Do you know that obesity rates have quadrupled in the past 30 years? Are you aware that at least one fourth of the children and more than 50% of the adults are overweight? Did someone tell you that a poor diet is the root cause for about 56% deaths? The main reasons for most of these problems are our food habits and our diet. The advent and popularity of junk food has come as a major surprise to many, particularly when you consider the bountiful supply of fresh produce available in most parts of the world and easy access to information which clearly indicates just how harmful junk food is. One of the first things that we must do to counteract the problem of obesity is to bring about meaningful changes in certain aspects of our lifestyle. The first section of the Vine Vera Lifestyle Guide deals with one of the most important aspects of any lifestyle – food.
There are so many people who are conflicted or confused about what to eat. The advent of technology means that we have never known more about food, but it also means that we have never been so confused either. This confusion has led research organizations to move away from daily intakes and percentages and focus on servings instead. The ideal way to go about the problem is to reduce the intake of sugar, eat good fats, reduce dairy fats and eat six servings of fruits and vegetables.
Things like food pyramids are an ideal way to understand what food to eat, but it is unrealistic to believe that one size fits all when it comes to nutrition. In the end, the only solution is to understand your own needs and find out what works for you. But, irrespective of what you choose to eat, eating less junk food and adding more fruits and vegetables into the diet is a must.
Listening to the body
The ideal way to understand if the diet is lacking something is to find answers within your own body. The body is great at giving out messages when it is low on certain nutrients. Look for signs like constipation, examine the appearance of your skin and think about how your stomach feels. You will find all sorts of signs that let you know whether or not you’re on the right track.
Recommended food intake
- Whole grains – 6 servings a day
- Dairy – 2.5 servings a day
- Vegetables – 6 servings a day
- Fruit – 2 servings a day
- Protein and nuts – 3 servings a day
- Add nutritious foods in your diet. Look at adding at least one food item from vegetables; dairy; lean meat, fish, seeds or nuts; fruits and whole grains into your everyday diet. Also regulate your water intake and drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of water per day.
- Limit the intake of sugar, saturated fats, salt, trans fats and alcohol.
- Choose nutritious food items to meet your energy needs and be physically active.
- Prepare and store your food safely.
- Always choose fresh food over processed food.
To help you get started with your diet in order to improve your lifestyle, Vine Vera reviews some of the most important food items that should be added into your everyday diet.
- Fiber – One of the most common ingredients missing from the diet is fiber. Fiber is essential for maintaining healthy weight and bowel health. The best way to increase your fiber intake is to eat more fruits and vegetables, because they are full of fiber. You need to look at fiber like a broom. It sweeps the gut and helps the body to get rid of unwanted toxins.
- Carrots – Carrots are extremely rich in beta-carotene, an ingredient that gets converted into vitamin A by the liver. This helps out with things like improving your vision, slowing down skin aging, preventing cancer and promoting healthy skin. Carrots are also known to promote healthy vision.
- Kale – Kale is very high in vitamin K, fiber, iron and a host of antioxidants. It acts as an anti-inflammatory ingredient and is known to be great for cardiovascular support. Kale also offers you a host of skin benefits which improve the way your skin looks.
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, vitamins and beta-carotene. Tomatoes help out with digestion and help you maintain your blood health. They also reduce the risk of heart disease and allow you to fight cancer.
- Avocado – Avocado is one of the most versatile fruits that you can add into your everyday diet. It is known to be incredibly nutritious and is full of all sorts of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, potassium and folate. Eating avocados also allows you to reduce your cholesterol levels and prevent cancer.
- Nuts – Research has shown that people who eat nuts on a regular basis weigh less than those who don’t. Nuts are full of vitamin E, omega-3, zinc, protein and selenium. They protect the skin from sun damage and premature aging and help it to look healthy and beautiful.