Self-care is crucial for your well-being and it’s important to practice it daily. Self-care isn’t just rolling out of bed in the morning, brushing your teeth, and getting dressed–it’s much more than that. It’s about taking the time to make sure your mental and physical well-being are in check.
The most important part of self-care, is eating a balanced diet. Even if you hit the gym five times a week, you can’t out-train a bad diet. Your body works off of the food that you give it and your diet greatly affects your mental and physical wellness.
If you’re tired all of the time, feeling sluggish, or bloated–it might be time to assess the food you have in the fridge. Bad foods can be the main culprit of a lot of your daily symptoms and they can easily be cleared up just by altering your diet.
Changing your diet isn’t going to happen in a day, it’ll be a process that will take some time. It also doesn’t mean that you have to cut out the foods that you love or start counting calories. Doing anything drastic with your diet will only cause more stress and anxiety.
Instead, make small food swaps when you can and slowly start incorporating more healthy foods into your daily meals. This is a simple and easy way to start altering your diet so you can transform your life. To help you get started, here are a few foods you can work into your meals.
It’s also an easy low-calorie substitution for foods that are high in carbohydrates, like mashed potatoes or rice. Try substituting mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes to your next meal.
This low-calorie vegetable can also be used as a great substitution in foods to enhance your diet and promote a healthier you.
Zucchini can improve digestion and also lowers blood sugar levels while improving healthy circulation to your heart. You can easily turn zucchini into zoodles to use as a substitute for pasta.
3. Whole grains
Foods like bread, oatmeal, and brown rice are whole grains that are packed with fiber while also low in sugar.
These complex carbohydrates help your digestion stay on track and are better for you than simple carbohydrates like potatoes and pasta that spike your blood sugar.
Beef, or red meat is full of high-quality protein to keep your body strong and to help you lead a healthy life. Just a 3 oz serving can give you 10 essential nutrients including protein, iron, and vitamin B-12.
Leaner cuts of meat also digest quickly, helping improve your gut health.
Like beef, chicken is also high in protein, but also lower in fat than other meats. Similar to beef, chicken is also high in iron, B vitamins, and zinc.
Both the white meat and dark meat from chicken have their benefits, but the healthiest form of chicken will be a skinless chicken breast–which is the leanest cut of chicken.
We’ve all heard you should eat an apple a day, and for good reason. Apples are a filling superfood, that have plenty of fiber and are also great for weight loss.
When you eat an apple, you’re less inclined to continue snacking and the fiber moves food through your system faster, reducing the amount of sodium that settles in your stomach.
Yogurt has probiotics, which is the good kind of bacteria that keeps your digestion efficient and calms inflammation.
Yogurt is also high in protein, calcium, vitamins, to promote healthy bones and teeth. Try some Greek yogurt for breakfast and make it a parfait by adding other healthy foods like berries and oats.
If you’ve gone keto, this nutrient-rich food keeps you full and has the potassium and antioxidants your body needs to power through the day.
Avocados can be easily mixed into salads or even turned into avocado butter to spread on toast.
Drinking lemon water helps flush your body of any excess sodium or toxins that may be sitting in your system. The lemon helps the digestion process since they are a natural diuretic and when added to warm water, it acts as a natural laxative–it’s also a tasty and effective alternative from drinking soda.
Try drinking lemon water once a day to improve your gut health.
This fruit is loaded with fiber that helps in digestion and potassium which assists the kidneys with removing sodium from your system. Bananas contain many nutrients that help moderate blood sugar levels and can be a filling snack on the go. They can also be a tasty addition to any smoothie.
Because melons are made of mostly water, they help flush your body of any built-up salts, sugars, and toxins.
Cantaloupe and honeydew also contain potassium that helps balance your system.
This powerful spice has many health benefits and is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger can help soothe nausea and it is also a natural remedy for muscle pain and indigestion. It’s also an easy spice you can add into a recipe or tea.
Berries are a natural way to help reduce cholesterol levels while also improving blood sugar levels. They are high in antioxidants and fiber to keep your digestive system on track. Raspberries and blueberries can make a great addition to cereal and yogurt or can be a healthy snack all on their own.
14. Dark chocolate
Yes, you read that right. 70–85% cocoa actually contains several minerals, including fiber, iron, and magnesium.
Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants and can help lower blood pressure. Although dark chocolate still contains a moderate amount of sugar, it can be a tasty treat.
Incorporating a mix of these healthy foods into your diet will get you well on your way to transforming your life. Try mixing a few of your favorites into a meal together to start and keep adding different foods from there.
The smallest diet changes can make the biggest impact on your health, and your body will thank you.