It’s little secret that ensuring you take in sufficient vitamins and minerals from your food is paramount to living a healthy and fulfilling life.
But how do you make the most of your nutritional intake?
This article introduces you to some top tips that will ensure you get the most from the food you eat, ensuring you reach the peak of your mental and physical health.
Eat Whole, Fresh, Locally Sourced Foods Where Possible
When you eat fruits and vegetables that are fresh and as close to their natural state as possible, you maximize your vitamin and mineral intake from the produce you consume. Conversely, foods that have been processed, refined, or added to in any way tend to have less nutritional value than those considered to be whole foods.
To the same point, you should also buy local produce where possible. As you might expect, foods that have been shipped from other parts of the world contain additives and preservatives to extend their shelf-life. If you can buy seasonal, fresh produce, it will help you maximize your nutritional intake.
Reduce your Meat & Dairy Consumption
According to numerous studies, while you don’t need to become a vegan, reducing your meat and dairy consumption is linked to increased health and well-being. Turning to plant-based protein sources like beans and pulses instead of meat is excellent for your health, as they contain added fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Meat and dairy products are also among the primary drivers of human-induced climate change, so switching to a predominantly plant-based diet is also good for the environment.
Consider Adding a Nutritional Supplement to Your Diet
While you can undoubtedly get the majority of the vitamins and minerals you need from the food you eat, adding a carefully selected range of high-quality supplements to your diet can have an incredible impact on how you function.
Supplements can increase your metabolism, strengthen your muscles, joints, and bones, and boost your immunity to protect you from illness and disease.
Ultimately, the simple practice of incorporating a daily supplement into your diet can significantly improve your health and ensure you make the most of your nutritional intake. There’s a lot to understand about supplements, so consider speaking to one of the many knowledgeable resources, such as the expert advice at Orphic Nutrition.
Avoid Processed Foods Altogether
The saying goes that everything is okay in moderation. But processed foods are surely the exception. Processed foods that contain ingredients like MSG, sodium nitrate, and high-fructose corn syrup are damaging to your health and reduce the health benefits of the natural nutrients and vitamins within your food.
When you’re doing your weekly shop, start reading the labels of the foodstuffs that you buy. If a product contains processed, unnatural-sounding ingredients, don’t add it to your trolley! You’re much better served buying whole foods and preparing recipes yourself instead of buying pre-packaged processed foods.
Switch Refined Sugar for Natural Sugar
Just like you should reduce salt in your diet, control your refined sugar consumption because it is linked to many health complications, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Refined sugars exist in the likes of sodas, ice cream, and pastries. They contain almost no vitamins, minerals, proteins, or fats and are simply empty calories that should be avoided.
Natural sugars, on the other hand, are typically found in nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. For instance, the sugar found in fruits comes with fiber and various other vitamins and minerals that contain beneficial compounds. So, instead of consuming refined sugar that has no nutritional benefit, switch to natural sugars that at least contribute some nutritional value.
Create and Stick to a Meal Plan
hen you’re pushed for time, it’s so easy to fall into bad habits. For example, arriving at the supermarket without a meal plan in mind can cause you to pick up processed meals that can be heated quickly and provide you with minimal nutritional benefits. That’s why it’s so important to plan out your meals in advance to ensure you pick up the foods that your body requires to function.
Detailing a meal plan that includes all of the main food groups is a simple and effective way of making the most of your nutritional intake. Picking up whole foods in bulk and making several meals in one go ensures you can enjoy all of the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to thrive.