In today’s fast-paced world, people are becoming increasingly health-conscious and looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, what are the foundations of a healthy food plan?If you think a nutritious, balanced diet and exercise are all it takes to lead a healthy life, you might want to think again.
Sure, there’s a lot of information out there, apart from dietitians, to help you figure out a suitable food plan for your body. But there’s also much more that will complement a healthy food plan.
Read on to find out what are the foundations of a healthy food plan.
Pair Whatever You Eat With Exercise
A healthy, balanced diet forms a crucial foundation of a healthy food plan. For a healthy diet, you must start by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, ensuring they comprise at least half of your plate. They’re also a good source of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and aids in a healthy digestive tract. Include whole grains like whole wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, brown rice, and wheat berries, and foods made with whole grains, like whole wheat pasta, to make up about a quarter of your plate.
Protein-rich foods like dairy products, nuts, legumes, tofu, seeds, eggs, fish, etc., should also occupy about a quarter of your plate. For your food preparation, consider using healthy plant oils in moderation. You can go with sunflower, corn, olive, peanut, soy, or canola oils. It’s best to avoid partially hydrogenated oils with unhealthy trans fat.
In addition to a healthy, wholesome diet, you must also avoid highly processed foods. While an occasional indulgence won’t harm you, the so-called junk foods could cause undesirable health problems, including diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
Once you’ve figured out your diet, you must also ensure you stay active. A sedentary lifestyle with a healthy diet won’t provide you with the maximum benefits. It’s vital to pair whatever you eat with exercise. About 30 minutes of physical activity a day is recommended to keep your weight in control and maintain a healthy heart, among other benefits.
However, suppose you have any existing respiratory problems, like asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome, etc. In that case, you might find it difficult to breathe during or after exercise; it’s best to consult a respiratory therapist to know what exercise suits you and how to prevent your symptoms.
Understand How the Body Moves and Digests
While you’re wondering, ‘What are the foundations of a healthy food plan?’ it’s also essential to understand how your body digests different types of food. Are you lactose intolerant? Or do you have any other allergies to certain food items? You must heed your gut (literally, not metaphorically!) and eat mindfully.
Mindful eating is another equally important foundation of a healthy food plan. Try to have sufficient meal portions without going overboard. Also, keep away from distractions during mealtimes and chew on your food slowly; it helps your body register when you’re full without causing you to overeat.
And, while exercising and staying physically active is vital to a healthy lifestyle alongside a healthy food plan, you mustn’t over-exert your body. If you have any illness or injuries to your muscles, bones, heart, lungs, or brain, consider consulting a physical therapist to help you.
Physical therapists evaluate your physical status, establish a care plan and goals, and then administer treatments to promote optimal health. They help relieve pain, improve your body’s function and movement, and maintain cardiopulmonary function while limiting disabilities caused by disease or injury.
Don’t Rely on Medicine for Nutrients
Considering the range of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body requires daily, it isn’t uncommon to see more and more people relying on health supplements to cater to those needs. While these nutritional supplements might seem overwhelmingly beneficial, you mustn’t rely on medicine for your body’s dietary needs. Instead, take these supplements along with a healthy, balanced diet.
For some, their bodies might have a difficult time absorbing vitamins or minerals or they’re unable to get the proper nutrients through their diet. Doctors may recommend IV therapy or IV nutrition therapy for such people. It’s a form of IV treatment that supplies your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals to aid in healing or replenishing deficiencies. A liquid solution goes directly into your bloodstream through a vein. A tiny plastic tubing (cannula) goes into the vein, and a needle, with plastic tubing, connects the setup to the bag of fluid.
Unlike a health supplement that your body must digest, and some of the nutrients get lost in the process, IV therapy delivers nutrients directly to your bloodstream. Also, IV therapy requires using a doctor-prescribed medical product and not over-the-counter drugs.
Have Your Pain Treated
Your health and quality of life are influenced by your outlook and how you cope emotionally with pain. Whether you have chronic or acute pain, it’s wise to have your pain treated. It’s essential not only for your physical health, but also for your emotional well-being.
But, how does getting your pain treated come as an answer to the question, ‘What are the foundations of a healthy food plan?’ When your body is free from pain, you can follow a healthy lifestyle better.
Pain medicine and physical therapy are effective pain management strategies. While you can stick to a healthy food plan despite the pain, you won’t be able to exercise much or stay active. Whether you sustained an injury, underwent surgery, or have medical conditions like cancer, arthritis, or back problems, get your pain treated.
Most adults suffer from back problems at some point in their lives. It may seem unbelievable, but lower back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability in the USA.
If you suffer from lower back pain, rather than letting it keep you from staying physically active, consider a physical therapist to help with lower back pain relief. You can also get a chiropractor appointment if you have pain in your lower back, neck, or leg, arthritis, headaches, or repetitive strains.
Eat Foods That’ll Protect Your Vision
As much as you must have a healthy, balanced food plan to supply your body with all the required vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, you must also tend to your vision. With the increasing exposure to mobile phones, tablets, computers, and TV, the increased screen time strains your eyes more than you know. We tend to underestimate how negatively it impacts our vision.
This is why you must put efforts into protecting your vision, now more than ever. Besides consciously reducing screen time, the other way to protect your vision is to eat foods that support eye health. Moreover, if you feel that declining eyesight is one of the unavoidable consequences of aging, think again. Studies show that eating healthy can dramatically lower the risk of eye problems.
Apart from the need to eat a balanced diet, one of the answers to the question, ‘What are the foundations of a healthy food plan?’, your food choices should also help protect your vision.
Among the foods that protect your vision are fish, nuts, legumes, seeds, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, eggs, and poultry. These foods provide the required Omega-3, beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin to protect the eyes from vision loss. Additionally, vitamins E and C, copper, and zinc benefit eye health.
However, if you’d like to get your vision checked, especially if you suspect you need glasses, visit your nearest eye glass store for a checkup.
Drink Filtered Water
Water serves not only to keep you hydrated but also to eliminate toxins from your body. You must consume about 2-4 liters of water daily. However, you might need to increase your water intake during the hot summers or if you exercise and sweat more.
So, how does drinking water fit into the answer to ‘What are the foundations of a healthy food plan?’
While you might be tempted to drink sodas and juices loaded with sugar to quench your thirst, these also result in a calorie spike. Although sugary drinks might provide you with a burst of energy, consuming them regularly means consuming too much sugar. You also use up your body’s natural glucose reserves in the process.
Sugary drinks like fruity drinks, energy drinks, 100% fruit juice, flavored coffees, fizzy drinks, and soft drinks have plenty of sugar and little-to-no nutritional value. Unfortunately, these are also the more addictive kind of drinks. It’s best to avoid such drinks and stick to water as your primary source of quenching thirst.
And not just any water, but water that’s safe for drinking. This includes boiled or filtered water. Get a water treatment system installed at your home if you have a hard water supply or the municipal water supply isn’t fit for consumption. You can test your home’s water supply to find if it’s suitable to drink; if not, consider installing a water treatment system.
In answer to the question, ‘What are the foundations of a healthy food plan?’, it includes a healthy diet, exercise, and plenty of water, among other elements. Additionally, it’s essential to stay educated about nutrition and healthy eating. This is especially important if you have children.
The diet during infancy or early childhood impacts a child’s growth, health, and developmental milestones. Yet, poor dietary habits are increasingly common in young children, who often skip their veggies and consume unhealthy foods. Unhealthy food habits in young children negatively impact health and can persist well into adulthood. This is where early learning childcare is beneficial. It helps children switch to healthier eating without fuss.
Eat in More Than Going Out
What are the foundations of a healthy food plan? Beyond what you’ve read thus far, you must also put effort into cooking healthy meals.
Dining out or takeaway costs much more than preparing your meals at home. Also, you tend to overeat when you eat out to finish what you’ve ordered and not waste any food; not to forget your craving for desserts after your meal when dining out.
The healthier alternative is to prepare your own meals and eat at home rather than going to a restaurant often. You can use your choice of vegetables, meat, spices, and oil when you prepare your meals. And if there’s something you desire to eat, like your favorite dish, make enough of it in your kitchen; it’ll help avoid frequent restaurant outings.
Preparing a meal plan is one of the tried-and-tested techniques for eating in and eating healthy. You can plan your menu and prepare a meal plan for one week at a time. It needn’t necessarily include complicated dishes; you can also put simple and easy-to-prepare items on your menu.
Having a prepared meal plan also helps with grocery shopping; rather than wandering around the grocery store aimlessly and picking up more than you need, you can get only what is necessary to prepare the dishes on your menu.
Another advantage of a meal plan is avoiding picking up junk and processed foods high in calories, sugar, and salt from the store. Instead, you can only visit the sections for fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, meat, and dairy.
Get Sufficient Sleep
In your search for the answer to ‘What are the foundations of a healthy food plan?’, you must understand that sleep is a vital factor.
The importance of sufficient and sound sleep cannot be stressed enough. Sleep is vital for various aspects of brain function. Without enough sleep, feeling drowsy is just one of the side effects. Mood swings, lethargy, and overeating are other undesirable effects of sleep deprivation.
Poor sleep quality will affect your body’s release of leptin and ghrelin, the neurotransmitters that tell your body when it’s full or hungry. Without sufficient sleep, you’ll crave energy-dense foods with lower diet quality. You’ll also overeat and choose unhealthy foods or high-calorie foods.
Often, ‘night owls’ hunt in the kitchen for comforting food to ease their difficulty falling asleep. These late-night snacks cause more harm than mere satisfaction.
It is no surprise that chronic sleep loss has been linked to a larger waist circumference and an increased risk of obesity. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily and following a fixed daily sleep routine is recommended.
Now that you’re done reading, you will have found the answer to ‘What are the foundations of a healthy food plan?’ It goes well beyond just a healthy and balanced meal. Dietary supplements, exercise, plenty of water, staying educated, sufficient sleep, having homemade meals, understanding how your body moves, and getting treatment for any pain are the other equally essential elements for healthy living.