Smoking not only cuts your lifespan by affecting your internal organs, but it also ages you on the outside by causing skin damage. Tobacco smoking can give you wrinkles, create pucker lines around your mouth, stain your teeth and fingers, rob your skin of nutrients, break down youth-enhancing collagen and make your skin look grey. It makes you wonder how smoking is often marketed as glamorous and attractive.
Always read food labels – natural doesn’t always mean healthy. You would be surprised how many foods are high in fat, salt and sugar. Download a free app like FoodSwitch, which scans barcodes and gives the nutritional value of loads of foods. If you have kids, get them to help with the shopping. They can search for healthy alternatives using your phone.
While probiotics, the good bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi, have commanded attention over the last several years, prebiotics are likely to start getting some of the spotlight in 2019. Prebiotics, the source of fuel for the good bacteria that helps balance our guts, are in the non-digestible part of foods like bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, onion, garlic, pistachios, wheat bran and dandelion greens.
Eating a varied, well-balanced diet means eating a variety of foods from each food groups daily, in the recommended amounts. It is also important to choose a variety of foods from within each food group because different foods provide different types and amounts of key nutrients. Choosing a variety of foods will help to make your meals interesting, so that you don’t get bored with your diet.
Repeated dieting can actually lower metabolism and thus make your body retain more of what you put into it. Increasing exercise while not giving your body more food to compensate can also increase body fat storage. Dieting also increases heart disease risk, when compared to simply gaining a little weight. If you really need to lose weight, the most effective way is to increase exercise and cutting only a little food, while concentrating on fruits, veggies, and high fiber foods.