Food and nutrition are essential parts of our lives. It's food that keeps us growing, food that helps our bodies thrive and food that brings people from around the world together!

We all know that we should be eating a healthy diet. But what does that mean? How do you tell if your diet is healthy or not?

And most importantly, how do you make it happen in the real world, where so many struggle with weight and our health?

This article will help answer those questions by giving you 13 tips on how to start eating healthier.

It's never too late to get started-no matter what shape you're in now, and these steps can go a long way towards helping improve both your physical and mental well-being!


How food and nutrition affect our health

food and nutrition

It's important to remember that food is fuel. Food gives us the energy to move, work, study and play.

It also provides important nutrients for growth and development, like vitamin D in dairy products or calcium in fortified juices. 

When a healthy body consumes food, it becomes the building blocks of our muscles, bones, blood and tissues. We need food every day to stay alive!


What does a healthy diet look like?

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There are many healthy diets out there, and it's important to find one that fits your needs.

A good diet should consist of a variety of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein like low-fat dairy and meat products, fat-free or low-fat milk, beans, lean poultry and seafood, eggs, nuts/seeds. 

There are so many reasons why eating a healthy diet is essential to your health! For instance: It can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

It can help you maintain a healthy weight. It helps support healthy bones because it contains calcium and vitamin D.


What's the impact of not eating healthy food?

Not eating a balanced diet can have many physical effects, like constipation or irregular bowel movements because your body is not getting enough fiber.

It can affect your mental health too by feeling tired, having mood swings and being very unhappy.

It may also have an impact on your social life if you start to feel left out because it's hard to keep up with friends in a physical sport or other activity because of weight issues.


The benefits of eating healthier - both physical and mental

food and nutrition
  • Increased energy levels

Your energy levels may drop if you are not eating enough fruits and vegetables or the wrong kinds of foods. You may feel tired, achy and fatigued.

Eating healthier can help give you more energy to participate in activities that you enjoy doing-like playing with your children, or being active with friends.


  • Weight loss and weight control

If you are overweight or obese, losing the extra weight can help improve your health. When you eat healthier and exercise more, it increases muscle mass which helps burn fat. It also strengthens your heart so that it can beat more efficiently.

Weight loss is not only good for our appearance, but it's also essential to keep organs like our kidneys, hearts and lungs, working well.


  • Nutrition/vitamin deficiency

Eating healthier can help fill any nutritional gaps in your diet that may cause you to be deficient in specific vitamins and minerals.

For instance, calcium is important for strong bones and teeth. Iron is important for making red blood cells grow more quickly, which helps support a healthy immune system.


  • Improved mental health

Eating healthier can help improve your mood, energy levels and overall outlook on life. It's crucial to eat a well-balanced diet if you have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety-like symptoms.

A healthy dose of fruits, veggies and other foods rich in antioxidants helps promote good brain health.


  • Feel in control of your life again.


Eating healthier can help you feel like you are in control of your life again. You start to see improvements in energy, weight loss and overall health, which helps boost self-esteem and confidence.


  • Improve your physical appearance.

Eating healthier can help you improve your physical appearance, both body and face. You will feel better about yourself because you are feeling healthier and more energized.

This can also boost your self-esteem and give you confidence when meeting new people or going to social events.

You may have other reasons for wanting to eat a healthier diet, but the key is not to focus on reasons but to take action and make changes in your diet.


Why it's hard to eat healthy in today's world?

food and nutrition

It can be hard to eat healthy because of "hunger baiting" in the food industry.

This means that manufacturers create foods with artificial flavours and ingredients high in fat and sugar, addictive-like sugar, salt and colourings. 

They do this so people will keep coming back for more. It also means that we are used to eating and craving unhealthy foods. It's important to recognize that it can be a challenge to change waistline and eating habits because of:


1 - Artificial flavours

Food companies spend billions of dollars on flavour research, which means they are very good at creating tastes that appeal to you. These flavours and tastes are designed for one reason - to make food taste good, so you buy more!


2 - Addictive-like sugar or salt

Food companies use sugar and salt in products like bread, cereals and canned goods. Sugar can be addictive and cause cravings for more even though it has no nutritional value.


3. Lack of healthy food options that are convenient to get and buy

It's easy to find fast-food restaurants, vending machines or other places where you can grab a quick bite on the run.

It's not as easy or convenient to find fresh fruits and vegetables even in supermarkets.


4 - Lack of education about healthier choices

Healthy choices may require more time than opening a can or bag. If you buy fresh fruits and vegetables, for example, you need to wash them and prepare them for eating, which takes time.

Making a healthy salad for lunch takes more effort than grabbing a sandwich from a vending machine or fast-food restaurant.


5. Convenience and habit

It's easy to buy loaves of bread instead of one or two pieces because they are pre-sliced; it can be easier to buy pre-made soups, dips and sauces instead of making them yourself at home; it can be easier to grab fast food or take out food for dinner.


13 tips on how to start eating healthier

food and nutrition


1. Eat more vegetables

Eating more vegetables is a great way to get more nutrients and vitamins on your plate! Some people may have problems eating vegetables, but there are many different ways to make them more desirable.

You can steam them, sauté them with olive oil or butter, put them into soups or salads, and so much more!

Vegetables will fill you up faster than anything else, so they are a great way to cut down on portions.


2. Eat more fruit

There's nothing better than fresh-cut fruit for breakfast! It provides you with a considerable amount of vitamins and antioxidants that will help protect your body from illness and disease.

Try adding some into oatmeal or yoghurt in the morning, or even mix them in with a smoothie!


3. Cut out sweets

Sweets are a huge temptation for most people and can add up fast if you're not careful! Some things to try-check the ingredient list before buying candy or pre-packaged desserts.

If it contains lots of corn syrup, stay away from it! Instead, make your baked goods with almond flour or coconut sugar.


4. Avoid processed food whenever possible

Processed food is loaded with preservatives, sugar, salt and other unhealthy ingredients. These foods will give your body very little nutrition, and they can lead to many health problems in the future!


5. Focus on eating nutritious, home-cooked meals

Many people eat out a lot, and this is one of the worst habits to get into.

Eating out frequently can be extremely expensive, and the food you are eating is not nearly as healthy or high quality as what you can make at home! 

Try switching to homemade pizza or pasta from time to time instead of ordering it in every night-it will save you money and be much healthier for you.


6. Remove the refined grains from your diet

Refined grains are broken down versions of whole grains that lack many essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

They often contain unhealthy fats like trans-fats and saturated fats. These have been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes etc.


7. Drink tea or water instead of sodas or other sweetened drinks

These drinks contain tons of sugar and very little nutrients!

Limiting these will help you avoid the calories, weight gain, and tooth decay that often comes with them.


8. Read the labels on food products

Reading ingredient lists can be a struggle sometimes, but it's so important to know what exactly is in the food you buy! Often, its sugar makes a product taste good, so you need to keep an eye out for the word "sugar" on ingredient lists.


9. Eat lots of fiber-rich foods

Fiber helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as helping with weight loss! Foods high in fiber include whole grains, fruits like apples and pears, and vegetables!


10. Add a vegetable smoothie to your diet for some extra nutrition without extra calories

Smoothies are a great way to get some extra nutrients in your diet! A vegetable smoothie is a super way to boost your vitamins and minerals without eating any more calories. These will help keep you energized throughout the day.


11. Make sure that what you're eating contains all nine essential amino acids

These amino acids are essential to the structure of your body, and they can be found in many different foods. Certain animal-based foods contain all nine amino acids, so try to eat some lean meats or fish now and then!


12. Take vitamins, especially vitamin D and calcium

Vitamins are very important in maintaining a healthy body-especially during the winter months when things like colds and flu may be more common.

Try to take vitamins regularly so that you can cut down on sickness! Vitamin D is good for your bones and teeth (make sure you get enough!).

Making these changes to your diet will take some work, but eating healthy foods will help you feel better in the long run and hopefully cut down on sickness and disease!


13. Find an easy routine that works for you and stick to it! 

It's important to be consistent when it comes to habit formation 10 Try not to eat anything after 8 pm ("healthy" snacks are okay)

If you are looking for a diet plan, you can check these articles.


What can you do today to get started eating healthier

food and nutrition

There are many things you could do right now that will help you improve your diet. Here are some ideas:

  1. If you're used to eating fast food, try taking a different route when walking or driving to work or school and see if there is a healthy food option on the way that you hadn't noticed before!
  2. Stock up on healthy snack foods like whole-grain crackers with nut butter or veggies dipped in hummus (made from chickpeas).
  3. Instead of frying foods, try baking or broiling them instead. You may also want to grill vegetables and fish.
  4. Drink fresh fruit or vegetable juices instead of soft drinks and sports drinks. Try freezing grapes for a healthy and refreshing treat on hot days!
  5. Try not to skip meals because your body needs fuel to keep going, and you can end up bingeing on unhealthy foods.
  6. Bonus tip: It's important to remember that what we see from the outside doesn't always show how healthy a person is inside. If someone is obese, it doesn't mean they aren't interested in being healthy too! When eating with friends or family, try not to make negative comments about how much other people are eating or their weight. It's important to remember that words can hurt!
  7. Eating well isn't just about food; it's also about what you do every day. Active bodies and healthy minds go hand-in-hand with a healthy diet. These three ideas can help you stay healthy!
  8. Physical activity- It's good to get moving! Physical activity is any movement that makes your heart beat faster and breathing harder. Even small amounts of physical activity are beneficial. Start slowly to get more active in your daily routines, like taking the stairs or walking more instead of driving. You may also want to try a physical activity you enjoy, like swimming or dancing.


How to create plans that stick

food and nutrition

Here are some things you can do to stick with the changes you make to your food and nutrition:

  • Set achievable goals and be specific about what they are
  • Stay connected with other people who share your goals. It's nice to have people around us who support our motivation and interests. You may want to join or start a food-related club at your school, for example
  • Be mindful of the food choices you make. By being mindful, we can understand why we're eating what we're eating, how it makes us feel, who will benefit from it etc. This means appreciating food as food!
  • Use food in moderation. Part of becoming more mindful of food understands that food is food and food is fuel. It should allow us to live life, not run our lives
  • Plan food for the week or month ahead and shop according to a menu. Setting up food items in advance can help you stick with your food goals.
food and nutrition

Finally thought about food and nutrition.

You don't have to be a foodie or even enjoy cooking (though it can help!) to improve your diet.

The simplest way is by making sure you're getting enough protein, fiber and healthy fats each day-and that's just the beginning! 

It doesn't take much time or effort for most people to make these simple changes, resulting in improved health and weight loss over time.

Nutrition is so important because food fuels our bodies with the nutrients we need every day. If you've been struggling with eating healthier lately, try implementing some of these tips today-you'll notice an improvement right away! 

What are some tricks that work for you when trying to eat healthier? comment below.


More Resources:

35 Best High Fiber Foods for Digestion – Recipes Included

Foods that Lower Cortisol Levels: 54 Tasty Options You Will Enjoy

15 Stress Relieving Foods You Can Try Today

www.nhsinform

www.nutrition.org.uk


About the Author Funmi

Funmi is a Certified Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and, by extension, their businesses. 

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