So many people give up on a balanced diet because they believe it’s too hard to eat healthily. If it’s too hard, you’re doing it wrong! There are small changes you can make initially to help the transition from unhealthy eating to a well-balanced diet.
Of course, you’ll need to up the veggie intake, have a couple of pieces of fruit a day (but don’t go overboard on the fruit!) and have some lean protein with every meal… but here are some little tips to get the most out of every meal:
1). Vitamin C and Iron-Rich Foods…
Vitamin C is an important cofactor in the pathway that iron goes through to be absorbed and utilised in the body. When you eat iron-rich foods, especially when it comes from plant sources, try to always include foods containing vitamin C to help your body absorb and use that iron.
Plant-based iron is referred to as “non-haem” iron and needs to be converted to the “haem” version in order to be absorbed and utilised. To ensure you’re absorbing as much iron from your food as possible, include some red capsicums, kiwi fruit or strawberries to give it a head start!
2). Avoid Calcium and Iron Together…
Yep, another iron ‘hack’. Iron and calcium don’t get along very well. Think of calcium as the schoolyard bully when it comes to absorption in the gut. If calcium is around, your iron misses the boat and won’t be absorbed. This is why I cringe whenever a cereal ad claims that their cereal is so high in iron – that’s great… if you don’t have it with milk!
Same goes for having a coffee or cup of tea with your meals, even if you have no milk, there is a constituent within these beverages called “tannins” which also “bullies” iron – so sorry to say, its water or nothing guys!
3). Seeds for Days…
A handful of nuts and seeds every day is amazing for boosting your intake of healthy fats, protein and minerals like selenium, iron and zinc. Did you know though, that a lot of seeds like flaxseeds for example need to be ground up before you eat them?
If you eat flaxseeds whole, they are basically taking a glorified road trip through your digestive tract – their hard coating protects them from being broken down. Grind those puppies with a coffee grinder or blender before sprinkling them on your morning porridge!
4). Lemon in Water – Just, stop!
Lemon in your drinking water is great and all, first thing in the morning. The bitter taste gets your digestion moving and if you enjoy the flavour it might encourage you to drink more water. It may have its benefits but when done as often as many internet gurus will encourage you to, you’ll wind up with a hefty dentist bill.
The acidity of the lemon will eventually erode your teeth enamel. You can reduce the risk of this happening by using a straw (reusable please!) however, there’s nothing wrong with good, old-fashioned water
5). Steamed, not boiled…
If you love your cooked veggies, steaming is so much better for nutrition! When you boil your vegetables, you’re essentially dissolving the water-soluble vitamins from the veggies into the water and straining them off. When you steam them, however, you’re actually retaining a hell of a lot more of the water-soluble vitamins and they end up in YOU as opposed to the steaming water.
Now you have a few tips up your sleeve, go forth and hack!
If you are looking to take your health and well-being to another level, why not get involved in Martial Arts? At Wu Xing Dao Kung Fu, we take a holistic approach to Martial Arts. It’s not just about learning self-defence and punching and kicking, it’s also about self-discipline, health and nutrition.
After you have enrolled in martial art classes, we take time to help you understand the different types of martial arts and the various life skills that come with them. This allows you to make an informed decision when choosing the martial arts style you would like to learn. We ensure that every trainee learns how to defend themselves effectively as well as enjoy the many other health benefits that martial arts offer.