We all know that we should be eating healthy foods to make sure our bodies function in the way nature intended, but this message sometimes gets lost in translation leaving many people confused and unsure as to what foods they should be eating to make sure their body is getting all the nutrients it needs. This means that paying attention to the foods you are eating is as essential to maintaining a good level of fitness as putting the right fuel in your car and we all know what happens when you put petrol into a diesel car and vice versa.
A human body is made up of around 60% water and this life giving fluid is essential to keeping your body healthy – no excuses. As a guide, aim to drink at least 6 glasses of water per day in its unadulterated form and by doing so you are helping your body to keep clean and vital inside and out.
Most people have heard of the essential ‘5 a day’ when it comes to fruit and vegetables. Most people assume this means they must eat fresh produce, but frozen fruit and vegetables as well as some canned varieties are also just as good. If you opt for canned versions of your favourites, try to aim for ones which contain no added salt or sugar and make sure they are well rinsed before you use them. Fruit and vegetable provide a whole array of vitamins and minerals to keep your body running as well as being low in fat. They are also great to utilize as a snack and can help that lag during the day by providing a hit of complex carbohydrates.
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In addition, protein is essential to any healthy diet but it does not just some in the form of meat and dairy produce as most people think. Of course, meats and cheeses are essential for good health but you should always make sure you choose lean white meats such as chicken or turkey as well as a variety of fish including oily ones. When choosing dairy options, try smaller portions of full flavoured cheese or full fat milk to make sure your calcium intake is catered for as well as the protein hit needed. A word of warning though, always exercise portion control die to the relatively high calorie and fat counts. A good source of protein can also be found in pulses such as beans and lentils. These savoury beauties are readily available in all supermarkets and can be dried or canned. Either way, they are a great option for bulking up a meaty dish or for adding to soups. If you get creative you can even make them the star attraction in any meal.
In any case, try to remember to eat what your body needs. It is a simple case of energy in and energy out – in this case the calories in the food you consume versus the energy you expend in the form of exercise. Women need between 1600-2000 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight, while for men it is around 2000-2500 calories per day.