healthy diet tips

​Looking and feeling good involves many variables, such as an active lifestyle, proper skincare and a healthy diet. You can start today by adding these superheroes to your diet.

1. Fruit and Vegetables

a bright plate of strawberries and blueberries

Fruit and vegetables​ contain large amounts of antioxidants that reduce cellular ageing. They are also believed to boost memory and motor function. Antioxidants include several vitamins: lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. These can be found in colourful fruit and vegetables — particularly those with purple, blue, red, orange and yellow shades.

Included in these powerful ingredients is citrus fruit that is not only low in calories but contains vitamin C​ — an aid to tissue repair and iron absorption. A medium orange contains 60 to 80 calories while a tablespoon of lemon juice accounts for just four calories — making it an ideal salad dressing for weight watchers.

Colourful berries make a great start to the day. Lower in sugar than most other fruit, a bowl of oats topped with berries can make a delicious breakfast. Two servings each of fruit and vegetables a day will help you towards tip-top health.​​​

If you prefer a breakfast that is a little more savoury, consider a smoothie with dark leafy greens​. Greens like spinach protect against skin damage caused by UV exposure, reducing the chance of skin cancer and ageing, and lowering the occurrence of wrinkles.

Related: Energy Boosting Breakfasts

2. Good Fats

a fillet of raw salmon seasoned with salt with sliced lemons on the side

Fish like salmon and tuna are an abundant source of omega-3 fats which help to prevent age-related heart diseases. If you are vegetarian, you can reap the benefits of good fats from walnuts and soybean oil. Omega-3 fats help to maintain a healthy body by reducing blood clotting in the arteries.

Containing healthy fats, seeds (like sesame and pumpkin) are a good source of omega-6 fats which cut cholesterol levels in the blood. And you have a variety to choose from. Like all foods they should be enjoyed in moderation, especially when you are looking to maintain your weight. For instance a cup of pumpkin seeds adds up to 285 calories.

Related: Getting the Facts on Fats

3. Water

a glass of water with ice on a table in a cafe

​On average, 60 to 75 percent of the adult human body is water. It is a component of almost every body part, from our brain (around 75 percent), to our muscles (around 80 percent) and even our bones (around 30 percent). Water’s vital functions include dissolving and carrying nutrients and oxygen to our cells.​ Water regulates our temperature, keeps our tissues — like those in our nose and eyes — moist, and our joints lubricated. It protects our organs and ensures their proper operation.

Water also flushes out waste products. Simply put, our body depends on sufficient water to stay healthy. Water leaves us naturally when we go to the toilet, when we cry, when we perspire or even as we breathe, so we need to replace it. Six to eight glasses (1.5 to 2 litres) of water per day is recommended for optimal health​.

Related: Plainly Good Ways to Make Water Tasty


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