A healthy lifestyle can mean different things for different people, but generally speaking a healthy lifestyle is a balanced lifestyle.
This starts with fuelling yourself with nutrients to nourish the body. This ensures that your body can be in a state of optimal health. Providing yourself with the right nutrients comes from adequate consumption of the right nutrients. A healthy lifestyle also includes moving your body. This should be moving your body in a way that feels natural and right for you, to celebrate it and what it can do. As well as improving your strength and balance, exercise is beneficial for your mental health, heart health, weight maintenance and digestion. Including a range of different types of exercises is beneficial to balance your energy and keep you motivated.
So what are the best foods to eat?
There are a wide range of articles online suggesting the “perfect” diet. But what if I was to tell you there is no perfect diet.
Well it’s true, the perfect diet for you could be completely different to your best friend! This is because everyone’s body is different. Some people may not be able to tolerate dairy whilst someone else might not be able to digest red onion. It is important to find what foods you can or can’t tolerate so that you can feel your best. We also all prefer different foods, so find what nourishing foods you enjoy!
Multiple studies show the positive effects of eating a Mediterranean diet for health. This includes helping weight maintenance, better heart health and improved overall health with reduced risk of disease.
The Mediterranean Diet
This includes a large range of fruit and vegetables. The diversity of fruit and vegetables enables the production of good bacteria in the gut and helps increase the consumption of a wide range of nutrients including polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. This helps with satiety, digestion and many other important processes in the body. It also includes healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, seeds and unsalted nuts. These healthy fats are rich in omega 3 replacing the less healthy fats e.g from processed foods that are high in omega 6. This is advantageous due to the swap from inflammatory to anti-inflammatory effects, which occur from high consumption of omega 6.
Moderate amounts of fish, meat and dairy are included in the Mediterranean diet however red meat shouldn’t be consumed more than twice a week. When these protein sources are added to meals, they should be replacing processed foods such as salami and ham, which contain carcinogens. Lean sources of protein are important for growth and repair in the body as well as aiding satiety after a meal. Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel also contains omega 3 and vitamin D, which have important health benefits.
A good night’s sleep
Alongside eating healthily and exercising, your sleep is also important for optimal health. Having at least 8 hours of sleep a night will help you feel energised, improve your mood and skin, improve your concentration and performance and help with making good food choices throughout the day. Magnesium has been proven to aid sleep as it helps with muscles relaxation. Green leafy vegetables and nuts are good sources of magnesium. Quinton isotonic provides a calming effect and contains bioavailable magnesium, which can also help with getting and staying asleep.
Remember to take time to focus on you and do things you enjoy! This helps you de-stress and keep you fulfilled. Although it is important to acknowledge these guidelines, it is also important to indulge from time to time. If you want to enjoy the odd glass of wine, have a slice of pizza with your friends or have some cake on your birthday, you definitely should. Life is too short and you should enjoy every minute of it.