Healthy living depends on several factors, including a nutritional diet. And satisfying the nutritional and well-being requirements of the body is not an obscure puzzle. Simple habits and lifestyle hacks can fulfill most wellness needs of your body.
Some research and self-learning can further augment your knowledge about your health and help you avoid unhealthy practices. For instance, overdoing greasy, salty, and sugary foods increases the risk of heart health problems, obesity, diabetes, and others.
Thus, eat as per your body’s energy and nutritional needs. Consume spices, sugar, salt, and fats no more than the regular needs of the body.
In addition, do not presume that healthy eating is related to physical health alone. What you eat and how you treat yourself also affect your mind. So, assume healthy practices and dietary choices keeping in view both psychological and physical health.
The following sections discuss some essential health and nutrition tips to stay healthy in the long run.
1. Avoid smoking
Smoking is a notorious risk factor for countless healthcare complications, including coronary heart disease, lung cancer, mouth infections, obstructive pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and others. Risks of vital organ failure and early mortality are also high for chain smokers.
Yet, smoking and addictive substance abuse are common in the general population. And there has been a drastic increase in drug abuse in the current decade, leading to overdose mortalities.
The global healthcare sector faces an overwhelming burden of substance abuse complications while battling the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Even primary care workers learn about the risks, treatments, and coping strategies of substance abuse to serve the public efficiently.
You will find many nurses working in rehabilitation centers after gaining training for addiction withdrawal and patient care via online programs. The availability of online programs like MSN nurse practitioner online programs allows nurses to continue higher education alongside tackling work responsibilities.
Though these experts can help you in withdrawal, smoking leaves irreparable marks on your well-being. So, avoid smoking.
2. Control sugar consumption
Sugar is a chief source to fulfill the body’s carbohydrates needs. But excessive use of free or added sugar is unhealthy for health. Added sugar is a risk factor for weight gain, insulin impairment, type-II diabetes, heart health problems, tooth decay, and other ailments. Hence, control added sugar consumption.
Do not overdo juices, sweets, carbonated drinks, and bakery items.
These foods have added sugar more than the body’s recommended daily needs. The WHO recommends keeping free sugar levels to less than 10% of your dietary needs, roughly five to ten teaspoons per day. It is better to replace white sugar with somewhat healthy sweetening alternatives, such as dates, honey, sugarcane molasses, and other plant-based sweeteners.
3. Minimize salt intake
Salt is an essential ingredient of innumerable dishes and drinks in every cuisine. The palatable effect of salt is so addictive that even sweet deserts are incomplete without a pinch of salt. But many do not realize that salt can also trigger, promote, and lead to healthcare complications.
Salt increases blood pressure, leading to a higher risk of stroke and heart health problems. It also extracts calcium from bone, promoting bone thinning and other complications for patients with arthritis, osteoporosis, and other bone-weakening conditions. Excessive salt in the blood increases water retention, hampers kidney functions, and disturbs the detoxification process.
Studies reveal that doubling salt more than the recommended limit increases the risk of stroke by 23% and cardiovascular ailments by 17%. Thus, add salt only to give a subtle flavor to your food, and try to skip it where possible.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends approximately 5 gm or less than one teaspoon daily sodium dose for adults. But the lesser, the better.
4. Focus on the nutritional value of foods
The body needs a mix of proteins, vitamins, fiber, fatty acids, minerals, and water to fulfill nutrient demands. But not every food contains all the nutrients. So, you must combine various foods to augment the nutritional value of your plate.
For instance, a plate of mixed fresh and dry fruits or juice of mixed leafy green vegetables can compensate vitamins, minerals, and fiber requirements.
Use fish, beef, chicken, pulses, eggs, and plant-based sources to satisfy protein needs. And avoid ultra-processed, frozen, and fast foods like greasy snacks, bakery items, and chips.
These foods may taste, smell, and appear delicious but have lower nutritional value. Hence, consume ready-to-make and junk foods in moderation and fill the rest of the plate with nutritionally rich foods.
5. Drink plenty of liquids
Hydration is crucial for internal organs to function well. Sufficient liquid intake helps the excretory system flush toxins and chemicals, purify the blood, and maintain osmosis balance. It prevents overheating of the body due to internal processing and external heat.
Water helps dissolve nutrients, adds turgidity and volume to blood, and provides a medium to transport nutrients to every body part and cell. It is also crucial for regular bowel movements, better concentration, healthy blood pressure, skin suppleness, and improved immune cell activity.
Hydration also improves muscular elasticity and provides a cushioning effect for better joint mobility. In short, it is a costless, simple, and easily accessible source to ensure wellness and prevent many healthcare challenges.
Lack of water intake not only increases dehydration but disturbs these vital functions. Thus, consume enough water. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices without added sugar and additives also have plenty of liquid.
Either way, aim for over three liters of pure water. You may consume more depending on your body’s needs and ambient temperature.
6. Take caffeine in moderation
Caffeine is a stimulant that helps keep your brain active. Tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, chocolates, chocolate cookies, and cocoa products all contain caffeine. But overdoing caffeine also has health risks, including sleep disturbances, headaches, fast palpitations, fogginess, dehydration, anxiety, and irritation. Most of these side effects have a connection to sleep disturbances.
Since caffeine intake delays the body clock and minimizes sleep duration and quality, sleep deprivation leads to these symptoms. Thus, consume not more than three cups of tea or coffee in routine.
And do not take caffeine doses right before sleeping. Maintain a gap of at least a few hours. The Sleep Foundation suggests a gap of at least six hours between sleep and caffeine intake.
Well, that depends on how your body responds to the wakefulness signals of caffeine. You can adjust caffeine doses if you do not experience severe side effects or sleep disturbances.
7. Sleep and rise early
Sleep is an uncontestable necessity for living beings to ensure smooth functions of the body and mind. It is a natural therapeutic mechanism to help the mind and body relax, repair, and recharge. Sleep is so vital that even one day’s disturbances and irregularities can trigger several negative changes in your body.
In addition, maintaining sleep patterns is as essential as sleep duration and quality.
If you disturb your sleep routine, you will not only face trouble falling asleep early. Irregular sleep pattern is responsible for several malfunctions in the body, including changes in bowel movement, constipation, decreased immunity, tiredness, lack of appetite, rapid heart rate, and hindered breathing.
Thus, follow a natural day and night cycle to maintain sleep quality. It helps keep the circadian rhythm in a systematic flow. Night time induces deep sleep with the smooth secretion of melatonin hormone. In the same way, daylight induces wakefulness and alertness.
A healthy and quality life is possible if one adheres to some essential prerequisites. It is as simple as prioritizing nutritional value over the tempting taste of your food, sweating more than consuming sweets, focusing on hydration over the taste of your drink, and sparing enough time to rejuvenate than overburdening your body. In short, there is no shortcut to enjoying a healthy life. One must make some hard choices and practice sustainable living, healthy habits, and preventive measures in routine.