Healthy and Easy Changes to Feel Better in 2017
Little Changes Make a Big Impact
Did you make any resolutions this year? About 30% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year, but only about half of them stick to their resolve for more than a few weeks. Whether you make it into the successful half depends on more than inner motivation. Goals do not need to be revolutionary to make a real positive impact. Practical small changes are easier to implement and will help greatly in your success.
The average diet contains way too many inflammatory foods. Over the long run, a combination of poor eating, lack of exercise, stress, and inadequate sleep can increase inflammation in the body, leading to poor health. Diseases like arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cancer are associated with higher levels of inflammation.
If a complete overhaul sounds like a big deal, rest assured you can improve your health by making some smaller choices that you will stick to. First, let’s understand the primary aspects of an anti-inflammatory diet.
- Healthy Fats
Eating a diet high in fiber ensures a rich supply of plant nutrients called “phytonutrients.” These natural substances fight inflammation, plus they come with a healthy side of vitamins and minerals.
Fish contains healthy fats, which help reduce inflammation. Unhealthy fats, including trans fats and saturated fats, increase inflammation. If you already have a condition such as arthritis or heart disease, those unhealthy fats are likely to increase your discomfort. But healthy fats will lubricate your joints and improve blood circulation.
Legumes are also high in fiber and have a lesser impact on blood sugar levels than other carbohydrate sources.
Black beans contain 40 grams of carbs and 15 grams of fiber, yielding 25 net carbs per cup. A large potato has 63 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber, yielding 56 net carbs. That same cup of beans has 15 grams of high quality protein, while the potato has just 8 grams.
By choosing black beans over potato as a side dish, you will get half the net carbs and twice the protein. That’s a big impact from a small choice!
Try choosing two or three small changes to integrate into your diet starting this month. If you keep it simple, you are much more likely to stick to these changes next month… and next year. Here are few ideas that you can do once a week or more to increase your health and well-being.
- Eat fish once more every week
- Choose beans instead of potato or pasta
- Add a cup of greens
- Eat half an avocado twice a week
- Use olive oil and cider vinegar instead of salad dressing
- Include more herbs and spices (turmeric, oregano, garlic, ginger)
How about fish tacos? Try baking the fish with your favorite spices. Wrap it up with fresh greens, cilantro, scallions, avocado and serve with black beans. This one meal hits four of those resolutions with one shot.
Most dishes can hide another serving of vegetables. Keep a bag of spinach or kale on hand and add a handful of greens to nearly any meal from eggs to pasta to soups.
If salad isn’t your favorite, hide it in a wrap or top it with spicy protein. Get away from lettuce + tomato = salad and experiment with new produce items like jicama or endive. Just buy one new item and incorporate it into your week.
A cup of beans isn’t the only way to get more legumes. Try roasted chickpeas or humus as a snack.
If you adopt just 2-3 of these ideas, you will be making a big change. But it will be so much more doable than deciding to change your whole way of eating.
To ensure that you get enough anti-inflammatory nutrients, a daily supplement can be a major time saver. You should not replace dietary choices with supplements, but augment your choices with instead. One of the most powerful and practical supplements is curcumin, from turmeric. Although adding turmeric to the diet is a good way to go, it is not well absorbed and can be a daunting ingredient for some.
The first step is considering which changes you want to make. You already have an interest in bettering your health. Now take a few tips and get started. You may be surprised how easy it can be!
Anti-inflammatory Food Pyramid http://foodwisenutrition.blogspot.com/2011/03/anti-inflammatory-food-pyramid.html
Nutrition Calculations http://nutritiondata.self.com/
Curcumall extract http://www.curcum-all.com/