Of course, during this period of time, we are all trying as hard as we can to strengthen our immune system and make our health a priority. This is to protect ourselves and the people around us, especially those who belong to vulnerable groups. So, what better way than to change some of our habits and make them healthier and more…alternative? What do I mean by that? Take a look below and you will understand!
1. Start your day with energy!
It is no coincidence that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Of course, all our meals are important -and as we’ve already said- we want them all to be complete and balanced; that is, to contain many nutrients, complex carbs, fiber, lean protein, and "good" fats. But breakfast will give us the necessary energy we need to start our day. How else will this happen if we do not consume any food after 6 to 8 hours of sleep? Also, you should know that eating breakfast seems to help both weight loss and weight maintenance. So, do not skip your breakfast… Make it a habit and eat something in the morning -even something small- as healthy as possible.
2. Include foods rich in flavonoids and fiber in your diet.
I am -of course- talking about vegetables, fruits, cereals, and roots which are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Flavonoids have become widely known, especially recently, as they are used in many pharmaceutical drugs due to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-mutagenic properties they seem to have. Fiber, on the other hand, improves digestion and “good” gut health, makes us feel full for longer, and -of course- it seems that people who consume enough fiber within their day have a more balanced weight. In fact, you should try to consume 25 to 30 g fiber per day. Other good sources of flavonoids - just so you know - are tea and wine.
3. Make better dietary choices.
What do I mean by that? Start cooking at home and try to make your favorite food as healthy and nutritious as possible. Buy the ingredients you need and choose the ones that contain less saturated and trans fats, less sugar, and less salt. Adopt healthy cooking methods, such as steaming, baking in the oven, or stir-frying. In addition, be more careful of the amount of olive oil or other oil you use during cooking. Overall, try not to overdo it!
4. Make sure you get a blood test once a year!
As you’ve probably heard plenty of times, prevention is the best treatment. Whether you should get a blood test once a year or more often than that, you should have your doctor or a healthcare professional who knows your medical history advise you. Beyond that, do not neglect to go to your doctor for a blood test or a general checkup once a year. This way, you will be able to better control any deficiencies your body may have and act accordingly, by changing something in your diet for example.
5. Go on trips!
I did not want to talk specifically about fitness and physical activity, since probably many of you avoid going to the gym during this period of time. Beyond that, it is certainly necessary for exercise to become a way of life by choosing a form of workout that you like and enjoy. So, nature trips may be one of the best solutions in general, but especially now that we avoid overcrowded places. Not only can you walk and do some form of exercise more freely in an open space, but they will definitely help you psychologically by boosting your mood.
6. Reduce stress.
It is a fact -according to experts- that stress has become a part of our everyday lives. An expert will advise you better on this part as well, but what I would like to tell you is to make sure that you manage it in the best possible way and make your life more beautiful. As the quote goes, do not worry about things that can work out but also about the things that cannot work out.
So, what do you think? Is it so difficult to change some things in your everyday life and get better habits? I believe not and the sure thing is that all we need to do is simply make a good effort!
This article was written in collaboration with the Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.
* The website akispetretzikis.com offers as a service a variety of blogs and articles, based on scientific sources. All the articles are provided as general information and no text should be used as a substitute for advice from a physician or another health scientist, regardless of the date it has been published.