We are often told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The Heart and Stroke Foundation agrees with this statement as their research has shown that most people who regularly eat breakfast tend to have healthier body weights than those who don’t eat breakfast.
Both the American and Canadian Food Guides recommend a healthy breakfast and one of the best foods is whole grains either in cereal or whole grain bread. This food group gives you the benefit of fiber as well as making you feel full. A bowl of oatmeal can also help reduce blood cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. Enhance the meal by adding some fruit or yogurt to your cereal or peanut butter to your whole grain toast.
A bowl of hot Quinoa cereal with sliced apples, a few walnuts and some cinnamon is not only tasty but gives you a good start to the day. Cinnamon is also good for lowering blood sugar levels.
Give a pass to fast foods or quick ‘nuked” pre-packaged foods, although some fast food outlets have salads on their menus or a tortilla wrap packed with shredded vegetables. Make your own wraps with whole wheat and add salsa or humus to your fillings instead of fatty salad dressings. Fruit is easy to pack in a lunch or pieces of raw vegetables such as carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes or pepper slices.
Eating an orange or apple is better than drinking fruit juices, but if you prefer juice then look for 100% pure juices.
Eating the right proportions of food is the key. Your dinner plate should be at least ½ full of vegetables, excluding potatoes; ¼ of the plate to contain starches, whether whole grains, pasta or potatoes and the remaining ¼ with lean meat, fish or other protein. For more information on portioning your meals you can go to www.theportionplate.com
It is important to check on the amount of salt and saturated fat in the foods you eat. Many foods now have ‘less salt’ alternatives to choose from as we tend to eat more salt than we require. As we need some fat in our diet to help us absorb vitamins, you should choose unsaturated fats such as olive, canola, sunflower or coconut oils.
If you tend to get hungry before the next meal, small snacks between meals should continue to be healthy ones. A small cube of low-fat cheese and 2 or 3 whole wheat crackers; 1 slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter, salsa or humus with a small whole grain pita and of course a serving of fruit or raw vegetables are just a few ideas.
It is generally recommended that an adult should drink about 90 ounces; 2.7 liters (women) or 125 ounces; 3.7 liters (men) of water daily.
Hydrate with every meal; water, juice or milk as this helps you digest your food. Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants, especially if enhanced by a splash of lemon juice. Sweeten with honey, stevia or other sugar substitutes instead of refined sugar. For variety there are several soy milk and beverages as well as almond and coconut milk drinks, which are better than dairy milk.
Of course healthy body requires activity as well, whether it is running marathons, gardening or brisk walking for a least half an hour to get the heart pumping. It is recommended that adults should have at least 2 ½ hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week and that children and youth get at least one hour per day. Exercise not only helps your physical health but your mental health as well. It reduces stress and improves sleep and digestion. Remember to keep yourself well hydrated before, during and after exercise.
Your Chiropractor can advise you as to your correct exercise level or type of exercise that is right for your body.