Health benefits of Black Pepper Water: Helps in weight loss, improves skin texture and many more

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Some foods are considerably healthier than others from a nutritional point of view, and healthcare professionals and nutritionists consider certain foods to be extra beneficial, a case in point being black pepper.

It is not only a useful flavouring element but a rich source of minerals and nutrients. Most of everything, it’s easy to incorporate black pepper into your diet. If you are a fitness enthusiast looking to lose weight quickly, then you need to add black pepper to your daily menu.

However, the easiest way of consuming black pepper is to infuse it in drinks.

Other than weight loss, black pepper is highly beneficial in several sectors of one’s health. Read further to know the health benefits of black pepper-infused water.

This black pepper water is an easy-to-make recipe with several health benefits. Plus, being an easily available ingredient in any store or supermarket, it becomes easier to walk towards a healthy life.

Improves Immunity

A strong immune system helps avoid illness, and black pepper is popular for having properties that can boost one’s immunity. Its active compounds have a role in boosting white blood cells, which your body uses to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Therefore, consuming black pepper-infused drinks can help fight mild illnesses.

Helps in Digestion

If you are one of those who suffer from indigestion very often, black pepper water may give you relief. As it is known to interact with digestive enzymes and fluids that aid digestion, it improves one gut health. It also has a beneficial effect on pancreatic enzymes, which intensifies the whole digestive process.

Promotes Gut Health

Gut problems can affect one’s mood, increase the chances of chronic diseases, affect immune function, and more. Studies have shown, that black pepper can help increase the good bacteria in the gut, which will fight against all possible diseases. Hence, this improves gut health. Nothing easier than consuming black pepper in form of water, as it also helps detoxify the body naturally.

Helps in Weight loss

Black pepper contains piperine, which is a compound that improves digestion and metabolic performance, thus reducing fat accumulation in one’s body. Therefore, adding black pepper tea or lukewarm black pepper-infused water to our daily diet can help in managing obesity.

Rich in Antioxidants

As mentioned earlier, black pepper is rich in piperine, and studies have found that it has antioxidant properties. This compound can help stop the damage caused by the free radicals.

Prevents Dehydration

Lukewarm black pepper water is very much beneficial for intestinal health. It replenishes skin cells and cures dryness hence, one’s skin feels hydrated and rejuvenated. It also keeps the body energized throughout the day.

Cleanses The Body

Warm black pepper water helps detoxify and cleanse the body from within. It secretes more hydrochloric acid in the stomach and improves the health of one’s digestive system. This allows the body to feel more cleansed and glow from within.

Improves Skin Texture

Not only drinking black pepper water but also applying it on the face, can improve the skin texture. If you are one of them who is facing tiny bumps on the skin; take a table spoon of coarse black pepper powder and mix it with a teaspoon of yoghurt. Apply it to the face and gently massage it. Leave it for 15 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water. This will help the skin regain the clear glass skin texture.

On the other hand, drinking a combination of peppercorn and warm water can help the skin cure itself from within.

Steps to make black pepper water:

Boil a few black peppercorns and boil them in one cup of water. When the water changes its colour to look a little concentrated. Off the flame and pour the water into a mug and have it.

The #1 Best Apple Cider Vinegar Habit for Weight Loss, Says Dietitian

Content source: https://www.eatthis.com/best-apple-cider-vinegar-habit-weight-loss/

It’s unexpected that something found at nearly every supermarket can be so versatile with its functionality, but apple cider vinegar can be used in so many different ways—as a preservative, in recipes, to help skin conditions like acne and warts, and even as a natural deodorant. The vinegar, which is made from fermented apple juice, can also help you drop a few pounds through its effect on appetite and gut health when it’s consumed before mealtimes.

The best habit to develop with apple cider vinegar in order to result in weight loss is to drink it before mealtimes, according to Trista Best, RD, a registered dietitian at Balance Once Supplements. Best recommends mixing apple cider vinegar into a beverage, like a glass of water, or just drinking it on its own as a daily habit to help result in weight loss.

“This is the quickest way to get in the benefits of ACV without needing to break down capsules or powders,” Best says.

apple cider vinegar
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That doesn’t mean that you should be pouring yourself an entire glass of vinegar to drink. A Japanese study found that participants who drank between one and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day for three months saw modest weight loss after taking part in the study.

RELATED: I Drank Apple Cider Vinegar for a Month—and the Results Surprised Me

Registered dietitian Elliott Torsney, CPT, RDN, CDE says that the apple cider vinegar habit of drinking it before eating helps to lose weight because studies show that it works as an appetite suppressant, which can help you eat less at mealtimes. Torsney also said to be sure not to drink the mixture with meals, as it won’t be effective in helping your body to lose weight in that case. Instead, make sure to drink it before you eat a meal.

Best also notes that weight loss can occur after drinking apple cider vinegar because of the improved gut health that happens when the vinegar is regularly consumed.

“Apple cider vinegar may help repair or correct many gastrointestinal issues because of the antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and pre and probiotic characteristics it exhibits,” Best says. “Each of these characteristics works together to improve and protect the gut’s health, which can result in effective weight loss efforts and more.”

This is effective because when the body’s gut isn’t working at its best, it can result in a slower metabolism and it can be more difficult to burn calories.

“When the gut isn’t working as efficiently as it should it can slow the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients, which can result in a slower metabolism and stalled weight loss,” Best says.

Similarly, when the gut is working effectively it helps to burn calories at a higher pace, and increase weight loss efforts, according to Best.

Keep in mind

While apple cider vinegar can result in weight loss, it won’t do the job alone and won’t serve as a substitute for any healthy life changes. A tablespoon or two of apple cider before meal times must be combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise to maintain any consistent weight loss.

Struggling With Body Odour? 7 Home Remedies to Get Rid of it

Content Source: https://www.india.com/lifestyle/struggling-with-body-odour-7-home-remedies-to-get-rid-of-foul-body-smell-5454865/

The market is flooded with deodorants and perfumes to shield body odour, and many people are only interested in hiding it than paying attention to the real cause. There is an element of shame and embarrassment associated with body odour, and many don’t want to talk about it. It is a misconception that body odour is always a lack of hygiene. There can be several hidden factors that contribute to the foul body smell.Also Read – Summer Skincare: Struggling With Sweat-Induced Acne? 5 Ayurvedic Tips to Prevent it

As summer is a sensitive time, Dr Sanchit Sharma, Founder and Director, Ayouthveda shares some tips to take care of yourself and ditch the foul smell this season. Also Read – 5 Ways to Combat Body Odour While Running

  • Cold showers to beat hot days

Bath regularly and sometimes even twice a day. It is important to keep yourself clean. Cold showers are recommended to activate the body into regulating temperature and produce good hormones that keep you mentally and physically fit. If possible, add a few drops of essential oils like lavender, rosemary, and tea tree to eliminate the reasons for the unwanted foul odour. Also Read – No Time For Bath? Here’s How to Feel Fresh

  • Apply neem paste and raw tomato

One of the major causes of smell is bacterial growth on the skin. A mixture of ground neem leaves can be applied to the skin to keep the smell-causing microbes at bay. Take about 10-15 washed neem leaves and soak them in clean drinking water. Then grind them in a mixer-grinder to achieve a fine paste. Apply this paste on sweaty regions of the body like the armpits and feet for 10 minutes to do away with bad smells. Also, as a substitute, tomato slices or juice can be applied to the armpits and feet to kill surface bacteria, which would result in a reduction of the odour.

Not all food is nutritious when eaten raw. Here are 9 vegetables that are better cooked

Content source : https://theprint.in/health/not-all-food-is-nutritious-when-eaten-raw-here-are-9-vegetables-that-are-better-cooked/1001825/

Raw food diets are a fairly recent trend, including raw veganism—the belief being that the less processed food is, the better. That’s wrong.

aw food diets are a fairly recent trend, including raw veganism. The belief being that the less processed food is, the better. However, not all food is more nutritious when eaten raw. Indeed, some vegetables are actually more nutritious when cooked. Here are nine of them.

1. Asparagus

All living things are made up of cells, and in vegetables, important nutrients are sometimes trapped within these cell walls. When vegetables are cooked, the walls break down, releasing the nutrients that can then be absorbed more easily by the body. Cooking asparagus breaks down its cell walls, making vitamins A, B9, C and E more available to be absorbed.

2. Mushrooms

Mushrooms contain large amounts of the antioxidant ergothioneine, which is released during cooking. Antioxidants help break down “free radicals”, chemicals that can damage our cells, causing illness and ageing.

3. Spinach

Spinach is rich in nutrients, including iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc. However, these nutrients are more readily absorbed when the spinach is cooked. This is because spinach is packed with oxalic acid (a compound found in many plants) that blocks the absorption of iron and calcium. Heating spinach releases the bound calcium, making it more available for the body to absorb.


4. Tomatoes

Cooking, using any method, greatly increases the antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes. Lycopene has been associated with a lower risk of a range of chronic diseases including heart disease and cancer. This increased lycopene amount comes from the heat that helps to break down the thick cell walls, which contain several important nutrients.

Although cooking tomatoes reduces their vitamin C content by 29%, their lycopene content increased by more than 50% within 30 minutes of cooking.

5. Carrots

Cooked carrots contain more beta-carotene than raw carrots, which is a substance called a carotenoid that the body converts into vitamin A. This fat-soluble vitamin supports bone growth, vision and the immune system.

Cooking carrots with the skins on more than doubles their antioxidant power. You should boil carrots whole before slicing as it stops these nutrients from escaping into the cooking water. Avoid frying carrots as this has been found to reduce the amount of carotenoid.

6. Bell peppers

Bell peppers are a great source of immune-system-boosting antioxidants, especially the carotenoids, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and lutein. Heat breaks down the cell walls, making the carotenoids easier for your body to absorb. As with tomatoes, vitamin C is lost when peppers are boiled or steamed because the vitamin can leach out into the water. Try roasting them instead.

7. Brassica

Brassica, which include broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts, are high in glucosinolates (sulfur-containing phytochemicals), which the body can convert into a range of cancer-fighting compounds. For these glucosinolates to be converted into cancer-fighting compounds, an enzyme within these vegetables called myrosinase has to be active.

Research has found that steaming these vegetables preserves both the vitamin C and myrosinase and, therefore, the cancer-fighting compounds you can get from them. Chopping broccoli and letting it sit for a minimum of 40 minutes before cooking also allows this myrosinase to activate.

Similarly, sprouts, when cooked produce indole, a compound that may reduce the risk of cancer. Cooking sprouts also causes the glucosinolates to break down into compounds that are known to have cancer-fighting properties.

8. Green beans

Green beans have higher levels of antioxidants when they are baked, microwaved, griddled or even fried as opposed to boiled or pressure cooked.

9. Kale

Kale is healthiest when lightly steamed as it deactivates enzymes that prevent the body from using the iodine it needs for the thyroid, which helps regulate your metabolism.

For all vegetables, higher temperatures, longer cooking times and larger quantities of water cause more nutrients to be lost. Water-soluble vitamins (C and many of the B vitamins) are the most unstable nutrients when it comes to cooking because they leach out of vegetables into the cooking water. So avoid soaking them in water, use the least amount of water when cooking and use other cooking methods, such as steaming or roasting. Also, if you have cooking water left over, use it in soups or gravies as it holds all the leached nutrients.

How To Turn Leftover Rice Into South Indian Appe In Minutes

Content Source: https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/indian-cooking-tips-turn-leftover-rice-into-south-indian-appam-in-minutes-recipe-video-inside-2148588

Highlights

  • Appam is a thin, pancake-like south Indian flatbread.
  • You can easily make it at home with leftover rice.
  • Watch this recipe video to make appam easily in your own kitchen.

What pancake is to people living in western countries, appe is to south Indians. Appe is round in shape and is a popular delicacy in south Indian states. A south Indian food lover knows how important appe is as a part of the cuisine. If you also love the flavours of the foods from down south, we are sure you would love appe too. Did you ever try appe in a restaurant and its taste lingered on in your mind for a long time after, and you still sometimes crave for it? Then, we will help you make it easily at home with your leftover rice.

Often times, we make rice in bulk and a part of it is always left unused. Making appe out of it is a great way to utilise rice for your next meal. Bonus – you get a delicious dish too! The recipe video shared by food vlogger Alpa Modi on her YouTube channel ‘Something’s Cooking With Alpa’ demonstrates an easy way of making appe at home.

Blend your leftover rice with water in a mixer-grinder to make rice paste. Add suji (semolina) and some water and let it sit for some time. When you get a fluffed up batter, add onions, capsicum, coriander leaves and some common spices. Pour a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves and make appe in an appe pan. It’s that easy!

So, next time you are left with some rice from your last meal, don’t let it go waste. Make this authentic south Indian appe in minutes and enjoy a tantalising evening snack or morning meal.

Relation of yoga and vegetarian habits

Content Source:https://nepalyogahome.com/relation-of-yoga-and-vegetarian-habits/

Are you in a dilemma whether to be vegetarian to practice yoga or not?

Modern yoga learners who effort with the question of eating meat can check out this page to solve their queries. Here, you can understand the relationship between yoga and vegetarian habits.

Have you ever heard to a group of people at a yoga class talking about the healthy food? Well, the food selections that stimulate a lot of yogis be inclined to be a little different compared to normal food followers.

Vegetarian Diet Is better for the Body

The key reason that people choose to practice yoga is for better physical health. Further, than harmonizing the arms and tightening the butt, yoga also plays an essential role to purify the internal organs keeping the digestive system active, enhances blood flow, Build up the immune system, and much more. In fact, a complete vegan diet comes up with lots of health advantages of yogis.

A veggie diet is also essential to decrease the risk of many diseases such that diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and so on.  Foods that we get from plants are usually trouble-free to digest, rich in fiber, vitamin, and antioxidant, and lesser in sugar and calories. Vegan foods are also more expected to perk up your energy level.

On the other hand, taking animal products can obstruct the enhancement to your comfort. Animal-based foods conversely, can make a slow immune system, deplete your energy, and consider you down on the whole.

Yogi’s desire of feeling better choosing a healthy lifestyle. They understand that yoga is the awesome way to attain their desire and veggie diet harmonizes their healthy lifestyle.

Veggie Diet benefits the Mind

We perform yoga for the peaceful mind. The food you eat every day has the perspective to either assist in this procedure or it can have a contradictory consequence and amplify the influence of unhelpful feelings in your mind.

Based on the tradition, the most excellent diet for peaceful mind is called a Sattvic diet, and maybe not amazingly, it is vegetarian. The term Sattvic diet is derived from Sanskrit term Sattva which means clearness and precision. A Sattvic diet, consequently, encloses foods that help you survive a peaceful life with a calm mind. It consists of chiefly fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes.

Consistent with Ayurveda, the ideal foods are those that are grown-up in synchronization with nature. Consequently, fresh cow milk and fruits are the most Sattvic as they were provided enthusiastically. There are some useful herbs like tulsi, gingko and ashwagandha, saffron.

Vegetarian Diet following the Non-Violent Way

Most of the Yoga values also teach the idea of non-violence. For most of the yogis, this, too, expand to animals. This practice of livelihood mainly focuses on non-violence. It can be a common means to follow a vegetarian diet. It’s not rare for vegetarians to follow non-violence and the link between all living beings to an extent in which they eat foods in their most normal situation via a raw vegetarian diet.

To bottom line,

Maximum yogis consider you become whatever you eat. If you have natural foods from plans rich in dietary value and simply used by the body, the fragile inner balance can stay in check. It is a stability that expands to the mind.

Should You Chew on Tulsi Leaves? Here’s Why It’s Absolutely Harmful to do so

Content source: https://www.india.com/lifestyle/should-you-chew-on-tulsi-leaves-heres-why-its-absolutely-harmful-to-do-so-tulsi-side-effects-5439197/

Tulsi aka Holy Basil is a magical herb that can cure all diseases, it is loaded with multiple health benefits. When consumed every day, it can help in boosting your immunity. But you should NEVER chew on Tulsi leaves, wondering why? Read on.

Tulsi is considered the Golden remedy of Ayurveda and has an array of medicinal benefits to offer. The plant is worshipped in India and can be found in every Indian household. Its leaves, fresh or dried are used in dishes and heal ailments. Known to add a punch of flavour to pasta dishes and sandwiches alike, but you should never chew tulsi as it could lead to some side effects. 

The scientific reason behind not chewing tulsi leaves is that it has mercury which can stain your teeth and can lead to discolouration of your teeth. It’s suggested to gulp it down rather than chewing it. According to Times of India report, Tulsi leaves are acidic in nature and your mouth is alkaline, which can cause your teeth’ enamel to wear off. 

Safer Ways to Consume Tulsi:

  • Tulsi Chai: If you want to have tulsi, then the best and easiest way to consume it is by adding it to your tea. You can simply add tulsi in boiling water and drink by adding more herbs and flavours. Tulsi is beneficial for people suffering from high-blood sugar levels.
  • Tulsi Juice: You can add tulsi leaves in a cup of water and honey, you can consume it after straining it.

Natural Disinfectants: Common Kitchen Ingredients to Get Rid of Bacteria and Germs in Your House

Make sure you clean the surface before disinfecting

Highlights

  • Disinfecting is not same as cleaning
  • Disinfecting helps get rid of bacteria and germs
  • Make sure you clean the surface before disinfecting

While the trend of eating clean is slowly picking up, it is important to ensure that the place you inhabit is also kept clean and free from bacteria. According to a report by University of Rochester, bacteria is capable of spreading anywhere in the kitchen. “Bacteria can spread from one surface to another without you knowing it. If the bacteria get into food, they can cause food-borne illnesses,” as mentioned on the official website. Not just your kitchen but other areas in your home must be cleaned and disinfected too to get rid of harmful bacteria and prevent them from spreading further. While disinfectants are easily available in the market and many people call of professional disinfecting services to get their homes cleaned and disinfected, what is little known is the fact that disinfecting your kitchen space or your house is no rocket science. You can dedicate one of your weekends and take it up as a fun activity involving your family members using some basic kitchen ingredients lurking in your pantry.

Ingredients like lemon, baking soda, vinegar and leftover alcohol can all be put to use to clean some of the dirtiest; hard-to-get rid of stains and kill infecting bacteria. Ahead, easy remedies using these natural ingredients that will be ready in no time and help you disinfect.

Vinegar

Take equal quantities of water and vinegar, mix together and store in a spray bottle. You can also put wipes in the solution and use them as cleaning wipes. Essential oils like tea tree, cinnamon, lemon, orange eucalyptus, lemon and lavender among others can also be added to the mixture to add fragrance.

vinegar

Vinegar

Baking soda

Hot water (4 parts) can be mixed with 1/4 part of vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda. Use this solution to clean and disinfect your kitchen or house. You can also add few drops of essential oil and juice of a lemon.

Alcohol (preferably vodka)

Mix equal quantities of alcohol with water, mix well. Add drops of essential oil to cut the smell of alcohol. You can also add washing or baking soda to the mix (1/4 part). White vinegar (1/2 cup) can be mixed with equal quantity of alcohol and 1 1/4 cup of water and used as a natural disinfectant.

cleaning 625

Make sure you clean the surface before disinfecting

How to disinfect?

Always remember, disinfecting doesn’t clean the surface. You will have to clean the area and remove all dirt and stains first, begin disinfecting only when you are sure that there are no pollutants, dirt and dust on the surface. Shake the bottle well before spraying on the surface, let the mixture stay on the area for at least 10 minutes. Wipe off with a cloth. In case you are disinfecting multiple areas in your house, ensure using fresh wipes or cloth. Microfibre cloth work well for disinfecting. Essential oils may react with plastic, it is always better to store the disinfectant in glass bottles.

Content Source : https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/natural-disinfectants-common-kitchen-ingredients-to-get-rid-of-bacteria-and-germs-in-your-house-1775383

Why a balanced diet is important for your health

Source from – https://www.livescience.com/why-a-balanced-diet-is-important

You may be wondering why a balanced diet is important. The simple answer is eating a healthy, balanced diet is a vital part of maintaining good health and helping you to feel your best. While some groups of people, such as athletes, may require additional support by way of the best protein powders and the best protein bars to fuel muscle growth, the majority of us can get everything we need by ensuring we’re eating a healthy and varied range of foods. 

A balanced diet supplies the fuel your body needs to work effectively. Without balanced nutrition, your body is more prone to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugars, and saturated fats are essential to ensure your body functions at its best. 

If your diet isn’t balanced and you consume foods that don’t provide enough nutritional value, your nutrient levels will start to decline. Research has found that 31% of the U.S. population is at risk of at least one vitamin deficiency. There are many dangers of a nutrient deficiency, including digestion problems, anemia, and skin problems. 

In this article, you will learn about what you need for a balanced diet, why a balanced diet is so important, and tips for ensuring you meet your nutritional needs every day.

WHAT IS A BALANCED DIET?

“A balanced diet ideally includes five food groups,” Isabel Maples, registered dietitian, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics told Live Science. “The individual food groups each supply certain groups of nutrients. One group is not more important than the other – each provides key vitamins, minerals, fiber, and calories. But when one food group is eaten less, then it becomes the weakest link in maintaining balance. More focus on it might help bring the diet back into balance.”

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, set out by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend nutrient-dense foods that provide vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting components and have no or little added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.

The core elements that make up a healthy dietary pattern include:

  • Vegetables of all types – dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and other vegetables.
  • Fruits, especially whole fruit (rather than fruit juices).
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grain.
  • Dairy, including fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, and/or lactose-free versions and fortified soy beverages and yogurt as alternatives.
  • Protein foods, including lean meats, poultry, and eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; and nuts, seeds, and soy products.
  • Oils, including vegetable oils and oils in food, such as seafood and nuts.

Nutritionist Lamorna Hollingsworth says variety is key when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables. “Go for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day,” she says. “Fresh, frozen, canned, and dried all count. Eating a diverse range of plant-based foods is great news for our gut health and microbiome which thrives best when we consume a wide variety – aiming for 30+ different plant-based foods a week is a great target.”

The dietary guidelines also advise limiting foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium and limiting alcoholic beverages. The recommended limits are:

  • Added sugars: Less than 10% of your calories per day.
  • Saturated fat: Less than 10% of your calories per day.
  • Sodium: Less than 2,300 milligrams per day (and even less for children younger than age 14).
  • Alcoholic beverages: Adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to two drinks or less in a day for men and one drink or less in a day for women when alcohol is consumed. Drinking less is better for health than drinking more.

WHY IS EATING A BALANCED DIET SO IMPORTANT?

The foods we eat have a profound impact on physical and mental health. The scientific connection between food and health is well documented, with substantial evidence showing that following a healthy diet can help people achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

A balanced diet supplies the nutrients your body needs to work well. Without balanced nutrition, your body is more prone to disease, infection, and fatigue.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, four of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States – heart disease, cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes – are directly linked to diet.

Some evidence suggests a close relationship between diet and mood. In 2016, research published in the journal Appetite found that diets with a high glycemic load may trigger increased symptoms of depression and fatigue. Foods with a high glycemic load include many refined carbohydrates, often found in soft drinks, cakes, white bread, and biscuits. Vegetables, whole fruit, and whole grains have a lower glycemic load.

A healthy diet may help maintain brain health too. A 2015 study published in the journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research identified nutrients and foods that protect against cognitive decline and dementia. The researchers found the following beneficial – vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and fish.

TIPS FOR HAVING A BALANCED DIET EVERYDAY

A healthy diet will combine all the recommended nutrients and food groups mentioned, but you need to balance them too.

The plate method is a handy way to remember how much of each food group to eat. Maples endorses the USDA’s ‘ChooseMyPlate‘ initiative, which recommends:

  • Filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Filling just over one quarter with grains.
  • Filling just under one quarter with protein foods.
  • Adding dairy on the side (or a non-dairy replacement).

But individual needs will vary, so the USDA also provides an interactive tool, ‘MyPlate Plan‘, where you can enter your own details to determine your personal needs.

Hollingsworth believes that proper balance comes when you view food on a spectrum, as labeling foods ‘good’ or ‘bad’ may lead to unhealthy restrictive habits. She told LiveScience: “It could be argued that a balanced diet that includes healthy and occasional not-so-healthy foods is more important than aiming for perfection with all our food choices.

“Taking this approach allows individuals to fuel their bodies with healthy options but also provides a positive place for our mental health too. Having this kind of mindset prevents guilt that could be felt upon eating the occasional unhealthy food.”