Today, so many people are confused about what makes a balanced nutrition and that shows in their healthy state, energy levels, and even weight. We benefit from more information than ever, yet we feel so overwhelmed we just don’t know what healthy even means anymore.
I’ve been there and, frankly, it does take some effort to clear your head and realize that eating the right foods is no rocket science. I wrote this post to help you understand what your body needs, how to choose the right foods and a special take on supplements (because they’re so popular nowadays). As a bonus, you’ll get free access to great content and tools on nutrition!
The nutrients that make a difference
Like everything in life, it takes balance to eat healthy – and that means offering your body all of the nutrients it needs to function properly. The first step is to have a general idea on which types of nutrients exist:
Rules are simple when it comes to micronutrients: the more, the better! Regardless of diet, you can always combine vitamin-rich foods to help every organ stay healthy. Also, make sure to add as many superfoods to your diet as possible. What are superfoods?
There’s a shortlist of so-called ‘superfoods,’ which are green foods packed with many more micronutrients than any other food. Consuming a single serving of one of these foods provides View our full list of green superfoods right here for free.
Choosing healthy macronutrient sources
For macronutrients, things are a bit different. There’s good fat (unsaturated) and there’s bad fat. There are good sources of carbs and unhealthy ones. And with protein, well, we’re all a bit confused: does it really make you bulky? Here’s the essential info:
It’s often called ‘the building block of life’ and for good reason. Protein regulates insulin production, helps you break down extra fat, promotes muscle growth, increases endurance – do you need more arguments? Made of essential amino acids, protein can either be complete (contains all of the essential amino acids) or incomplete (contains only some).
Best sources: eggs, greek yogurt, quinoa, lean beef, broccoli, lentils
Fat is an essential part of a good lifestyle. However, there are three types of fats and not all of them are healthy! Here’s the difference:
- Monosaturated fats – this is the best (and most recommended) type of fat you can eat. Monosaturated fats keep your heart healthy, increase energy levels and can even promote weight loss!
Best sources: avocado, olives, olive oil, macadamia nuts
- Polyunsaturated fats – also beneficial for your overall health, the downside with these fats is that they still have some chemical bonds. However, you can still get healthy nutrients from their sources if you stay within healthy limits.
Best sources: sunflower & flaxseed oil, walnuts, salmon/tuna & other fatty fish
- Saturated fats – although somewhat beneficial, saturated fats consumed in large quantities daily can take your cholesterol through the roof. In the long run, this type of fat can also increase the risk of blood blockages in large arteries and heart.
Sources: palm oil, red meat (beef, lamb, pork), skin-on chicken, butter
- Trans fats – they’re naturally found in animal-sourced foods such as milk or meat, but in very low doses. Food companies add lots of trans fats to their products because it helps them last longer; the downside? Increased risks for stroke, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease just to name a few.
Sources: frozen pizza, french fries, crackers/donuts, margarine, popcorn
Just like fats, carbs can also be divided into categories:
Simple carbs: This type of carb provides a quick burst of energy because it’s fairly easy to digest. Unfortunately, they’re often used in processed foods and bring many unhealthy calories along, but you can also get a healthy dose from fruits and vegetables, for instance.
Examples: sucrose, corn syrup, raw sugar, fructose, syrup
Complex carbs: Containing at least three types of sugars, these carbs provide your body with sustained energy. Foods rich in complex carbs keep your hunger at bay for longer and maintain energy levels high.
Examples: pasta, bread, legumes, whole grains
Why supplements are ‘the good guys’
Unfortunately, today is harder than ever to find natural, real foods. Even fruits and vegetables are being exposed to chemicals used to speed up growth. This, in return, decreases their natural nutrient balance.
Supplements are a healthy way to make sure that you get your recommended daily dose of nutrients in order to keep every organ, mind, and soul healthy and happy over time. Furthermore, if you’re prone to (or already struggling with) a certain condition, getting plenty of nutrients is even more important. Why? Let’s have a look:
Did you know that 1 in every 11 adults has diabetes? Regardless of type, this condition can be much more easily managed by adopting the right lifestyle. I know it takes plenty of discipline to understand your current eating habits and how you can modify them without stressing over it.
We wrote this 30-day plan that helps people with diabetes improve their meals just by making simple adjustments to their diet.
Along with diabetes, heart disease is one of the most common problems of the 21st century. From drugs that can weaken your heart (some anti-inflammatory drugs included) to poor lifestyle choices, this vital organ can be easily affected. Luckily, you can control almost every potential threat to your heart – all it takes is to stay informed. I highly recommend this in-depth article for a full insight on heart health, illness symptoms, recovery and other tips.
As we age, we’re more prone to certain conditions, arthritis being among the most common. Many seniors resign from the pain caused by this illness, but you don’t have to! If you just offer your body more of the nutrients it needs, you can reduce the unpleasant stiffness and pain of joints and bones. This post reveals the most useful therapy methods along with the best supplements to try out anytime for osteoarthritis.
I’m talking about chronic inflammation, not the one you can get from accidents like burns or punches. Arthritis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, dermatitis – all of these diseases are inflammations of certain organs; as a matter of fact, any condition that ends with ‘-itis’ is a form of inflammation, meaning that the body starts attacking healthy cells too. Luckily, it takes just 3 steps to treat (and prevent) any inflammation: fix your diet, do small lifestyle changes and add supplements (if needed). This post goes into detail about each step and describes inflammation symptoms and other treatment recommendations.
Your liver filters everything that gets into your body and your blood without a problem – but it doesn’t take much to damage it. All it takes is a series of small mistakes repeated daily (I think we all know what’s included here: unhealthy foods, alcohol, smoking). Our liver health guide presents the most common liver illnesses and what you can do today to help this vital organ function properly.
Eating problems? Equally angry and tired, with a migraine on top? When untreated, stress can seriously affect your physical and mental health. If you’re constantly feeling under pressure, I recommend that you check out this anti-stress article where you can discover what really causes this condition for you and how to treat it.
Sleep & Insomnia
These days, we’re such in a rush that getting rest is a real challenge. However, if you just can’t get sleep no matter what, you might need some help. Our in-depth article about sleep & insomnia reveals the main symptoms to look for, as well as a series of remedies you can try by yourself.
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