5 Simple Changes to Your Diet to Help You be Healthier this Year!
Updated: Mar 1
A Functional Nutrition approach to your health looks at all the bodies systems, diet and lifestyle and how they affect each other and you. Below are 5 nutritional changes you can make today to be healthier!
Water is crucial to every system in your body. If you are dehydrated you will not perform to your best! You need to be drinking water all day whether you feel thirsty or not!
Your body needs a minimum of 64 ounces a day, before adding in your hydration needs for activity and weather. Upon waking up, drinking 16 ounces will help kick off your brain and digestive system as well as all your body's systems. The best way to get your body's daily 64 ounce needs is to get a 64oz or 2x32oz container (I use a half gallon mason jar), fill it up in the morning with good, clean water, add some fresh lemon juice and a pinch of sea/pink salt. If it is sitting on your desk or in your backpack, you will drink it by the end of the day. Plus you do not have to keep track of how many glasses you have had that day!
Chew your Food Completely
Digestion starts when you put food in your mouth. Well it starts earlier technically, but we don’t need to go back that far. You should ‘liquify’ your food in your mouth which takes a little focus, especially when you are starving and just started eating. Focus on chewing each mouthful 20-30 times before you swallow your food! This will help your digestion system to use less energy and to get nutrition to your body much faster! Plus it will increase the digestive enzymes being released. After a big meal in the evening go for a walk to clear your mind and to help digestion speed up!
Vitamin D & B12
When tested most people are low on these crucial vitamins. They are crucial in most of your body’s systems and most importantly in your immune system. I will go deeper into this in another article but I personally take a 5000IU + Vitamin K supplement every day and a B12 once or twice a week! My doctor told me that a 2,000IU D daily supplement will just keep you at the level you are at. So if it is already low, you will stay low etc. Your doctor can order a vitamin level blood test to see where you stand! I can analyze the test from a functional nutrition standpoint to help you get better insight into your needs!
Do you have a sugar addiction? The world health organization recommends keeping sugar intake to below 25 grams per day. I shoot for 20 or less. This includes any added sugars in food as well as in juices. This does not mean you should replace it with artificial sweeteners. Keep track for one day how much sugar you eat and you are probably up around 150 grams. Since sugar is like a drug, reduce your intake by half each week until you are below the recommended amount.
Probiotics & Fermented foods - Learn more at Nourished Essentials
Probiotic supplements are available everywhere and are a quick, easy way to build up the good bacteria in your digestive system. Even better are fermented foods that go back centuries as a way of preserving foods. Most ferments are made with a base of a vegetable, salty water and spices.
Fermented pickles and sauerkraut found in store refrigerators are two of my favorites. (Organic is even better) Kombucha and yogurts are other well known ferments. Just be sure they are low in sugar for best results. Bad bacteria feed on excess sugar in your body. Drinking a third of a bottle of Kombucha a day is all you need! Fermented foods & drinks are full of good bacteria which are the knights protecting your stomach and intestines from letting unbroken down foods and bad actors into your bloodstream. A strong, good bacteria filled intestine helps brain function once again because of its connection via the Vagus nerve. If your gut is happy, your brain is happy! Having a good bacteria balance in your gut has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression and more! It also reduces the risk of stomach viruses!
What is Functional Nutrition? Learn more here
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