For many people, the new year is an opportunity for reinvention and time to strive for positive changes to their life. For instance, the indulgence of the festive period might have left you feeling sluggish and wanting to embark on a more vitamin rich diet that re-energizes you and provides you with the right nutrients. However, with all the different dietary advice that is out there (sometimes changing on a seemingly daily basis), knowing how to eat well can soon become confusing. To help you out, here are three healthy changes you can introduce to your diet in 2021.
- Eat less meat
Meat provides the body with many nutrients with which to thrive. Protein, for instance, is an important energy source and is a building block used by the body to build and repair muscles and bones. However, meat (especially red meats such as steak) also contains saturated fat, which can increase the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. As well as this, there are the ethical and environmental considerations of intensive farming. Cutting down your consumption of meat might be beneficial for both your health and the planet. There are many delicious meat free meals and plant-based protein options for you to choose from. If the idea of following an entirely vegetarian or vegan diet does not appeal to you, then you could instead only eat meat once or twice a week rather than at every meal.
- Choose whole grains
Cereals make up a major part of the Western diet, particularly refined grains such as white bread and processed breakfast cereals. However, refined grains are nutritionally poor, so to get more health benefits from your grains opt for whole grains, which still contain the bran and germ – providing fibre and other nutrients. Whole oats, buckwheat, and quinoa are popular whole grain options from which you can make a wide variety of delicious meals. Buy your whole grains from a trusted health foods store, such as Health Force. To get even more nutrition from your whole grains, you could soak them and leave them to germinate to become sprouted grains, which could have even more antioxidant potential.
- Consider eating fruit and vegetables raw
Fresh fruit and vegetables are hugely nutritious, providing a great deal of vitamins and minerals. However, cooking methods such as boiling and peeling the skin cause a lot of these nutrition benefits to be lost. As an alternative, you could try to introduce more raw fruits and vegetables into your diet. For instance, a raw salad consisting of carrots, lettuce leaves, broccoli, and courgette (perhaps supplemented with some whole grains and a tasty dressing) would make a nutritious and tasty lunchtime meal.
You could also snack on raw fruit and vegetables. Raw apples are a snack time favourite, but you could also shake it up a bit by snacking on raw cauliflower or broccoli. You could also go for natural, frozen blackberry powder in your smoothies and drinks.