10 Dietary Guidelines for Optimal Health
- Always chew your food well - digestion begins in the mouth with chewing and the secretion of enzymes. Eating quickly increases the amount of air and the size of the food swallowed. This will lead to inadequate digestion and an increase in gas production.
- Eat regularly - at least every 3-4 hours. Our bodies need regular fuel to provide energy, stimulate metabolism and maintain blood sugar levels.
- Protein needs to be eaten with each meal to ensure satiety, stable blood sugar levels, and to increase metabolism.
- Avoid simple carbohydrates and opt for complex carbohydrates (think, the closer a food is to its natural state/the less processed = the more nutritious)
- Include some complex carbohydrates (low GI), with some lean protein and a small amount of essential fatty acids (EFAs = nuts, seeds, flaxseed/ olive oil, avocado, fish) at each meal
- Eat a diet low in saturated fat (animal fat, coconut milk, palm/ vegetable oil, and ghee), and increase unsaturated fats (EFAs)
- Achieve fluid balance. Avoid drinking excessively during meals as this can reduce enzyme activity. Try to drink 2 litres of water between meals each day. This can also help to offset false hunger cues.
- Eat a variety of food colours to ensure you are getting all your micro nutrients
- 90% for the body, 10% for the soul - Relax and enjoy your food. Ensure that the majority of food consumed is within healthy eating guidelines and allow the odd treat to satisfy mind, soul and social life (10%)
- Exercise: Get active at least 3-4 times per week for at least 30-60 minutes. Exercise works the diaphragm, which massages the intestines and thereby improves digestion. It also regulates appetite, blood sugar and metabolism. It is well known for its stress relieving capacity - which contributes to a better self-esteem and healthier eating habits.
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