Looking and Feeling Your Best Begins With Healthy Eating
By: Camille Johnson
The value of eating well, daily physical activity, and getting adequate sleep can't be understated as ways to help achieve health and well-being. Your hair, skin, eyes, heart, joints, and muscles will thank you for choosing nutritious food and consuming enough healthy liquids to stay hydrated. Here are some tips to help you look and feel your best.
Nutrition experts recommend eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods every day, including fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, and whole grains. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and substances to help your body fight diseases and function at its best.
The perimeter of your grocery store is where you can find healthier foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, seafood, meats without added salt, and frozen vegetables and fruits with no added sugar, salt, or fat. Filling your shopping cart with healthy options will help you plan and prepare meals that both taste good and are good for you. For example, whole grain cereal or homemade oatmeal are powerhouse breakfasts, while a vegetable frittata or yogurt with fresh fruit make for a great lunch.
Some people find it challenging to create an optimal nutrition plan. If you need help outlining a better approach, connect with an experienced nutritionist who can develop and customize a healthy eating plan that fits your lifestyle and health needs.
Getting in 30 minutes of physical activity most days, or 150 minutes per week, is another way to keep your body healthy. Physical activity includes anything you do that gets you up and moving. It all counts, whether you walk around the block, use a treadmill, work in your garden, hand-wash your car, or vacuum your house. When you get physical, you burn calories, which helps you maintain a healthy weight and strengthens your heart, bones, and joints.
Sleep is another contributor to looking and feeling your best. People who don't get enough rest may experience stress, weight gain, insulin resistance, and weak immunity. Research shows that getting enough sleep can reduce stress, help you maintain a healthy weight, and benefit your overall health. To facilitate better sleep, keep your bedroom dark at night, avoid blue light at least an hour before bed, invest in comfortable pajamas made from breathable fabrics like bamboo and use a white noise machine or app.
Reduce Your Risk for Diabetes
Healthy living can also reduce your risk for diabetes. Some people unknowingly develop diabetes because they're unaware of the signs. Symptoms include excessive thirst, cuts or sores that are slow to heal, frequent urination, itching, dizziness, and blurred vision. If you've experienced these symptoms, tell your health provider. They can order lab tests to determine if you have diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes risk increases with age. Type 2 diabetics don't make enough insulin or experience insulin resistance, meaning their body doesn't use its insulin stores effectively. The risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- History of diabetes during pregnancy
- Carrying extra fat around the waist
If you have diabetes, you can live a healthy life by taking your medications as prescribed, being physically active, getting enough sleep, and consuming healthy foods low in sugar and fat. These measures are vital because they'll help your body use insulin better and keep your blood sugar under control. Persistently high blood sugar can lead to nerve damage or neuropathy, loss of limbs, blindness, and kidney damage.
You owe it to your body to give it the nourishment it needs to get you through the day. Small changes, such as swapping out soft drinks for water and eating healthy foods, can make a big difference in how you look and feel.