Vegetables and legumes – raw or cooked vegetables can be used as a snack food or as a part of lunch and dinner. Salad vegetables can be used as a sandwich filling. Vegetable soup can make a healthy lunch. Stir-fries, vegetable patties and vegetable curries make nutritious evening meals. Try raw vegetables like carrot and celery sticks for a snack ‘on the run’.
Learn how to breathe. Believe it or not, most of us have never been taught how to breathe properly. Diaphragmatic breathing is a hidden gem that needs to be shared with more of the population because the benefits are life-changing. Breathing at one-third capacity, which is how most of us breathe, can cause tension and exhaustion and even encourage aches and illness. Breathing with your diaphragm ensures your lungs are filled to their capacity and allows your muscles (including the brain) to be in a more relaxed state, aiding stronger decision making and enhanced performance. Here’s a handy video to show you how it’s done:
Sleep is just as important to your children's development and well-being as nutrition and physical activity. The amount and quality of sleep we have can affect our safety, how alert we are, as well as our memories, moods, behavior, and learning abilities. Establishing good sleep practices while your children are young will not only benefit you, but it will help them for many years to come.
One way to get a healthy active lifestyle is to start with a healthy diet. Try eliminating some of the unhealthiest foods from the diet, or making some substitutions. For instance, if you have a soda or two every day, that could be replaced with water. A regular snack of chips or cookies might be replaced with whole-grain fruit or nuts. Many people also choose to take a daily multivitamin to make up for any deficiencies in their diet.
Nuts are full of vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and have low levels of saturated fats. Research suggests that people who eat nuts—walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and peanuts (which actually are legumes)—two to four days or more a week have a lower incidence of heart disease than people who eat them less often. Does it matter what kind? Some researchers say walnuts win the honors. A study from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found that walnuts have more high-quality antioxidants than any other variety. And it only takes a small handful—just seven walnuts a day—to get the heart benefits.
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Excess body fat comes from eating more than we need. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient - protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps us spend the energy, and makes us feel good. The message is reasonably simple: if we are gaining weight, we need to eat less and be more active!
“People recognize that whole grains are much more nutritious than refined grains, so they’re prioritizing these when shopping for packaged products,” says Cassetty. “One brand I love is Quinn Snacks. Since they’re made with whole grains, I feel good about giving them to my son and recommending them to clients looking for a healthier snack, in moderation. I also like their microwave popcorn because unlike other brands, the toppings are added after it’s popped.”
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.
It's no secret that whole grains are a healthier choice than their overly processed, refined-grain cousins. A recent analysis of 45 studies found that eating at least three servings a day of whole grains was linked with a 22 percent lower risk of heart disease. That's because whole grains are rich in antioxidants, phytoestrogens and phytosterols—all nutrients that protect against heart disease.