If you want to know some simple but effective tips and habits to start or maintain a healthy life, then this article is for you!
Many people want to have a healthy life but don’t know where to start.
Though, it’s pretty simple: apply these 14 secrets below right now and you’ll see a difference in your body and mind! Being healthier is only about motivation, everybody can do it 🙂
So, without further delay, let’s get started!
1- An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Yes, this is an easy one, but it’s maybe the most important advice! However, still many people will sadly skip fruits and prefer sweet snacks or sugary drinks.
Many researches proved that a sufficient intake of fruits prevents the risk of chronic diseases and helps you to a better body weight management. A higher intake of fruits will lower risk of all cause mortality, particularly cardiovascular mortality.
In addition, fruits have so many health benefits. They have antioxidants properties, are a high source of energy and nutrients and a good supply of dietary fiber, which makes you feel full quicker. Fruits also provide vitamins and minerals to your diet, that you sometimes can not find anywhere else.
The World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture of the United Nation recommend adults to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. So next time you feel a bit hungry, think of fruits 🙂
2- Coconut Oil Is Your BFF
Coconut oil, which is of course obtained from coconut fruit, is the most healthiest oil. It has many health benefits taken directly from the fruit.
That’s not all, coconut oil is also a really good antidepressant functional food. It prevents from stress thanks to the polyphenols and medium-chain fatty acids present in the oil. In addition to that, it also has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities.
See also: 7 Incredible Coconut Health Benefits
Warning: to get all of the amazing health benefits, choose extra virgin coconut oil and not a refined or processed that can have been bleached, over-heated, and chemically processed to increase its shelf-life. Indeed, this can change the chemical makeup of the oil and the fats are no longer good for your body.
3- Eat Colorful
Colors, tastes and flavors of foods and beverages usually comes from polyphenols, which are natural food pigments.
These naturally occurring compounds are found largely in the fruits, vegetables, cereals and beverages. For example, grapes, apple or berries contains between 200 to 300mg of polyphenols per 100g of fresh fruit, and a glass of red wine or a cup of tea about 100mg of polyphenols.
It has been proven that a long term consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols is offering a protection against development of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases. It also have an anti-aging effect and helps to prevent asthma
So, do as your mother said when you were younger, and eat your fruits and veggies!
4- Hunt For Salt (Even Hidden One!)
90% of the salt you eat comes from industrial bread, pre-cooked dishes, industrial soups, cheese, meats… You don’t even see it or add salt your meals, but you are certainly over-consuming it!
An excess of salt consumption will lead to a high blood pressure and increased cardiovascular risks. There is also some evidences that too much salt can damage the aorta and kidneys and that it may be bad for bones.
Indeed, this study shows that a daily moderate reduction of salt intake is an effective measure to reduce your blood pressure. If you reduce drastically your salt consumption, it will have major beneficial effects on your cardiovascular health.
The WHO also strongly recommended to reduce the salt intake as one of the top priority actions. This measure is major as it will decrease the number of deaths from hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
5- Spice Up Your Life
Try to consume as much herbs and spices as possible. First benefit of it is that it will reduce your salt consumption, which is really harmful for your health as seen in the above point.
But that’s not all! Herbs and spices have really good health properties thanks to their bioactive components: they are anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and anti-microbial. Herbs and spices also have many other beneficial side effects, for examples:
- Consuming a half to one clove of garlic daily may have a cholesterol-lowering effect
- Lemongrass, rosemary and thyme are also reported to enhance the activity of the an important antioxidant enzyme which has the potential to act as an anti-inflammatory agent
- Cinnamon helps you to prevent and fight diabetes
Don’t hesitate to spice up your meals with many traditional herbs and spices like pepper, cinnamon, curry, or nutmeg or choose from unusual ones like indian or chinese.
6- Do Some Cooking
Take time to prepare your own meals! The more you know what is inside what you’re eating, the better it is.
Choose your ingredients wisely: check if the fruits or vegetables are from an organic production and where is the meat coming from.
It’s now really easy to find some cheap ingredients and cook really tasty and easy to do meals. If you’re lacking some inspiration, check out here for some amazing recipes 🙂
7- Never Enough Vegetables
It’s not a secret, veggies are good for your health! They are full with vitamins and minerals and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
Vegetables are also packed with fiber, which is really good for you. Indeed, fiber will make you reach your satiety level quicker and is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Other side health effects of the vegetable consumption are:
- It decreases the risk of stroke
- It is associated with a reduced risk of oral cancer
- It might be inversely associated with the risk of depression, that’s right: veggies can make you happy!
Recommendation is that one-half of your plate should alway be fruits or vegetables. So don’t be shy and go get some veggies!
8- Omega-3 Baby
These Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are not naturally produced by our body, that’s why it’s really important to eat some through your diet.
These essential fatty acids play an important part in the cognitive function. Indeed, it has been proven that omega-3 levels are linked to better cognitive functioning and to healthier blood vessels in the brain.
Most effective and active omega-3 fats are EPA and DHA, which occur naturally in fatty fish and have many health benefits including improving cardiovascular capabilities, brain development and cognitive functions.
In order to get a sufficient intake of omega-3, you should consume fatty fish twice a week. Wild atlantic salmon is the fish with the most omega-3 concentration. However, you can also find some in sardines and mackerels for example, which are much more affordable.
9- Pulse Up the Legumes
Legumes (or beans) are highly nutritious seeds. They provide fiber, protein, carbohydrate, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorous. In addition to that, legumes are naturally low in fat, are practically free of saturated fat, and because they are plant foods, they are cholesterol free as well.
Legumes play an important role in the prevention and management of a number of health conditions, such as:
- Lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Decreasing total and LDL cholesterol levels
- A positive impact on blood pressure management thanks to potassium, magnesium, and fiber
- Helping with weight control. Indeed, the fiber, protein, and slowly digested carbohydrate found in legumes may aid in satiety
What’s more, this study proved that a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans), nuts, and seeds is linked to significantly lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
Some of the most common types of legumes include kidney beans, fava beans, cranberry beans, black beans, pinto beans, soy beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, and lentils.
10- Always Go For Whole Grains
Whole grains products are cereal-based food products, such as bread, pasta, and rice. They are much more beneficial for your health than plain options as they have much more micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, oligo-elements and fibers.
Indeed, whole grains based products have the ability to enhance health beyond the simple provision of energy and nutrients. First, their consumption will assist you in the maintenance of your digestive health and body weight due to the contribution of nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals of these foods. In addition to that, whole grains based products could improve your intestinal microbiota and have antioxidant protection.
This study, which was conducted over 3 weeks on 31 persons, shows that fecal bifidobacteria and lactobacilli were significantly higher with whole grain wheat consumption compared with wheat bran consumption. This prebiotic activity may contribute to the beneficial physiological effects of whole grain wheat.
Whole grains based products can help you prevent and fight many diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and strokes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, as well as different forms of cancer.
In order to get all of amazing health benefits of whole grains based products, it’s recommended to daily consume whole grain cereals 3 or more servings/day.
11- One Day a Week Without Meat
Hello meat lovers, and everybody else! Have you ever tried to keep off the meat for a day? It could be really beneficial for you.
First, the world over-meat consumption leads to a range of serious environmental problems, including climate change, the loss of biodiversity, the strain on freshwater resources, and and the release of persistent toxins into the atmosphere. It’s not anymore only about you and your own health, this little change in your everyday life could change a lot more!
In addition to that, a long-term consumption of increasing amounts of red meat and particularly of processed meat is associated with an increased risk of total mortality, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes, in both men and women.
Indeed, this study shows that meat consumption and obesity are closely linked.
So next time you’re at the supermarket, think of other options for meat. If you need some advice on how to build that, check those 5 essential nutrients to monitor for an healthy meat-free diet.
On a typical day, it’s recommended to drink at least 1.5 to 3 liters of water. Water is essential for life, you won’t survive many days without it. It comprises from 75% body weight in infants to 55% in elderly!
Drinking water have so many benefits for your health:
- It will help you improve your physical performances; always remember to stay well hydrated as you will sweat more
- It will enhance your cognitive abilities by keeping your brain hydrated
- It will help to strengthen your gastrointestinal and kidney functions
- It will play an important role regarding your heart. Indeed, blood volume, blood pressure, and heart rate are closely linked. Blood volume is normally tightly regulated by matching water intake and water output
- It will prevent from headaches as dehydration can lead to the development of headache
- It will moisturise your skin as your skin contains approximately 30% water
- Finally, it will help you fight chronic diseases
If you’re not the water like kind of person, flavor it with some fresh fruits or drink some tea. Always try to avoid sugary drinks as they are really bad for your health.
13- Healthier Happy Hours
Yay it’s summer time! And with this season comes all the chips, cocktail sausages, beers and other unhealthy options.
You already know it but all of these foods and beverages are full of salt and are really fatty. Well next time you organise a lunch with some friends, try some healthy options with for example olives, nuts, carrots, hummus, and avocados. Bring some colors in your table with fresh and tasty ingredients that everyone will love!
14- Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince and Dine Like a Pauper
This old adage might be the best secret to stay healthy and manage your weight loss. Indeed, modern lifestyles have led to many people eating breakfast at irregular intervals or dining later in the evening, which is confusing the body’s circadian rhythms and hindering digestion.
Get off to the right start with a complete breakfast and include healthy ingredients such as wholemeal bread, protein-rich foods (plants and / or animals). This will stimulate the dopamine, which make you feel good and has a positive impact on the mood, your tonicity, focus and well-being. You can incorporate some omega-3 – check out these 4 delicious recipes packed with omega-3 or those 5 healthy blueberry breakfasts ideas you’ll want to try-, which are really good for your cognitive capabilities, by adding eggs. Don’t forget to hydrate yourself: drink some water, tea or coffee. In addition to that, you can occasionally add some nuts and fresh fruits!
For your lunches, avoid fast foods and cook your own meals. Add some vegetables to your plates as well as carbs (whole-grain products if possible) and vegetable or animal proteins.
Keep light on the evening with low-calories diners. Indeed, as you don’t burn off any carbs while you’re sleeping, your body is more likely to store these as fat.
And of course, don’t eat between or after meals and especially avoid the before the bed snacking. Eating too close to bedtime increases your blood sugar and insulin, which makes it harder to sleep!
Here are some tips you should adopt to have a healthier life and start losing weight:
#1: Never skip any meals
#2: Eat your meals at regular hours
#3: Avoid snacking, especially after 7pm