Published on March 5th, 2021 | by admin


3 Dietary Habits To Start in 2021

To say that the food industry in the United States is complicated would be an understatement. From “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair to “The China Study,” we’ve slowly become more and more privy to the practices of food production in the U.S. and around the world.

We’ve become more knowledgeable about good, nourishing diets, what types of foods we should keep to once every other month, and cooking methods that are doing more harm than good. There’s a lot of variation in diet based on different populations and cultures, but for all human beings, there are some things that are simply across the board necessary to incorporate in our diet.

Our food culture is highly saturated with vivid imagery of amazing-looking meals that don’t always meet our needs. Food is something to be enjoyed; it’s supposed to be delicious and feel good to eat–one shouldn’t compromise on flavor to be healthy. However, the quick, tasty foods are often the ones that don’t serve us.

It’s okay to have a bag of chips with your sandwich. It’s okay to have a piece of chocolate or a piece of chocolate cake, but to make that a daily or weekly habit has long-term effects on your health. These are three dietary habits that have recently come to the surface that are vital and important for us to be aware of or adopt into our food routines.

Gut Health

Initial research about the role gut microbiota plays in overall health surfaced in 2016 and has gained momentum in the research and identified as a key player in disease prevention. Strains of healthy gut microbiota have been found to aid in the prevention of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease.

The significance in gut health has led to the term “Enteric Nervous System” or your body’s “little brain.” This describes the relationship that your gut health has to your overall bodily and mental health. The brain-gut relationship gained a new understanding of the effectiveness of mind-body therapies and antidepressants on patients with IBS or bowel-disorders.

So how does one improve gut health? Make sure to a) get your fiber in and b) eat probiotic-rich foods or foods that are fermented! If you have celiac disease or any other gluten sensitivity, make sure that when you are cooking or, for example, baking cookies, that you choose gluten-free baking soda over the regular baking soda.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies

There has been recent popularity with carnivore diets, Ketogenic, and others; the research still remains the same; listen to what your mother has been saying for years, and eat your fruits and veggies! According to multiple Harvard studies, green leafy veggies are strongly associated with a decrease in cardiovascular disease, and individuals who consumed five or more servings of fruits and vegetables had a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease. Using meat as a side or condiment is an excellent way to get your heme iron and all of your necessary proteins, but it doesn’t need to be the bulk of what you eat.

Don’t Punish Yourself When It Comes to Food

“Intuitive eating” is a phrase that’s been coined in the dietician community to describe listening to what your body needs, and not restricting yourself to certain foods, or cutting out entire food groups because they are deemed “bad.” The more you restrict yourself or shame yourself for having that slice of chocolate cake or that slice of bread that one week, the more your relationship to food will be less enjoyable and about nourishing your body and instead feel more like a chore. Another risk of ignoring your body’s hunger signals is that a certain food becomes a forbidden fruit and later something you binge on. Like anything, moderation is key.

Take note of what you’re craving and know what it is your body needs more of; if you need something sweet, you need more carbs or glucose. If you’re feeling tired and out of it, get more protein and iron in your system. Loving your body means listening to your body. Listen to what it needs and feed it what it needs, and think hard about what foods feel good in the moment but leave you feeling worse after. Try and consciously eat foods that you love and that you know will have a positive impact on your health. Food habits today are an investment into the well-being of your future, older self. Be good to that investment, and your older self will thank you!

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