Health and wellness is a pretty important topic for a lot of people, and it’s not hard to see why. Getting and staying fit has a ton of benefits, including a healthier body and a better mood.
If you’re looking for the best ways to work towards your dream body, there are a ton of different options for hitting your goals. In our article on ‘How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off’, for example, we talk about quick and easy weight loss tips like diets and exercises. Adding these into your daily routine is a surefire way to work towards the body you want.
Exercise isn’t the only important thing about fitness, however. You also need to make sure that you’re giving your body the fuel that it needs. While weight-loss diets might get you results in the short term, it’s important to ensure that you’re taking in the nutrients you need. Below, we’ve put together a list of five things that you should be adding to your diet for a better and healthier you.
Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
Eating the rainbow has become a pretty popular concept as of late, but what exactly does it mean? Piling your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables looks great for Instagram, but does it really have any benefits?
Registered dietician Katherine McManus claims that, yes it absolutely does. The colors in plants are caused by phytonutrients, which can help protect your body from disease. The US Dietary Guidelines recommend 2 ½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day to maximize these benefits.
Protein is essential for the continued function of our bodies because its amino acids help build and maintain your muscles and bones. Strong bodies need protein, which can be sourced from different things like meat, eggs, and much more.
You’ll also need to ensure good levels of collagen, which is a major structural protein important for your skin, organs, and bones. While collagen can be sourced from whole foods, supplement options are good if you don’t have access to whole food sources. If you aren’t sure where to fit it in, Brightcore recommends several options. For establishing a regular routine, you can take it in the morning, but for more restful sleep, just before bed is a good option too. The best results come from consistent use, so make sure to build the habit.
Grains and Cereal
When you talk about diets, usually people want to cut out bread and rice in order to lose weight. However, grains and cereals actually play an important role in our nutrition and come with a ton of benefits. Eating the right kinds of grains and cereals in the right amounts can benefit you far more than just cutting them out wholesale.
New Food Magazine says that grains are important sources of iron, vitamin B complex, protein, carbohydrates, thiamine, fiber, and much more. Keeping wholegrain wheat and other healthy cereals in your diet ensures consistent energy levels and healthy digestion, which can only benefit your body in the long run.
Water seems like a pretty simple addition to anyone’s diet, but it’s actually one of the most important. Up to 60% of the human body is made of water, and it performs a variety of functions essential to continued life and health. Water regulates your body temperature, keeps your tissues moist, and carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend daily fluid intake for adult males at about 15 ½ cups (3.7 liters) and about 11 ½ cups (2.7 liters) for adult females. Of course, daily water intake depends on your body type, weight, lifestyle, environment, and other factors, but it’s always better to go a little over the recommended level than under it.
Healthy fats might seem like an oxymoron, but they’re actually incredibly important for several reasons. Healthy fats like omega-3 fats promote normal functions of the brain and nervous system, as well as lower cholesterol levels and support heart health.
Healthy fats are usually classified under monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. If you aren’t sure what this means or where to find them, SELF has put together a list of healthy high-fat foods that you can add to your diet. This includes fan favorites like avocados, nuts, and salmon— all delicious, healthy ingredients that can make eating well even better.