Fueling your body right and maintaining an active lifestyle is always important for a healthy mind and body. But especially now when we are stuck in our homes, it has never been easier to stay in bed all day and find comfort in all our favorite foods. Yet this food we are eating out of pure boredom is changing us mentally and physically and not necessarily for the better. So how can you change this habit to start giving your body what it needs, and to cut out what you don’t?
Start the morning off right with fruits and vegetables, whole (unprocessed) grains, and healthy proteins and fats. Now, you may be used to a standard American breakfast of a sugary bowl of cereal, or eggs, sausage, and toast but this is likely doing more harm to your body than good. In an article by “Harvard Health Publishing”, by Monique Tello, she tells us that in that bowl of cereal, toast, bagel, etc, is a bunch of processed carbohydrates and sugars that can cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to rise. “The insulin easily ushers all that sugar into your fat cells, where it becomes stored energy, also known as body fat.” That’s not all; the bacon, sausage, or butter you eat can clog up your arteries, leading to heart attacks and strokes. The salt used to cure meats and processed foods causes the body to retain more water, and this increases blood pressure as well as cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. So while these foods won’t hurt you if you eat them once in a while, there are definitely healthier options. For example, try out some oatmeal with some fruit, or some eggs with whole wheat toast, or even a piece of peanut butter toast with a banana. That way you incorporate a strong source of protein as well as your whole grains and fruit.
As for lunch and snacking, they have the same idea with fruits, veggies, lean healthy proteins, and fats, and don’t forget your seeds and grains. For example, in an article called “The Health Benefits of Grains” it tells us that grains are very important because they are a source of many nutrients like fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, selenium, and magnesium). “B vitamins help the body release energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates.” Vitamins like Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood, Magnesium is used to build bones and release energy from muscles, and Selenium helps build a healthy immune system. A few foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals are avocados, eggs, brussel sprouts, broccoli, fish, nuts and seeds, spinach, oranges, and more.
A healthy and delicious dinner is a great way to finish the day, and there are many ways to get creative with these meals. Just like lunch and breakfast, your staple grains, healthy fats, vegetables, and lean proteins are very good to go off of. For example, for protein you could choose salmon or any fish, chicken, beans, or even edamame. You can pair that with some vegetables like steamed broccoli or carrots.ou could create a stir fry, a soup, a dip, and more. In an article by USDA, called “Nutrients and health benefits” it says “Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C.” As for your grains you could try out quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc.
While not all of these foods work for everyone, listening to your body as well as eating enough is extremely important. Eating foods rich in nutrients not only helps our body, but also our mind. It decreases our risk of disease, improves our mood, betters our sleep, and makes us happier and healthier humans. I think we all need that right now anyway.