The foods and beverages you consume on a daily basis have a positive or negative impact on your health. As your body uses the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, it receives from the foods you eat as fuel to function, what you eat, how much you eat, and even how those foods are prepared matter immensely. Unfortunately, not enough people pay attention to these facts.
The foods consumed today are largely processed and packed with ingredients like refined sugar, saturated fat, and salt which all work against the body’s natural systems and put you at risk for a plethora of health problems. For those who suffer from chronic conditions, diseases, or illnesses, the foods you eat can also greatly relieve or exacerbate your symptoms.
Improved Health Through Food
Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, have been living with a genetic or autoimmune disease, got not so good news from some lab work or a hormonal imbalance test, or simply want to improve your overall health and wellness, these nutrition and cooking tips could be all you need to see drastic changes.
- Opt for Whole Organic Products – The fresher the ingredients you use when cooking, the better they are for your health. When grocery shopping, select whole or organic products over processed items. These items should be clearly labeled as organic for easy identification.
- Skip Most Canned and Boxed Items – Items sold in boxes and cans are often processed or preserved with a lot of salt to keep the contents from spoiling. In any event, you want to try to steer clear from these items. There are some exceptions as some products use organic ingredients and safe processes for storage. So, read the label before making a purchase.
- Select All-Natural Sugars – Sugar is said to be almost as addictive as illicit street drugs and equally as harmful to the body. Sugar can throw off your blood sugar levels, pack on extra pounds, and increase inflammation. While sugar is necessary to give your body energy, it is best in its natural form. So, avoid refined sugar and instead opt for all-natural sweeteners like stevia, raw honey, or agave.
- Season with Fresh Herbs – The earth supplies many of the ingredients your body needs to remain healthy and to recover from certain medical conditions. When looking to add a little punch of flavor to your meals, you would be wise to use fresh herbs. Herbs like fresh parsley, thyme, oregano, and basil (to name a few) are all good for you and make meals taste great.
- Choose Healthier Oils for Cooking – When preparing meals whether you’re frying chicken or sauteing some fish, be mindful of the types of oils you’re using. Many of them are packed with saturated fats which are no good for your health. Instead of going with vegetable or corn oil, for instance, use olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil.
- Less is More When Cooking – Believe it or not, the more you cook certain food items, the less nutritional value they have. This is especially true for vegetables. While you may be tempted to fry some sweet potatoes or zucchini, the more you process these foods the less nutritious they are for you. Try to stick to basic cooking methods like eating them raw, boiling them, sauteing for a few minutes, or baking to get as much nutrition as you possibly can.
- Load Up on Fruits and Veggies – As previously stated the fresher the foods you eat the more nutritional value they have. There is nothing more beneficial to consume on a regular basis than fruits and vegetables. Make sure you’re getting a good serving size of these food groups at each meal.
- Get Creative in the Kitchen – While things like meal planning and prep can help to cut down on the time you spend in the kitchen, another problem people have with cooking for health is it gets boring. The idea of eating salads and smoothies every day can seem daunting and tempt you to want to eat out or consume things that aren’t good for you. You can remedy this by getting creative. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and even put a twist on healthy recipes to make them your own as this will inspire you to keep cooking at home.
When most people think of food and nutrition, they think of it as a means to lose weight. While eating the right foods can help you lose weight, the reality is that the right diet can also heal the mind and body for an improved way of life. Whether you’re suffering from some medical condition or you simply want to look and feel your best, take heed to the above-mentioned tips and begin cooking your way to better health.