Add Healthful Items to Your Diet
There are a little over 30 days until the holidays begin. Of course, you want to feel healthier during the holidays, and you want to make a serious effort to add healthful food items to your diet even though it may seem impossible between the pumpkin pie and chocolate fudge. If you start now, 30 days out from Turkey day, you can avoid starting your diet during the holidays.
The holidays are a time of year that can be too overwhelming to start a diet. Instead, gradually make dietary additions, now, by planning ahead. Add new items to your shopping list, meals and snacks. When possible, stock them in your car, next to your computer or in other handy spots. In short, spend less time thinking about what you will not eat and more time planning what you will eat.
The following is a list of foods you may want to increase in your diet, along with details on their reported health benefits:
1) Water. Daniel Kosich, PhD, in his book Get Real: A Personal Guide to Real-Life Weight Management, confirmed that water is an extremely important nutrient. Our bodies are not designed to alert us when we need water, so we cannot depend on thirst alone. We need between six and eight glasses of water–at least eight ounces each–per day when we are less active; more when we are active.
2) Citrus fruits, berries, green leafy vegetables. All of these are good sources of vitamin C, an important antioxidant believed to boost the immune system, aid in the absorption of iron, improve cholesterol balance and help lower high blood pressure.
3) Nuts, seeds, wheat germ. These provide vitamin E, another essential antioxidant shown to promote heart health, prevent cancer and provide numerous other benefits.
4) Beans, whole grain breads and cereals. These are a few of the food items that provide fiber. Most of us do not get enough fiber (20 to 35 grams each day) in our diets. Work at it by consistently planning high-fiber meal choices.
5) Garlic, onions, leeks, chives. These are good sources of allyl sulfides, which may reduce risk of cancer and heart disease, among other benefits.
6) Soy products. Isoflavones in soy foods may lower blood cholesterol and reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.
7) Honey, bananas, tomatoes, barley, rye. Phytochemicals called “fructooligosaccharides” in these foods may improve digestion, help calcium absorption, lower blood cholesterol and reduce osteoporosis risk.
Purple grape juice, red wine, green and black tea. These are sources of flavonoids, which are believed to reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease.
9) Flaxseed, canola and soybean oil. The alpha-linolenic acid in these products may reduce hypertension and inflammation as well as improve the immune system, among other benefits.
10) Cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli. These foods contain indoles and isothiocyantes, which may reduce your risk of colon, stomach, lung and rectum cancer.