What is in this article?:
- 5 easy tips to eat healthier
- Opt for organic, fast overnight, eat to nourish
Start the year off right by focusing on these top five dietary changes most likely to create a healthy and vibrant body while reducing your risk for serious disease.
With a full year stretched out before you, January is the perfect time to jump-start healthy eating, the foundation for overall wellness. Like most goals, nutritional upgrades have endless variations; in fact, you could probably come up with one new, improved dietary habit for every day of the year. Instead of letting the possibilities overwhelm you, focus on these top five dietary changes most likely to create a healthy and vibrant body while reducing your risk for serious disease.
Emphasize good fats.
In particular, focus on plant, fish, and grass-fed animal fat sources, which contain profoundly anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Mounting research shows that chronic inflammation underlies most, if not all, chronic disease, including dementia, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids down-regulate inflammatory genes, reduce production of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines), and increase inflammation resistance. People who regularly eat omega-3-laden foods also have healthier skin, more comfortable joints, less depression, and sharper minds.
Add flaxseeds, chia, hempseed, and nuts, especially walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts—to your morning cereal or shake. Enjoy sardines or hard-cooked, omega-3-enriched eggs for a snack. Choose fish or grass-fed meat.
Color your plate.
Plant foods contain more than 4,000 anti-inflammatory, antioxidant flavonoids, pigmented compounds responsible for beets’ red, kale’s green, squashes’ yellow, and blueberries’ blue. They stimulate immunity, reduce cancer and heart disease risk, and support healthy joints and digestion.
Aim for at least five different colors of fruits and vegetables every day. These nutrient-dense foods should comprise half of your total food intake. Top cereal with berries; snack on celery, carrots, and bell peppers; feature colorful salads, steamed greens, broccoli or green beans, seasoned tomatoes, and puréed sweet potato at lunch and dinner; indulge with dark chocolate–covered cherries or pomegranate seeds.