We’re a week into January, so chances are that the majority of us are still focusing on our New Year’s resolutions and trying our hardest to make positive changes a more permanent part of our lifestyle and identity. If you have decided to try a healthier lifestyle, you may have decided to try to lose weight, build stamina and muscle, or simply maintain an already healthy physique. A large part of achieving this will fall down to your diet. When it comes down to it, many of us do not eat the type of food that our bodies really need in order to function as effectively as they should. We are lured in by easy accessibility to fast food and products that contain excessive levels of saturated fats, salt, and sugar. We are ruled by convenience and speed over nutritional content. But it’s time for this to change! Now, there are various steps that you will have to take and various areas of your diet that you will need to focus on in order to create a completely balanced diet. But a good place to start is to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your diet.
Fruit for Breakfast
Many of us skip breakfast. We simply don’t have time, as we will generally press the snooze button for a little too long and have to either face being late or going hungry. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Of course, it would be best to just get up early and make a full, nutritional breakfast. But until then, try grabbing a piece of fresh fruit before you head out of the door. This should tide you over and will tick one off your list of five a day early on! Alternatively, it can pay off to be organised the night before. Prep raw vegetable sticks and store them in tupperware in your fridge. You can then pick these up to go!
Replace Snacks With Fruit and Veg Alternatives
Think of how many snacks you would usually have throughout the day. The majority of us will have some sort of chocolate bar, cake, or packet of crisps at some point or another – whether this is on our lunch break, after dinner, or even a little midnight snack. If your resolution is to be healthier, there’s a good chance that you’ve already made lifestyle changes to opt for more healthy snacks like granola bars, cereal bars, or mixed nuts. But why not take things a step further and make your snacks fruit and veg based? This can taste a whole lot better than you’d imagine – it doesn’t have to be dull. Try throwing berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries into yoghurt. This is a nutrient dense type of snack filled with calcium and antioxidants. Cut up slices of apple and dip them in peanut butter. Make sure to leave the apple’s skin on, as it’s full of fibre. The peanut butter doesn’t only serve to add flavour, but it has also been found to increase HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol. If you want something crunchy to replace crisps, try kale crisps. Kale contains quercetin and kaempferol, which are more powerful antioxidants!
Drink Flavoured Water
You should be aiming to drink eight glasses of water every single day in order to keep yourself hydrated. But why not add some fruit into this? While plain water is fine, fruit infused water simply throws a few extra vitamins into the equation. You can purchase fruit infused water ready made, or you can even make your own by purchasing a water bottle with a built-in infuser.
Eat More Salad
Salad is a simple way to incorporate multiple different types of fruit and vegetables into a meal. You can have lettuce leaves, spinach, kale, and red cabbage. Then add tomatoes, onion, carrot, and sweetcorn. Think of the host of different nutritional benefits of every single different ingredient you add. If you are on a health kick, though, you might want to be careful when it comes to choosing your vinaigrette. Premade vinaigrettes can contain high levels of unhealthy oils, salt, and even sugar. Instead, opt for low fat options or even try making your own if you have the time on your hands!
Sure, it’s not hugely difficult to get your five a day. But hopefully, the above advice, tips, tricks, and ideas can help to make this as simple as possible for you! Incorporate them into your lifestyle as soon as possible to reap the benefits.