When it comes to health and nutrition, we all get confused because of the so many information out there. Even qualified experts often seem to hold opposing opinions.
Yet, despite all the disagreements, a number of wellness tips are well supported by research.
Here are health and nutrition tips that are actually based on good science.
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1. Don’t drink sugar calories
Sugary drinks are among the most fattening items you can put into your body.
This is because your brain doesn’t measure calories from liquid sugar the same way it does for solid food.
Therefore, when you drink soda, you end up eating more total calories.
Sugary drinks are strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other health problems.
2. Avoid processed junk food (eat real food instead)
Processed junk food is incredibly unhealthy. These foods have been engineered to trigger your pleasure centres, so they trick your brain into overeating — even promoting food addiction in some people.
They’re usually low in fibre, protein, and micronutrients but high in unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined grains. Thus, they provide mostly empty calories.
3. Get enough sleep
The importance of getting enough quality sleep cannot be overstated.
Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance.
What’s more, poor sleep is one of the strongest individual risk factors for weight gain and obesity.
4. Drink some water, especially before meals
Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits.
Surprisingly, it can boost the number of calories you burn.
Two studies note that it can increase metabolism by 24–30% over 1–1.5 hours. This can amount to 96 additional calories burned if you drink 8.4 cups (2 litres) of water per day.
5. Eat vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are loaded with prebiotic fibre, vitamins, minerals, and many antioxidants, some of which have potent biological effects.
Studies show that people who eat the most vegetables and fruits live longer and have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses.
6. Do some cardio
Doing aerobic exercise, also called cardio, is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health.
It’s particularly effective at reducing belly fat, the harmful type of fat that builds up around your organs. Reduced belly fat should lead to major improvements in metabolic health.
7. Don’t smoke or do drugs, and only drink in moderation
If you smoke or abuse drugs, tackle those problems first. Diet and exercise can wait.
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and consider avoiding it completely if you tend to drink too much.
8. Minimize your sugar intake
Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet, as large amounts can harm your metabolic health.
High sugar intake is linked to numerous ailments, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer.
9. Lift heavy things
Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your muscles and improve your body composition.
It also leads to massive improvements in metabolic health, including improved insulin sensitivity.
The best approach is to lift weights, but doing bodyweight exercises can be just as effective.
10. Use plenty of herbs and spices
Many incredibly healthy herbs and spices exist.
For example, ginger and turmeric both have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, leading to various health benefits.
Due to their powerful benefits, you should try to include as many herbs and spices as possible in your diet.
11. Take care of your relationships
Social relationships are incredibly important not only for your mental well-being but also your physical health.
Studies show that people who have close friends and family are healthier and live much longer than those who do not.
12. If you have excess belly fat, get rid of it
Belly fat is particularly harmful.
It accumulates around your organs and is strongly linked to metabolic disease.
For this reason, your waist size may be a much stronger marker of your health than your weight.
Cutting carbs and eating more protein and fiber are all excellent ways to get rid of belly fat.