Three Simple Diet Changes for Immediate Health Benefits
By Jenna Bathgate
QubeCore Sports & Rehab Nutritionist & Kinesiologist
Nutrition headlines are commonplace in the media. Every other day, it appears there is a new article claiming that a study has discovered your favourite food to be harmful to your health and that you should stop consuming it immediately to avoid the risk of dire health consequences.
If we tallied up all of these articles, what foods would we be left with to consume? Moreover, would we really be healthier if we took these articles seriously and eliminated all the foods they deem to be harmful?
Instead of debunking the millions of myths that currently exist on the internet, here are three easy changes you can implement now to improve your diet and physical health.
1. Focus on total daily water intake
Dehydration has several negative downstream effects. Dehydration can cause fatigue, increased heart rate, decreased blood pumped per heart contraction (stroke volume), and heightened sense of effort during low grade physical activity.
Understandably, drinking an optimal amount of fluids throughout the day can be a challenge for most. By setting a goal and having progress checks throughout the day, you can stay on track and consistent with your water intake. The recommended water intake for men is 3.7L per day and the recommended water intake for women is 2.7L per day. It may help to know that fluid volume is contributed to by coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages.
2. Eat one serving of green leafy vegetables per day
Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or bok choy are rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, C, E and K, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. These nutrients are important for blood and bone health, decreasing systemic inflammation, and fighting off cancer-causing cell growth. Adding a serving of greens into your smoothie, sneaking in a side salad or adding a serving of cooked vegetables to your omelet or pasta dish can be an easy way to improve your diet instantly.
3. Consume 1 high fibre fruit per day
Fibre is a great aspect of your diet to emphasize because it can provide significant health benefits. Fibre helps maintain bowel health, control blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels. High fibre fruits are a great food to add into your diet as fruits contain antioxidants, vitamins, and polyphenols. Don’t worry about the sugar found in fruit, as the fibre content mitigates the blood sugar response.
The average daily intake of fibre for Canadians is about 14g per day compared to the 25g and 38g suggested for women and men, respectively. Be cautious when making changes to your fibre consumption however, as increasing your fibre intake too rapidly can lead to diarrhea, dehydration, bloating and gas.
Some examples of high fibre fruits include raspberries (8 g/cup), blueberries (4 g/cup), pears (6 g/1 medium), apples (4.5 g/ 1 medium), bananas (3 g/medium), and avocados (7 g/half).
QubeCore Sports & Rehab offers Nutrition Counselling services in North Vancouver for a wide range of conditions. To book your appointment with Jenna Bathgate, call 604.210.2274 or simply book online by clicking HERE.