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Five Health Food Rules You Need To Follow

Five Health Food Rules You Need To Follow

If you’re following a clean, balanced diet, low on processed food and refined sugar, then here’s a fact – you’re already eating ‘health foods’. However, if your question is ‘can I improve my diet further to make a positive impact on my health and fitness?’, the answer is yes. There are always going to be busy weeks where healthy eating is the first thing to fall by the wayside, but here are five habits to build to limit the damage:

Eat your Five A Day – but make at least three of those vegetables, and particularly leafy ones. Studies show that eating a plant-based diet can significantly reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Speed hacks: make sure your kitchen cupboard is stocked up with the means to make a quick vegetable sauce, and keep vegetable juices in the fridge for a quick boost.

Snack Wisely – there’s nothing wrong with being a grazer; our forager ancestors clearly fared well on several small meals a day, as if they hadn’t, we wouldn’t be here! It’s easy to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and even lean meat at home to make your own healthy, nutritious snacks. Speed hacks: carry nuts, dried fruit, or other healthy snacks with you to avoid the lure of the chocolate machine.

Eat like the Italians – or the French, or the Greeks - cultures who stick to locally-produced food with a traditional meal mindset are healthier than other Western nations. Alongside those vegetables, make sure you’re getting plenty of pulses, healthy grains, oily fish, and healthy oils. Speed hacks: again, stock up that store cupboard, and swap your cooking oil for coconut oil.

Eat Whole Grains – it’s long been known that white bread, rice, and pasta cause blood sugar spikes that lead to problems ranging from energy crashes to a contributing factor for Type II Diabetes, but recent research even links refined carbohydrates to depression. Make substitutions for wholegrain bread, pasta, and brown rice where you can to make sure your diet is rich in complex carbs which will keep you fuller for longer. Speed hacks: try making your own flatbreads like Socca with high-protein flours – they keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Have a day off occasionally – research shows that having the occasional day off from healthy eating can actually help you maintain a healthy weight and find it easier to follow a healthy eating regime. If you’ve ever followed a weight-loss diet, you’ll know that the very idea of not being able to eat a bag of crisps makes you crave them even more. Speed hacks: there are no speed hacks here, except for ditching the guilt when you phone for a pizza!

There are always days when you feel you need a little extra help. Although supplements are no substitute for freshly-prepared and cooked food, a good quality boost to your diet can help you make sure that you’re on top form, every day.

Get more tips for a healthy body and mind at Code Health's Community.

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