by Katherine Elyse Blake www.beautifullynourished.com
Even more important than the amount of calories we consume is what these calories consist of. Where possible, fill your diets with nutritionally dense food and avoid foods packed with empty calories. By nutritionally dense I’m referring to foods that are going to provide your body with some kind of benefit.
For example, fruits and vegetables are packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which your body can utilise to its advantage. A lean chicken breast or fillet of fish will provide you with a high percentage of protein, which your body can use to lay down new tissue and B vitamins used during metabolism for increased energy.
Studies show that a high percentage of adults eat less than the minimum daily recommendation of ten or more essential nutrients.
Adequate amounts and a proper balance of these nutrients are needed not only for maintaining good health, but also for the dietary management of the body’s structure as well as the optimal functioning of the body such as immune and gastrointestinal systems.
Here in the UK many of us are eating well below the recommended nutrient intake, which not only hinders health but also prevents individuals from reaching their beauty potentials. Not consuming the necessary nutrient amount can for example lead to sunken, non elasticised, thin skin, tired eyes, premature fine lines and wrinkles, brittle nails, thin hair and a dull complexion. Instead of splurging on fancy skincare and top of the line makeup, spend some time on your body and nourish yourselves beautiful from the inside out.
So what do I mean by the word Nutrient?
A nutrient is a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life. Carbohydrates, fats and protein are macronutrients which provide our body with energy. Vitamins, minerals and trace elements are micronutrients and are vital for metabolism and processes in the body, which sustain life.
Consuming the recommended amount of all of the essential nutrients will not only leave our bodies feeling healthier but also looking more alive and vibrant than ever.
The following advice aims to provide an overview as to how to consume the right foods so that all of your body’s nutritional needs are covered. My key recommendation is to eat an extremely varied amount of food and experiment wherever and whenever you can. Do not regard your view toward food as a diet but a lifestyle choice. Never think that you will never eat a certain type of food, chocolate for example and always eat “salad”. The key here is to have variation, balance, knowledge and a positive regard to food. Do not deny yourselves anything, just remember the concept of moderation and bear in mind the beauty and health objectives you are aiming to achieve.
Have your cake and eat it too all whilst creating the fabulous new you…
- Eat a variety of different foods; change your food choices daily
- Consume oily fish 3 times a week. Unfortunately fish is one of those marmite foods; if you really cannot stand it consider taking omega 3 & 6 supplements or consuming other omega rich foods such flaxseeds, spinach, soya and walnuts.
- Drink pro and pre-biotic drinks; this will keep your gut happy and healthy
- Fill your dinner plate half with vegetables, a fist size of protein and a handful of carbohydrates; wholegrain where possible
- Eat foods packed with antioxidants: Consume 5 plus portions of vegetables per day. Fruit is great for you but remember than it contains sugars. Personally, I cap fruit to 2-3 portions maximum per day-but that’s just me! I would put no real cap on the amount of vegetables you choose to eat. This may sound like a lot but for example, stir-fry a courgette, pepper, broccoli and onion and there are 4 already and the nutritional benefits this will provide are extraordinary. Basically- Keep it colourful!
- Reduce your red meat consumption; aim not to eat more than 3 pieces of red meat a week. Consider alternitives such as quorn, tofu and lentils for lower fat alternative to meat.
- Avoid processed meats; there is a strong correlation between processed meats and certain cancers such as colon cancer
- Drink Lots and lots of water; this will keep your body and all of its cells happily hydrated
- Drink green tea; this contains lots of antioxidants which is great for fighting those naughty free radicals
- Reduce consumption of empty calorie foods such as crisps, cakes, doughnuts, refined sugary, fried foods
- Make your carbohydrate intake consist mainly of wholegrain options. Studies have shown this to reduce the risk of certain diseases. It will also increase you fibre intake
- Do not yo-yo diet. This has drastic effects on your health, metabolism and more often than not actually leads to weight gain long term.
- Do not cut out any of the major food groups. Diets that promote this have negative consequences on health. If it is weight loss you wish to achieve, check out “weight management” or get in touch for a more personal indication of how you should go about reaching your goals.