Tuesday, 24 May 2016

12 healthy habits to help you feel good



Close up shot of ripe cherries
These simple no-fuss tips will slip seamlessly into your daily life and leave you feeling your best
There are certain things we all know are good for us – exercise, a healthy, balanced diet and not watching three hours of cats in hats on social media per day, for example – but “being healthy” can seem time consuming. Not so! Just follow these 12 simple health tips.

Take care of your teeth and gums

Your dentist isn’t just trying to make life difficult – brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing really does have health benefits. Getting rid of food and plaque from between your teeth helps prevent gum disease by removing sources of bacteria. Find out more at nhs.uk

Reach your five a day

Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each and every day. Reaching your recommended five a day is easier than it sounds. One portion of fruit or veg is 80g and a portion of pure fruit juice is 150ml – it soon adds up. Try including a handful of fresh fruit to your breakfast cereal or porridge; throwing some mushrooms and tomatoes into your omelette; or adding some salad crunch to your sandwich.

Drink a small glass of Tropicana in the morning

One 150ml glass of Tropicana 100 per cent orange juice counts as one of your five a day, provides 60 per cent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system, and it’s also a source of vitamin B9 and potassium.

Go green

The mental health charity Mind undertook several studies in “green exercise” and discovered that 90 per cent of people who undertook “eco-exercise” – such as gardening, walking outdoors, conservation work, running or cycling – reported improvements in wellbeing, stress-levels and physical health. Compare this to the 44 per cent who experienced reduced levels of self-esteem following walks through a shopping centre. For more, see mind.org.uk
A man running on a path through a park
Make time to get out of the house and exercise Credit: Alamy

Embrace the whole grain

Choose high-fibre wholegrain varieties of foods: wholegrain foods contain more fibre than white or refined starchy food and often more of other nutrients.

Consume less alcohol

Regular drinking induces enzymes in your liver that metabolise alcohol. The more you drink, the more your tolerance builds and the more you need to drink to feel the same effects, which can be harmful to your long and short-term health. Taking regular breaks can “reset” your tolerance, so that it’s easier to cut back. Find out more at drinkaware.co.uk/make-a-change

Watch your fluid intake

Aim to drink six to eight glasses of fluid every day, according to the Eatwell guide. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee all count. Carry a water bottle around and keep it topped up to ensure you reach your recommended intake a day. You’re more likely to use it if you’ve invested in one specially, and it’ll be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than constantly buying plastic bottles from the supermarket.
Two cups of green tea
Taking in the right fluids is key to healthy living Credit: Alamy

Never shop hungry

Studies have shown that you’re more likely to buy unhealthy foods if you visit the supermarket hungry, because your body is craving a quick sugar-based fix.

Make your own meals

Research by The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who spend more than one hour a day on preparing food have a higher quality diet than those who don’t, eating more vegetables, salads and fruits. They also saved money, because the group that didn’t prepare food at home was more likely to frequent restaurants or fast-food outlets.

Cook in bulk

Make sure to make extra when you’re preparing meals. It’ll save you time and money to stick three or four portions in the freezer to take to work for lunch, or to have for dinner later in the week.

Eat two portions of (different) fish a week

Make one portion non-oily – such as haddock, plaice, coley, cod, canned tuna or skate – and one portion oily – salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Fish is a source of protein and also vitamins and minerals, while oily fish contains omega-3 fats which help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.

Sign up to a sleep monitoring app

If you dread heading to bed, consider signing up to a sleep monitoring app. Learning your own personal patterns of disturbed sleep can help you to work out what might be going wrong.


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