. Just need the egg white for a recipe? You can also use the liquid (aquafaba) from organic canned beans.
- Protein to go: yes, it's the third macro-nutrient who seems to get all of the attention lately. Protein is important for repairing and building tissue, but it's not the body's first choice for energy (carbs hold that title). Though bars and shakes can be a convenient way to add protein post-workout or on the go, you can also carry some simple snacks: almonds, pumpkin seeds, hard-boiled eggs, farro, peanut butter, greek yogurt, or chia seeds.
Eliminating synthetic ingredients and clean eating isn't a new trend, it's a reminder that we're in control of fueling our bodies and ultimately our health.
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