As a weighted blanket company, we care about the health of our customers and we know there are many connections between how we eat and our mental and emotional health. Food fuels our body and mind. Paying attention to what we put into our bodies is one part of maintaining our health.
If you are at the beginning stages of taking nutrition more seriously, I want to commend you. This is a great step to take, for your physical and mental wellbeing. Below are seven tips for nutritional health that I think will benefit you.
1) BE KIND TO YOURSELF - How long have you been eating the way you do now? If you are unhappy with your eating habits and you want to change, set yourself up for success by making these a few adjustments at a time.
2) DRINK WATER - Experts are divided on the amount of water to drink per day. Some say to drink eight glasses of water per day; otherwise known as the 8x8 rule. Drinking 8 ounces of water 8 times throughout the day will equate to half a gallon of water. Others say to drink half of your total body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water per day. Whichever guideline you follow, the message is very clear. We need to drink more water than any other beverage in our day.
3) EAT THE RAINBOW - A balanced and nutritional daily diet including a variety of colored fruits and vegetables will provide you with key nutrients to have a healthy lifestyle. In college, I had a friend call me and asked me to settle a dispute he was having with his mother. His mom said the color of a vegetable can indicate which nutrients it had. My friend did not believe her. Well, his mom was right! Having an array of vegetables and fruits provides our bodies with key vitamins and minerals.
4) READ LABELS - Pay attention to what goes into your body. When you are at the grocery store, make a habit of looking at the ingredient label. Can you name and/or pronounce all of the ingredients in that item? If not then it is probably not a healthy and nutritious option. Our bodies work best when the food we eat is easy to digest. Fresh, whole foods are easily recognized by our bodies and provide great fuel for the day!
5) PAY ATTENTION TO PORTION SIZE - While reading the ingredients label, also be mindful of the serving sizes. It is common to eat portion sizes that are much larger than we need. This is a problem because it can lead to adding additional calories to our diet that are stored in our bodies. Pay attention to when you feel full. If you feel like you need to clean your plate, make sure the portions are correct for what your body needs. Having a “perfect plate” includes 3 cups of vegetables, no more than 8 ounces of grain, 2-3 cups of low-fat dairy foods, 5-6.5 ounces of protein and 5-7 teaspoons of oils a day.
6) PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR GUT- Have you heard of probiotics? They are microorganisms that are found in the human digestive system and improve the balance of healthy bacteria. When our gut is out of balance is more likely to experience constipation, autoimmune disease, anxiety, hormonal imbalances and many other health-related issues. Find a good probiotic can increase your health in many ways!
7) EAT YOUR PROTEIN - Protein is an important building block for bones, muscles, skin, and blood. Whether you are preparing a variety of meats for your diet or eating protein-rich plant-based foods, protein is necessary for our health. It also contributes to regulated blood sugar. When our blood sugar is where it is supposed to be, we experience more stable energy, thoughts, and emotions.
I hope these tips have provided you with information to help make choices that will improve your physical, mental, and emotional health. Remember to choose just a few adjustments in your diet at a time. Once those are fully established in your diet, add more. Creating and maintaining small changes are more likely to become an established habit when slowly added to our daily routines.
Donna Durham, MMFT
Owner & Founder