6 Natural Health and Nutrition Tips That Are Evidence-Based

Natural Health

When it comes to health and wellness, there’s a lot of conflicting information. Even qualified experts often seem to have opposing opinions.

Switching out harmful trans fats for healthy oils (such as vegetable, canola or olive) is a great start. Also, eat more fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids and may help reduce your risk for heart disease and depression.

1. Eat a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet includes a variety of foods from each of the main groups to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs. It should be low in saturated fat and added sugars, and contain moderate amounts of healthy protein, fibre and healthy oils.

Eat more fruits and vegetables – aim for ‘5-a-day’ (fresh, frozen or canned). Choose unsaturated fats (rapeseed, olive or sunflower oil, and spreads made from them) instead of butter, and cut down on red meat and processed meat.

Reduce ’empty calories’ by choosing baked, grilled or steamed dishes and eating smaller portion sizes. Avoid takeaway food, cakes, biscuits and soft drinks.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Many adults don’t get enough sleep, which can have a negative impact on their health. Getting enough quality sleep can help you feel more alert and energetic throughout the day. It can also improve your productivity and memory. If you find that it takes you a long time to fall asleep or you’re often awake in the night, it may be a sign of a sleep disorder such as insomnia or sleep apnea. To optimize your sleep, try to keep a regular bedtime routine and avoid large meals and caffeine before bed. You should also try to eliminate distractions like TV and computers in the bedroom and exercise regularly.

3. Exercise Regularly

When it comes to natural health, regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do. It boosts your mood, helps you sleep better and live longer. It also improves your overall health, including strengthening bones and muscles.

But you don’t have to spend hours in a gym or run monotonous miles on the treadmill to reap the benefits of exercise. According to federal guidelines, adults should do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.

Start slow and add a little bit more each day. Soon, it will be a habit and you’ll feel better for it.

4. Drink Water

The advice to drink six to eight glasses of water a day is fairly standard. However, the precise amount of fluid a person needs depends on health, age and outside temperatures. Water quenches thirst, helps control appetite, promotes healthy skin and keeps the gastrointestinal tract functioning properly by preventing constipation. It also supports the body’s natural detoxification systems and helps regulate the temperature of the brain, bones and joints.

In addition to drinking water, a person can get adequate amounts of fluid through foods with high water content, such as fruits and vegetables. Avoid beverages with added sugar, salt or caffeine, which can add extra calories.

5. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet can help you manage your weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and feel your best. However, it can be difficult to navigate the vast amount of nutrition and health advice available.

Instead of listening to the latest fad or buzzworthy ingredient, focus on making healthy choices part of your overall eating pattern. This means choosing foods and drinks that provide a mix of nutrients, and limiting those high in added sugars, salt, and saturated and trans fats. Choose lean meats and fish, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Limit sugary beverages, and choose water or low-fat milk. Use oils for cooking (vegetable, olive, canola), and choose salad dressings and spreads that are low-fat or nonfat.

6. Take Supplements

Supplements can help you maintain a balanced diet, but they shouldn’t replace it. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have an existing health condition or are taking medication. Additionally, make sure to read labels carefully and avoid supplements with extravagant claims. For example, vitamin A in excess of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDA) may increase the risk of osteoporosis, while folic acid taken in high doses increases your risk of certain tumors.

While there is a place for modern medicine, making healthy lifestyle choices and incorporating natural health practices into your routine are essential for treatment and prevention of illness.

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