At 121 Dietitian, we firmly believe that small steps can always be taken to greatly improve our health.
Looking at the key areas of mental health, kids’ health and weight loss, here we share our top health tips for 2019….
Mental health tips
If you want instant improvements a few simple suggestions include:
- Stay well hydrated: fluids, notably water and not caffeinated drinks allow the brain and body to function. If dehydrated you will become sluggish and metabolism slows down adding to a depressed state.
- Avoid processed meals and snacks: Artificial, chemical laden foods will cause your body to build insulin resistance over time. High fructose syrups and sugars affect metabolism and cause low level inflammation, affecting Vitamin A and D levels, magnesium, copper and iron to name a few. This downward spiral negatively affects mental health and causes additional chronic illness.
- Get adequate sleep: This is essential for brain health. Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Sleep allows the brain to shrink and eliminate toxins that can build up and lead to Alzheimer’s. It also allows to repair and consolidation of memories.
Nutrition and lifestyles are ever changing as kids grow. Peer pressure, advertising and increasing independence all contribute to choices made. To optimise growth, development and good mental stability, we recommend the following:
- Encourage your kids to eat all together and most importantly with an adult – the more the merrier! A meal with family and friends allows a relaxed, enjoyable experience. It encourages children to eat more variety and not scoff!
- Each week or month try a new healthy food, especially with vegetables and fruits. Make it fun, research the food chosen and rate different recipes.
- When eating, turn the gadgets, phones and TV off. This will reduce the risk of mindless eating and thus obesity.
- If your kids are eating many unhealthy snacks, try to reduce these over time. Use tasty protein/fat alternatives like nut butters, avocados, cheeses, eggs, seeds, greek yoghurt topped with a little natural sugars such as dark chocolate or berries, plenty of vegetables including peppers, celery, carrots, cucumber and make flaxseed wraps or oat buns.
Weight loss health tips
- Do not get caught up in kcal counting! The quality of your food is vital for providing satiety and happiness, better than any sugarless, fatless, processed biscuit.
- Make sure you are not battling with a hormonal or nutritional imbalance. These can thwart your best efforts and really damage your confidence.
- Always chew your food well and take time to enjoy what you eat. Getting the enzymes in your mouth involved will assist metabolism and send the correct signals from the gut to the brain to indicate fullness.
- Avoid low fat/sugar processed foods where possible.
- Eat a rainbow at each meal for nutrient density.
- Alcohol provides liquid energy so be careful of how much you consume. It can negatively affect your weight loss goals.
If you are unsure of how to change your eating habits, or need help optimising the foods you eat please do contact us. We would love to help you or your family and friends with any nutrition related queries big or small.
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Information checked & correct on 12th December 2018.
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