This winter, our Winter Health series has covered different ways you can prioritize your health, ranging from bolstering your immune system and exercising enough to supporting your skin with skin care options. In this last post of the series, we wanted to share some healthy eating tips that you can bring with you into spring and beyond!
With the colder weather — and less sunlight each day — we know how tricky it can be to follow a healthy meal plan. Some nights, the sun might go down before you’ve even made dinner. Instead of opting for choices that are less healthy, we want you to be kind to yourself — and that starts with what you put into your body.
Read through our healthy eating tips. If you’re looking for nutritional support, you can request an appointment at Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa in Peoria. We offer health coaching, nutritional supplement support, food sensitivity testing, and other medical weight loss support.
Creating a Healthier Diet
Healthy diets aren’t just for people who need to lose weight. The food that you put into your body is what your body uses to function every day. So it’s important to make sure that you’re putting food in your body that will provide you with the nutrients you need to feel healthy, energized, and motivated.
We talked about water and hydration in our Skin Care Tips blog. Water is essential for many of your body’s functions to operate properly. From helping your brain function to regulating your temperature, keeping your tissues moistened, and carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells.
Since water is so important to your body, it uses it every day. You can lose water through your perspiration, breath, urine, and more, making it important to replenish that supply every day. If you don’t drink water, or don’t drink enough water, try swapping out a sugary drink (or that extra cup of coffee in the morning!) for a glass of water.
Fruits & Vegetables
We’re not the first people to tell you to eat your fruits and vegetables. But it’s true! They provide valuable vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly.
Fruits are high in fiber and offer different antioxidants that can help boost your health. Vegetables are foods that are low in fat and calories while being high in nutrients. With each meal, try to include a side of vegetables. For better balance, you can swap out a starch for a vegetable! Instead of snacking on processed foods during the day, replace one of those snacks with some fresh fruit!
While water should be the priority when it comes to your drinks, certain teas can also help boost your immune system. Some teas are caffeine free while other caffeinated teas still contain less caffeine than coffee. Teas can also contain different antioxidants along with tannins that can aid with digestion.
While you shouldn’t replace your water intake with tea, tea is a perfect calorie-free alternative to sugary drinks that can also provide you with some great health benefits! They also can help hydrate your body, unlike other caloric drinks.
Some diets suggest staying away from carbs or cutting back on carbs completely. But before you go that route, it’s important to understand the difference between good and bad carbs, and how to balance both simple and complex carbs.
Carbohydrates are made up of sugars, starches, and fibers that help energize our body and deliver different vitamins and minerals. It is true that some carbs are better for you than others and that you want to focus on the “good” carbs that provide your body with the nutrients it needs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to completely avoid “bad” carbs, like white flour and sugar.
There are simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs are sugars that provide your body with simple nutrition, like raw sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and fruit juice concentrate. These carbs can be found in foods like soda, baked goods, breakfast cereals, and other sugary treats. While simple carbs can occur naturally in milk and other foods, it’s good to avoid processed foods that contain simple carbs.
On the other hand, complex carbs are fiber and starch. The more complex the carbs, the more nutrients those carbs contain. Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains. Foods that are high in starch include whole wheat bread, cereal, corn, oats, rice, and peas. If you’re looking for a better balance of complex carbs in your diet, opt for whole grains, fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber, and beans. Then make sure you’re limiting the foods that contain simple carbs.
Just like with carbs, there are some fats that are healthy for your body. Your body uses fat to create energy, absorb vitamins, and keep your heart and brain healthy. Fats, like trans fats and saturated fats, are what can be blamed for weight gain, clogged arteries, and other health problems. But other fats, like unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, actually play a large role in keeping you healthy.
When it comes to your diet, take a look at the type of fats different foods contain. Add more healthy fats to your diet by eating avocados, eggs, chia seed, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate, and fatty fish.
Even if you’re eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, your body might still be lacking certain nutrients it needs. Multivitamins can help supplement the vitamins and minerals missing from your diet. If you’re unsure of what multivitamins you need to be taking daily,our medical spa team is here to offer health coaching support and to talk through different nutritional supplements that might benefit you and your body.
Finally, protein is another important food. In fact, most meals revolve around a protein paired with fruits, vegetables, and carbs. Your body uses protein to:
- Build bones, muscles, and cartilage
- Repair tissue damage in your body
- Regulate your hormones
- Help oxygenate your blood
Take a look at the protein you eat. You can get protein from lean meats, poultry, fish, and other seafood. But you can also find protein in meat-free foods, like dairy products, eggs, and soy. Balance your protein intake with good carbs, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables that are rich in nutrients for a well-rounded meal!
Make Your Health a Priority This Winter
We hope that these tips can help you better balance your diet, even when it’s hard to motivate yourself during these colder months! But sometimes, it’s important to get additional nutritional support from a team of professionals. Choose Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa in Peoria for health coaching and other medical weight loss support. Request an appointment today!
While you’re here, take some time to read through our other blog post to learn more about nutrition and our medical spa: