Optimizing Your Nutrition ...

It seems that rarely a day goes by when we don’t hear of a foodstuff that research shows is bad for us or is implicated as a cause of cancer. We are also inundated with miracle cures for weight loss and superfoods which claim life-enhancing properties. With the state of the nation’s health constantly in the headlines and the vast amount of dietary and food information and nutrition data available to us it’s impossible to not feel confused by what you should or shouldn’t be eating, whether we are achieving optimum nutrition and if our diet is causing specific health problems or not.

It would be easy to fall into a habit of checking everything you eat and it is also unnecessary. With a bit of research, you can be armed with the information you need to follow a balanced diet. With access to the vast encyclopaedia that is the internet, most questions you have about diets and food can be answered but proceed with caution. Having too much information can be as bad as having little or none and particularly if you are looking to change your diet to deal with a specific condition or illness. When you read on one site that vitamin B12 causes acne and on another that it is in a cream prescribed to cure it, there is only one answer; consult your GP.

Sometimes, it’s just a case of you knowing your own body best. You may know that if you eat certain foods or if you eat at certain times of the day there is a particular effect on your body. I, for instance, am overall a sceptic and tend to dismiss much of what I hear about food but I know that if I go a couple of days without bananas I suffer leg cramps in bed at night. I was dismissive of being told that potassium helps with muscle cramps but hey it works for me. It’s a case of working out what optimum nutrition means for you.

Here are some really easy tips on how to achieve a balanced diet:

1. Think Ahead about Your Entire Diet for the Week and Ensure You Have a Good Balance from All the Food Groups

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2. Eat Your 5-a-day Quota and More Where You Can. when You Make a Stew or Casserole That Usually Has 2 or 3 Vegetables Add a Couple More. Go Colourful – Red Foods Are without Fail Full of Nutrients. Increase Your Intake of Them All

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3. Try New Things – Legumes Are a Fantastic Ingredient. Quinoa and Bulgar Wheat Are Extremely Versatile

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4. Know What Your Recommended Daily Values Are

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5. Read the Nutrition Data on Labels of Pre-packed Food

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6. Take Nutrient Supplements if You Think You Need Them

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7. Switch to Low or Low Sugar Options Where You Can and Include Brown Rice and Whole-wheat Pasta Occasionally

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8. Take Regular Exercise

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9. If You Are a Regular Meat Eater Have a Couple of Days Where You Only Eat Vegetarian

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10. Don’t Worry Excessively about Optimum Nutrition. if You Are Feeling Fit and Healthy, You Probably Are

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