Author: Lauren Parchi (BHSc Nutritional Medicine)
Now that 2021 is behind us (including those lockdowns!), we can start to think about the opportunities a New Year brings. Whether you are looking to set goals to improve your health, fitness or personal development, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and tempted to create unrealistic goals.
If health is a focus for you in 2022, here are six quick and easy tips from a Nutritionist, to help you get your health back on track this year.
1. Drink more water
Many of us do not drink the recommended amount of water each day! Aim to consume 2 litres of water per day and allow an additional 0.8 litres of water for every hour of moderate to high-intensity exercise. Drinking adequate amounts of water helps to flush out toxins from the body and keeps our skin hydrated, so not only do we feel better, we look better!
Quick tip! If you struggle to drink water, try adding cucumber, lemon or orange slices to a large bottle to create your own flavoured water.
2. Ditch the diets
We get constant promotions for fad diets and quick fixes, but dieting is rarely sustainable and can create more confusion and uncertainty around food and nutrition. Striving for a wholefoods diet that includes adequate protein, carbohydrates, fibre, and fat will ensure you are getting the right balance of nutrients. Don’t forget – balance is key!
Unsure how to create a balanced meal? Follow these steps:
- Fill half of your plate with fibre. Fibre keeps us feeling fuller for longer and supports healthy digestive function. Sources of fibre include non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens.
- Fill a quarter of your plate with protein. Protein provides the primary building blocks in the body and is essential for all bodily functions. Protein also helps to keep us feeling satisfied for longer. Sources of protein include eggs, fish, red meat, poultry, dairy, legumes, tofu and quinoa.
- Fill a quarter of your plate with complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates supply the body with crucial fuel for energy. Simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, rice, cakes and biscuits, provide little to no nutritional value (but taste so good!), so try to avoid or consume in moderation. Complex carbohydrates are high in dietary fibre and promote fullness and stabilise blood sugar levels. Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole grain and wholewheat products, legumes, brown rice, quinoa, oats and root vegetables.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats. Did you know that the human brain is nearly 60% fat? Good fats are crucial to the brain’s integrity. Healthy fats also play an important role in the structure and function of every cell in the body and are essential for energy production. Sources of healthy fats include avocado, olive oil, coconut, quality dairy, nuts and seeds.
3. Move your body
Regular exercise helps to increase the body’s metabolic rate, strengthens the muscles, increases energy, supports mental health, sleep quality and overall cognitive function. Aim to reach 7,000 – 10,000 steps per day or engage in 20-30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise 3-4 times a week.
Quick tip! Find a form of physical activity that you enjoy. You will be more motivated to exercise if you like doing it!
For me, I love a good walk/run! Including some form of movement/exercise in your daily routine works wonders and is great preparation for The May 50K – an event extremely close to our hearts here at Nuzest. You can use it as motivation to get your kilometres in as well as raise funds and awareness for life-changing MS research – that’s a win, win!
You can guarantee that the Nuzest team and I will be taking on The May 50K this year, so if you want to join us and leave your limits behind to leave MS behind, register here.
4. Get at least 8 hours of sleep
We all know sleep is important, but the importance of sleep cannot be underestimated. Getting enough sleep allows your body to recover and repair, leaving us feeling refreshed and energised. Adequate sleep also relaxes the nervous system and reduces stress in the body. If you struggle with sleep, try these three simple hacks:
- Avoid screentime one hour before bed. The blue light emitted from electronic devices disrupts sleep and may increase the risk of depression and anxiety.
- Create a healthy sleeping environment. Remove distractions from your bedroom, make sure your curtains block out the light and ensure the room is well ventilated.
- Avoid caffeine before bed. As caffeine is a stimulant, opt instead for herbal teas such as peppermint or chamomile, which calm the body.
5. Get your vitamin D
Exposure to sunlight produces and is a major source of vitamin D in our skin. Vitamin D plays a vital role in regulating the body’s immune system and benefits your mood! (Yay!) A great way to boost your vitamin D levels is by exercising outdoors. If you struggle to get enough vitamin D, speak to your healthcare practitioner and ask about supplementing.
6. Consider supplementing
If you are striving for optimal health, supplementation can be an easy way to ensure any nutritional gaps in the diet are covered. There are many supplements available on the market, so it is crucial to do your research and find something that is suitable for you. My personal favourite is Good Green Vitality by Nuzest, which was specifically designed as an all-in-one supplement that fills nutritional gaps while promoting vitality.*
2022 is an excellent opportunity to focus on yourself and get your health back on track. Try these six simple health tips to help you stay motivated this year!
*Disclaimer: The information contained in this document has been prepared independently by Nuzest. The opinions and conclusions expressed in this document are those of the authors. This document is not a guide to or an endorsement of any supplement or individual ingredient, for use as a prevention, treatment or cure for any illness or disease. If you have any medical issues, please consult with your healthcare practitioner.