Healthy eating has been a topic of discussion by many experts in recent years. It is easy to get confused by all the conflicting nutrition advice flying around. The truth is, while a lot of foods are nutritious, your overall dietary pattern is of utmost importance. 

Healthy eating is not about certain food restrictions, rather it is about improving your overall health and immune system, having increased energy, feeling happy, and boosting your mood. The purpose of healthy eating is to replace processed, junk, and fatty foods with healthy natural foods and fresh spices whenever possible. This can make a huge difference to your body; the way you feel, look and think.

Eating a balanced diet is connected to healthy eating, and it is of essence to the body. We need a balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats, proteins, vegetables, fruits, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, in our diet to maintain a healthy body. Eating a healthier diet doesn’t have to be complicated, keep things simple. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, for example, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness.

By putting these simple five tips to use, you can learn how to combine healthy foods that are good for your body and mind.

(1) Eat complex, unrefined carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates are a great source of energy and other vital nutrients. Your carbohydrate consumption should come from complex, unrefined whole foods (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) rather than processed fatty foods (sugars and refined carbohydrates). Limiting fried and junk foods, pastries, and sugars can prevent a spike in blood sugar, fat build-up, low energy, and mood swings.

(2) Healthy fats are good for you

Not all fats are unhealthy. Saturated and trans-fats can wreck your diet and increase your risk of certain diseases, non-saturated fatty acids- such as Omega-3s found in nuts and seeds are vital to your emotional and physical health. (e.g walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds) . Adding more of these healthy fats to your diet can help boost your overall wellbeing, improve your mood, fight weight loss and prevent certain diseases.

(3) Plant-based proteins are the healthiest 

According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of " China Study" low-quality plant protein, which allows for a slow but steady synthesis of new proteins is the healthiest type of protein. Several studies have now shown that consuming animal-based protein (milk, meat, egg, and cheese) increases your risk of certain cancers and high blood cholesterol levels. In contrast, plant-based protein (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans) contain no cholesterol and helps to decrease your risk of certain cancers. An intake of only 2 percent of plant-based protein, has been associated with 23 percent decreased cancer risk. 

We must eat high-quality protein because it gives us the energy to get up and keep going while also supporting cognitive functions and mood. 

Plant-based proteins are a healthy sustainable way to get your nutrition every day.

(4) Eat your veggies

Green-leafy and root vegetables possess great healing properties rich in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins which are essential for our health and wholeness. They add color to our meals and are gut-friendly. Like Dr. Douglas Graham, author of 80/10/10 diet said, "vegetables remain the optimum food of choice for fulfilling all human nutritional needs".

Leafy greens and root vegetables are great and are high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Also, numerous root vegetables like sweet potatoes, yams, onions, bell peppers, beets, and carrots are rich in Vitamin A. Green-leafy vegetables are low in calories and nutrient-dense, which means they are packed with fiber and lots of nourishing goodness. Focus on eating the recommended daily amount of at least five servings of vegetables, and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods.

(5) Eat a lot of fresh fruits

Fruits are lifesavers and are super delicious. They are packed with several essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, that are great for our overall well-being. They're great for hair, skin, gut, and our immune system. Pineapple is one of the richest sources of manganese, it contains high levels of bromelain, an enzyme that helps relax muscles. The combination of calcium, magnesium, and potassium relieves the body of aches and helps soothe the muscles. The abundance of Vitamin C in strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries may also help slow down wear and tear in the joints. Potassium-rich foods like banana and avocado help balance the system, thus relieving the body of pains. Pears, melons, grapes, and apples are rich in fiber, which helps the digestive system function properly.

Even on a day-to-day basis, studies have shown that the more fruits we eat, the happier, calmer, and more energetic we may feel during the day. Higher consumption of fruits is associated with a lower risk of diseases, depression, psychological distress, mood and anxiety disorders, and poor mental health.

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