Optimise your health with these 5 nutrition and lifestyle tips
Fibres are a crucial part of a healthy diet as they act as fuel for your good gut bacteria which are important for your overall health. We should aim for at least 30 grams of fibre a day. Best ways to optimise your fibre intake is to eat a whole food diet. Simple tips to increase intake is to leave edible skin/peel on vegetable and fruit, choose wholegrain over refined and add legumes, seeds and nuts to your daily diet. If you start your day with a bowl of chunky oat porridge or overnight soaked oats with lots of nuts, seeds, spices and seasonal fruit you have come a long way already.
Eat the rainbow
Choose colour on your plate. Aim for the rainbow as every colour of the plant based food we consume (both fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices) contain something called polyphenols – which is a name to describe thousands of different chemicals that studies show reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Aim for around 10 portions of ideally different coloured vegetables and fruits (80/20) per day.
Boost good gut bacteria
Include probiotic and fermented food in your diet daily. These have the ability to help replenish your gut with good bacteria and together with dietary fibres and polyphenols support better gut health which support your overall health. Examples of probiotic foods are live plain yoghurt with live cultures, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, good quality sourdough bread and unpasteurised miso
Stress and daily stressors is one of the biggest factors to poor health. We are constantly bombarded with daily stressors which are affecting our cortisol level and our mental and physical health. We can support this nutritionally with a healthy blood sugar balance which is best done with having a good combination of protein, fat and complex carbs with every meal. Exercise, mindfulness and breathing technique are also good to include to support a healthier stress response. And a good night’s sleep plays a major role in how we cope with stress while a bad night sleeps can massively disrupt our blood sugar balance and increase our stress levels and inflammation.
Support better sleep
Aim for 7-9 hours of good sleep per night. Your body likes a fixed routine and by waking up, eating, exercising and going to bed at roughly the same time every day you support your body’s natural melatonin production in the evening. Professor Matthew Walker author of the book called ‘Why we sleep’ says “There does not seem to be one major organ within the body, or process within the brain, that isn’t optimally enhanced by sleep (and detrimentally impaired when we don’t get enough)”.
Zannie Krogh – Registered Nutritionist mBANT / mCNHC