We often hear how important it is to maintain a healthy weight through healthy eating, but a “healthy body” encompasses both physical and mental aspects of your body too. This means that in addition to making sure healthy eating is one of your priorities, you need to consider your mental health and fitness as well.
It’s important to know that everybody is different. Since we all have different body compositions, it’s good to keep our expectations for our bodies realistic and healthy. You might not necessarily turn into a ripped superhero from the movies, but with a healthy body from a balanced diet and regular exercise, you can be more in tune with your body, prevent health risks and have an overall improved lifestyle.
Healthy eating is one of the best ways in which you can maintain a healthy body. The American Heart Foundation1 explains that healthy eating is important in preventing critical illnesses, such as heart disease and stroke, and it doesn’t require as much compromise as you may think.
Healthy eating means getting enough of the correct nutrients that your body needs. While Malaysian food is delicious, the effective management of food intake and nutrition are both key to good health. That might mean saving the fried chicken for a special occasion, and consuming extra vegetables instead. Understanding good nutrition and paying attention to what you eat can help you maintain or improve your health
Freshly prepared or homecooked meals are healthier as you are in control of the ingredients used and mindful of what you’re eating. Eating home-cooked meals on a regular basis can lead you to consume less sugar and processed foods, which can result in higher energy levels and better mental health. By cooking and eating at home, you’re less likely to be tempted by unhealthy options like fast food and junk food. Research2 finds that people who eat home-cooked meals on a regular basis tend to be happier and healthier and consume less sugar and processed foods, which can result in higher energy levels and better mental health. Eating home-cooked meals five or more days a week is even associated with a longer life.
Train your body by setting a routine and eating on a regular schedule – by establishing a timely consumption for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. This must be supplemented with a strong mindset – hold back from impromptu snacking or opt for healthier snacks like fresh fruit or nuts if you’re feeling peckish. On top of that, irregular mealtimes could lead to potential heart disease, increased sugar levels, additional weight gain as well as other health complications.
Having a food journal is a great to keep track of what you eat daily. By tracking your food, you get a clearer idea of the nutrition your body is getting. On top of that, Harvard Medical School3 recommends a food diary as a useful tool for you to further understand your food habits, cravings and patterns, making it a more holistic approach towards healthy eating. Just remember to be honest with your documentation and include in any snacks or cheat meals you’ve eaten in the journal.
● Get regular exercise
● Take some time off to destress and relax
● Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and smoking
● Drink water and stay well-hydrated
● Avoid processed foods
● Make time for regular check-ups at the doctor
● Get enough sleep every day
● Take care of your mental health
● Develop a strong support network made up of friends and family
Eating healthy is key to ensuring a healthy mind, as the food you eat can improve your mood, as well as how you feel on a day-to-day basis. Harvard Medical School4 explains that your brain functions best on ‘premium fuel’, or rather, food with the right nutrients. In your pursuit of a healthy body, be sure to remember that a balanced diet would also benefit your cognitive function and emotional wellbeing.
Other options you can try to strengthen and create a healthy mind are:
● Keeping a journal of your thoughts
● Keeping in touch with friends
● Challenging yourself mentally
● Starting a passion project or new hobby
Healthy eating and healthy living are important in protecting your future and ensuring that you live to a long and ripe old age. However, in the event of unforeseeable accidents, you need to make sure that you are protected as well. AIG’s Personal Accident Insurance policies can provide you with comprehensive and flexible protection, suitable for supplementing your healthy, happy lifestyle.
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1) The American Heart Foundation: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/how-to-eat-healthy-without-dieting