5 Small Dietary Changes That Support Overall Wellness
The prospect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle can seem daunting. A few trips through the drive through, a convenience meal for lunch at the office, and a couple of drinks with friends at the end of the week, and you may feel like you are a complete failure. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The following five small changes can get you on the right track so you can lose guilt over those little indulgences.
1. Eat Foods in a Wide Range of Colors
Eating the rainbow has become a popular descriptor for a diet rich in varied fresh foods, especially fruits and veggies. The basic science is that certain phytonutrients are present as specific colors in food. For example, beta cryptothanxin has an orange tint, while red and blue are various antioxidants.
To get the most from this approach, you want to eat the fruits and vegetables in their freshest possible state. Keep peels on when you can to get the extra nutrients and fiber they provide.
2. Add Probiotics to Your Diet
The human gut microbiome is an amazing community of bacteria and other microorganisms. Together they serve a wide range of functions, including assisting with digestion and the body’s immune response. Because it is vital to multiple biological functions, the gut’s care is crucial to maintaining a health-focused lifestyle.
Adding probiotics to your diet is one way to support a healthy digestive tract. These beneficial microorganisms are consumed or applied to the body to support biological processes. They can be found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. You can also add a probiotic supplement to your daily routine. These supplements contain live and active cultures and are designed to replenish the gut microbiome with billions of microbes to support gastrointestinal health..
3. Stop Multitasking During Meals
You may be negating your health-supporting efforts when you do other things during meals, such as reading a book, watching television, or scrolling through social media pages. That is because m no matter what you may think, the human brain is not actually capable of focusing on two things simultaneously. That means you are giving more attention to one thing over the other when you attempt to multitask.
Unfortunately, eating is often relegated to the back burner in this situation. So, you may find yourself overeating before realizing you are full, indulging in too much rich food and skipping the more nutritious ones, or not chewing food long enough to support proper digestion. Over time, your body may have more trouble identifying satiety cues, leading to more overeating and possible weight gain. At first, staying focused on your meals may be difficult, but it will get easier over time.
4. Seek Out Foods With High Nutrient Density
Not all foods are created equal when it comes to nutrition content. Choosing nutrient-dense foods for most of your meals and snacks puts you in a great position to support overall wellness. These foods have high levels of nutrients, with low levels of calories and harmful fats. Many also contain high fluid amounts, so you may feel full after eating less. The American Heart Asociation offers the following examples of nutrient-dense foods:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Lean meats
- Seafood and fish
- Whole grains
- Non-fat dairy products
5. Drink Water With Your Meals
You have probably heard that you should drink more water instead of reaching for sodas or even diet drinks. Adding a glass of water to every meal is a simple and effective way to do this. It has the added benefit of helping slow your eating to allow time for digestion. Additionally, incorporating water with meals helps provide the fluids necessary for digestive processes.
Sometimes, making a few small changes is the most effective way to reach a bigger wellness goal. So, if you are aiming to support overall wellness, try incorporating strategies like drinking water with meals, eating foods of various colors,