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Top 10 Healthy Eating Tips

By Kristen Soper, Clinical Nutritionist

It’s National Nutrition Week in Australia from 11th – 17th October 2015, so what better time than to share some healthy eating tips! Did you know that it’s estimated that 95% of Australians don’t eat enough fruit or vegetables1? Here’s a few simple nutritional tips to get you started:

1.       Drink at least 1.5 – 2 litres of fresh filtered water daily. Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of fatigue, mood changes and over-eating. Often when we think we need a sugar hit mid-afternoon, it’s our body telling us we are dehydrated. Add fresh lemon, lime or mint leaves if you need to spruce up the flavour.

2.       Eat leafy greens and a broad range of colourful vegetables each day to ensure you are consuming a broad range of nutrients and phytochemicals. Recent research has shown that a diet high in vegetables is not only linked with better physical health, it is also correlated with a positive mood and better mental health2.

3.       Eat a wholefood diet focusing on lots of vegetables, protein, fruit, good fats such as avocado, seeds and nuts in combination with healthy whole-grain carbohydrates such as buckwheat and quinoa (NB: this is generalised advice, if you have IBS or digestive symptoms some of these foods such as nuts may not agree with you)

4.       Consume good quality protein at every meal to help with blood glucose regulation, energy, mood stabilisation and weight management. Good quality protein includes eggs, fish, chicken, legumes, pulses, seeds, nuts and meat; so whether you are a meat-eater, vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of good quality protein options to add to your meals.

5.       Remove dietary irritants such as processed foods, refined sugars and gluten as they can trigger an inflammation reaction causing weight gain, low energy, digestive symptoms and affect mood.

6.       Suss out local cafes with healthy options around your work and home. If you are at work and haven’t brought in lunch, it’s good to know where you can quickly pop out to grab a healthier option, rather than simply reaching for a sandwich each time. Some of my favourite quick eat options are a roast vegetable frittata, a salmon salad or a non-dairy super smoothie (cafes such as THR1VE are a great option for smoothies).

7.       Planning & preparation – often the key to a healthy diet is simply planning your meals and snacks in advance! If you have vegetable sticks and hoummus in your cupboard at home and you are hungry, you will most likely reach for this, rather than drive to get something unhealthy. If you are not a morning person and leave early for work in the morning, try making a healthy smoothie the night before and store in a glass jar in the fridge ready to grab in the morning for a healthy breakfast on the go.

8.       Cupboard cleanse – if your cupboards contain junk food or foods you are trying to avoid – give it away! Even someone with the strongest will-power will find it hard to resist foods if they are right in front of them every-day.

9.       Get inspired – healthy food is super tasty and exciting. Experiment with new recipes such as chia seed puddings, banana bread on coconut flour, vegetable bakes and seasonal salads. Some of my favourite websites for recipes are thehealthychef.com.au and www.nourisheveryday.com  

10.   Invest in a high-speed blender – my blender is one of my favourite kitchen appliances. It allows me to whip up healthy green smoothies in under a minute, make raw-food desserts and create delicious sauces and dressings. Luckily there are a range of high-speed blenders available now from $129 for a Nutribullet, $475 for an Optimum 9400 (my pick) or a top of the range Vitamix or Thermomix.

The only other point I’ll add in is whilst the above tips are a general guide to good health, there is not one diet that suits everyone. I have clients thriving on a Paleo-style diet, whilst other clients suit a vegetarian diet or a diet higher in complex carbohydrates. It’s important to listen to your body and work out what suits you!

Plus it’s also important to note that different diets and foods can help manage certain health conditions, so if you are suffering from a digestive disorder or auto-immune condition for example, there are certain foods that may be more healing for you.

To celebrate National Nutrition Week and learn more about which foods would suit you best, book in for a complementary mini nutritional health assessment in October. Simply contact reception on www.completecityhealth.com.au/contact/ to book your appointment today!

 

References:

1.       http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/D8A0182B96B03DE7CA257AA30014BF34?opendocument

2.       http://www.medicaldaily.com/can-mental-illness-be-cured-diet-nutritional-psychiatry-steps-limelight-337414

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