Good health is no accident, it is a result of consistent healthy habits. Developing healthy habits now will ensure that you not only live longer but live well and healthy. To ensure ongoing physical and emotional health as you age, start by reforming the simple choices you make each day. Follow me as we look into some healthy habits your body needs.
Healthy Habits Your Body Needs
1. Eat A Variety Of Foods:
Eating a variety of food is a healthy habit for your body. To have a good and healthy body system, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can supply you with all of them. A single meal will not give you a healthy system, but a balanced food choice over time that will make a huge difference.
- A high-fat lunch could be followed by a low-fat dinner.
- After a large meat portion at dinner, fish should be the next day’s choice.
About half the calories in our diet should come from foods rich in carbohydrates. Foods like cereals, rice, yam, pasta, potatoes, and bread are good ideas to include at least one of these at every meal. Wholegrain foods like wholegrain bread, pasta, and cereals, will increase our fibre intake. Taking a specific amount of carbohydrates is a healthy habit for the body.
3. Replace Saturated Fat With Unsaturated Fat:
Fats are essential for good health and proper functioning of the body. Fat contributes to a healthy body system. But when the fat is too much, it can negatively affect your weight and cardiovascular health. Different kinds of fats (saturated fat and unsaturated fat) have different health effects. To get a healthy body system, some of these tips could help us keep the balance right:
- Limit the consumption of saturated fats (it often comes from foods of animal origin), and also completely avoid trans fats; reading the labels before buying helps to identify the sources.
- Eating fish 2-3 times a week, with at least one serving of oily fish, will contribute to your right intake of unsaturated fats.
- When cooking, you should boil, steam or bake, rather than frying, remove the fatty part of the meat.
4. Eat Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables:
Eating fruits and vegetables is a healthy habit your body needs to function well. Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving you enough vitamins, minerals and fibre. Try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits or vegetables a day. For example, a glass of fresh fruit juice at breakfast, maybe an apple and a piece of watermelon as snacks, and a good portion of different vegetables at each meal.
5. Reduce Sugar And Salt Intake:
A high salt intake can result in high blood pressure, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Excess intake of salt is not a healthy habit your body needs. There are different ways to reduce salt in the diet:
- When shopping, choose products with lower sodium content.
- When cooking, salt can be substituted with spices, increasing the variety of flavours and tastes.
- When eating, it helps not to have salt at the table, or at least not to add salt before tasting.
Sugar provides sweetness and an attractive taste, but sugary foods and drinks are rich in energy and are best enjoyed in moderation, as an occasional treat. You could use fruits (like dates) instead to sweeten your foods and drinks cause it gives a healthy body system.
6. Eat Regularly But Control The Portion Size:
Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet which gives a healthy body system.
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, choose healthy snacks like yoghurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks), unsalted nuts, or perhaps some bread with cheese.
Paying attention to portion size will help you not to consume too many calories, and will allow you to eat all the foods you enjoy, without having to eliminate any.
- Cooking the right amount makes it easier to not overeat.
- Some reasonable serving sizes are 100 g of meat; one medium piece of fruit; half a cup of raw pasta.
- Using smaller plates helps with smaller servings.
- Packaged foods, with calorie values on the pack, could aid portion control.
- If you are eating out, you could share a portion with a friend.
7. Drink Plenty Of Fluids:
Drinking water is a healthy habit your body needs to function properly. An adult needs to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day or more if it’s very hot or they are physically active. Water is the best source of fluid, and you can use tap or mineral water, sparkling or non-sparkling, plain or flavoured. Fruit juices, tea, milk can all be okay from time to time.
8. Maintain A Healthy Body Weight:
The right weight for everyone depends on factors like gender, height, age, and genes. Being affected by obesity and overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.
Excess body fat comes from eating more than the body needs. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient like protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps make use of the energy and makes you feel good. If you are gaining weight, then you need to eat less and be more active.
9. Get On The Move, Make It A Habit:
No matter your weight, exercise is a healthy habit your body needs to stay healthy. Exercise helps to burn off the extra calories, it is good for the heart and circulatory system, it maintains or increases your muscle mass, it helps you focus, improves and gives an overall healthy body system. You don’t have to be top athletes to get on the move! 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity are advised, and it can easily become part of your daily routine. Some common and simple exercises you can engage yourself with are;
- Make use of the stairs instead of the elevator.
- during lunch breaks, you can go for a walk or stretch in your offices in between.
- make time for a family weekend activity
10. Limit Alcohol:
Reducing your alcohol intake is a healthy habit your body needs because it decreases the risk of cancer and helps maintain a healthy weight, women should have no more than one drink per day, men two. A drink is equal to 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, or 12 ounces of beer.
11. Get Screened Regularly:
It’s no secret that one of the best ways to maintain health is to prevent illness from occurring in the first place. Regular checkups and screening exams are critical for preventing illness or catching it early when it is most treatable.
One of the most important things you can do is get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly. Heart attack is still the number one killer of women, and to prevent that it’s important to avoid smoking and maintain low blood pressure and healthy cholesterol levels. A regular medical check-up is important to a healthy body system.
12. Start Now And Keep Changing Gradually:
Gradual changing of your lifestyle is easier to maintain than major changes introduced all at once. For three days, you could write down the foods and drinks you consume throughout the day, and make a note of the amount of movement you made. It won’t be difficult to spot where you could improve:
- Skipping breakfast? A small bowl of oatmeal, a piece of bread or fruit, could help slowly introduce it into our routine
- Too few fruits and vegetables? To start with, we can introduce one extra piece a day.
- Are your favourite foods high in fat? Eliminating them abruptly could fire back, and make you return to the old habits. We can choose low-fat options instead, and eat them less frequently, and in smaller portions.
- Too little activity? Using the stairs daily could be a great first move.
Read Also:Healthy Nigerian Food With Low Calories
Some of the Healthy habits your body needs which we talked about are: frequent water intake, exercising, eating healthy, eating in small portions, minimizing alcohol intake, quitting smoking, adequate sleep and more. If you follow these steps, your body will thank you because you will have a healthy body system.