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.
Opt for organic, fast overnight, eat to nourish
Opt for organic.
Organics offer at least one undisputed advantage: significantly fewer harmful pesticides and herbicides, minimizing your exposure to cell-damaging toxic chemicals. Reducing pesticide load can increase immunity and decrease allergies and may support weight loss and fertility. Start by buying organic for the worst pesticide offenders (ewg.org/ foodnews). Also consider swapping out conventional dairy products, in which pesticides concentrate.
Portion control is an obvious way to cut calories; add in nightly fasting and you’ll also change your metabolism to contribute to weight loss. Even a relatively short time period without food can protect you against diabetes by causing stomach and intestinal cells to release the hormone ghrelin, which reduces insulin, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), and insulin resistance. It also combats cancer by inhibiting silent information regulator (SIRT1) gene activity, which in turn slows accelerated cell growth.
By eating your last meal or snack in the early evening and not eating anything until breakfast, at least 12 hours later, you’ll have fasted for half the day—long enough to trigger these metabolic changes. The result: Chronic disease prevention from better cell-growth regulation and tighter control of sugar and insulin levels.
Eat to nourish.
Food is not just a mix of nutrients; food is also pleasure, appreciation, even love. This year when you eat, make it a point to sit down, put away your cell, turn off the TV, and relax. When you’re relaxed, you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn innervates your digestive tract so you digest food better. Increased parasympathetic nerve activity also encourages healthy blood pressure and heart function, promotes a balanced immune response, and reduces chronic inflammation.