Foodprint® - Changing Your diet: Tips for Better Health
- Eat fresh food whenever possible from as many varieties of colour and flavour as possible. Try to have at least 10 different food choices a day: e.g. oats, nuts and seeds with banana and milk for breakfast; tuna or cheese or chicken with a salad of lettuce, green beans, tomatoes with a little vinaigrette dressing for lunch; then fish, potatoes, carrots, broccoli and peas for dinner. Already you will have had 12 different food sources and will have really given yourself a good variety of nutrients.
- Chew your food really well. This is the first stage in digestion. Food which has not been properly chewed will take longer to digest. Many symptoms can be alleviated by increasing the amount of chewing before swallowing the food.
- Drink at least 1-11/2 litres of water a day.This can be in the form of well diluted fruit or vegetable juices if you like. Fruit and herb teas make a good alternative too, or try a hot drink of boiled water with a slice of lemon or mint. Avoid coffee and tea, which are diuretics and thus increase the amount of water eliminated from the body and include vital minerals.
- Take the time to write a five day diary of everything you eat and drink. Count up how many varieties of food you are eating and see if there are any ‘habit’ foods. These are often the ones that can cause problems. If you have the same foods regularly in your diet, try to avoid them by using alternatives. The information in this brochure should provide you with alternatives to those habitual foods.
- Avoid burned, browned and fried foods, hydrogenated vegetable fats and excessive animal fats. Burnt foods contain free radicals that can damage cells of the body. To minimize this damage we need plenty of antioxidants found in red wine, vegetables and fruits.
- Limit intake of sugar, processed food with chemical additives, and minimize your intake of alcohol, coffee, tea. It may be necessary occasionally to have a quick convenience meal but these should not be a regular feature of your diet.
- Enjoy some nuts or seeds daily to ensure intake of essential fatty acids. Eat oily fish three times a week and try different cold pressed oils as a treat on salads. You can get pumpkin, walnut and flax seed oils easily in most health shops or supermarkets.
- Make sure that you are getting sufficient fibre and water in order to keep the bowels moving well. A daily bowel motion is healthy.
- Take regular exercise. If you are not used to exercising you may wish to have a quick check-up with your GP. Many GP surgeries now have arrangements with local gyms to provide subsidized access to regain your health. Investigate what is available in your area. 50% of health benefits come from taking exercise and 50% from changes in diet. Don’t underestimate this important fact. Exercise keeps the joints supple, improves cardiovascular power and increases the rate at which fat is burned.