There are many ways you can improve your health and by following our straightforward ways to improve your lifestyle and well-being, you should start to see the benefits in no time.
Cut the fat
The effect of fat on your arteries and general health is pretty well known, so you should try to cut your intake by changing your cooking methods. Try grilling, baking, steaming or poaching, rather than frying. If you are frying something, spray cooking oils can be used instead of oil in frying pans - this is a healthier alternative with a lower calorie content.
Get plenty of sleep
If you’re having trouble sleeping try cutting out stimulants such as alcohol or caffeine, especially in the hours directly before you go to bed. Watching TV or using a laptop or tablet directly before going to sleep has also been shown to disrupt sleep. Trying reading a book or listening to some music before bed instead – you might find it easier to drop off. Putting a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow at night has also been shown to have relaxing effects.
Reduce your salt intake
To reduce the impact on your blood pressure cut down your salt intake. We suggest using herbs and spices such as oregano, nutmeg and paprika to season your food. You may eventually find that you don’t need to add salt at all!
Build stronger bones
If you’re planning to include exercise in your healthy routine it’s essential to have strong bones and muscles. A diet high in calcium and vitamin D will lead to strong bones and healthy nerves and muscles. Good sources of calcium and vitamin D include egg yolk, broccoli, oily fish and direct sunlight. Activities like running or dancing are also great for increasing your bone health. You could also introduce some bone-building herbs like parsley into your diet in order to gain maximum benefits.
Laughing can help to boost blood flow by more than 20 per cent and researchers say it may reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Laughing can also help to fight infections, relieve hay fever, ease pain and control diabetes. So it really pays to think about your mental health as well as your physical health!
Fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are a great source of vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system. Also, citrus fruits and bananas are a good source of potassium which can help to regulate blood pressure. If you struggle to eat lots of fruit each day try to find creative ways to include it in your diet – like making homemade smoothies or having fruit salads as a dessert.
Regular consumption of garlic - either in natural form or odourless capsules - promotes a healthy heart and good circulation by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol — and it also helps to fight infection and boosts the body’s immunity.
Drink more water
We should all be drinking around eight glasses of water a day. It will greatly enhance your digestion‚ nutrient absorption‚ skin hydration and detoxification — as well as many other aspects of your health. Try to have a glass or bottle of water with you all the time – slipping water throughout the day is the easiest way to get the required amount.
There is general agreement that tea - both black and green - may contribute positively to your health. Tea contains antioxidants that can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, support dental health, increase bone density and strengthen cardiovascular health. Herbal teas are increasingly becoming very popular – and are now stocked in most cafes and coffee shops. They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and provide herbal teas are a natural way to boost your health.
Eat more wholegrain
Eating wholegrain foods such as bread, cereals and rice can reduce your cholesterol levels and greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Look at the packaging on foods that are labelled as ‘wholegrain’ - especially cereals - to see which of them are best. For an added health benefit - try to stick to brown bread, rice and pasta.
Good posture is believed to help the flow of energy in the body so standing tall or sitting up straight improve your energy levels.
Chilli peppers contain capsaicin which helps to stimulate blood circulation and reduce the risk of clots. Spicy peppers also contain antioxidants which can help to prevent cell damage. They are also a great way to add spice and flavour to foods – meaning that you can reduce the salt and make your meals even healthier.
Exercising in water is a great way of getting a good workout without stressing the body too much. The water offers resistance to help you to build your muscles and stamina while preventing some of the impact on the joints that land-based exercises would bring.
Eat oily fish
Eating more ‘oily’ fish — such as herring, kippers, mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna — will provide you with large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These types of fatty acids can reduce the levels of cholesterol in the blood — thereby reducing the risk of stroke.
Don’t skip breakfast
Your body needs good quality fuel to wake up your metabolism so always tuck into a good breakfast. It means you will burn more calories throughout the day and it also prevents you from getting that lull in the morning when your body is running on empty. Having a filling breakfast that will provide lots of energy will set you up well for the day. Maybe porridge or a poached egg with avocado or smoked salmon.
Having an optimistic outlook on life can actually help you to live longer. Researchers have found that optimistic people slashed their risk of early death by 50 per cent compared to those who were pessimistic. Thinking positively lessens your chances of worrying and reduces stress - lessening your chances of getting a physical and mental illness.