It's a new year, and a new opportunity to improve your physical, emotional and mental health. Small changes to your daily routine can have a big impact on your quality of life, so here are some fantastic health hacks that will help you to make the most of the coming year while improving your quality of life.
First things first: drink water when you wake up in the morning, before you do anything else. This helps to hydrate your body after a long night's sleep and can help to boost your metabolism. Your brain will also be able to wake up faster and deal with the hectic morning routine.
Drink Chicory Smoothies
Chicory is high in Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and Vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good eyesight and skin health, and also high in antioxidants. You can throw a little chicory into your smoothies to help give you a health boost.
Carry a Banana in Your Pocket
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals, and can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. To make this happen with greater ease, put a banana in your pocket each morning. The easier it is to reach for this snack during the day, the more likely you are to choose a healthy treat over something more sugary.
Radicchio is high in Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and Vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good eyesight and skin health, and also high in antioxidants. Pop some in with your roast dinner, or roast it on its own drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with a little black pepper.
Fry Up Beet Greens
Make a tasty yet healthy stir fry by cooking up some beet greens in a pan. Beet greens are high in Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and Vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good eyesight and skin health, and also high in antioxidants.
Eat More Turmeric
Throw some turmeric into your next meal. Turmeric is high in curcumin which is an excellent anti-inflammatory, so it'll help to sooth joint pain and and range of movement. It may also reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and mental illness such as Alzheimer's.
Drink Pineapple Juice to Sooth a Sore Throat
Pineapple juice is an excellent natural treatment for a sore throat. It coats the back of the throat and lingers there for an extended perior of time, protecting your throat against further coughing fits when you're unwell. It's also rich in Vitamin C, which is useful to have in your body, especially when you're not feeling your best.
Cook With Ginger
There are a lot of sweet and savory meals that can benefit from a little ginger. While the taste may be a bit strong in large doses, small amounts of ginger are nice and tasty. Ginger is high in gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to sooth joint pain.
Crunch on Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can be tossed into all kinds of meals, especially salads, and can add a lot of healthy nutrients to your cooking. Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and promote weight loss.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Don't worry about the name: there's nothing unhealthy about the kind of fat found in these fish provided they're eaten in moderation.
Eat Very Dark Chocolate
While chocolate that contains a lot of sugar is going to be bad for your waistline, rich, pure dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and flavonoids, which can help to improve heart health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. The 100% dark stuff might be a bit strong, but you can find some types of dark chocolate that contain orange or other fruit to help sweeten the taste a little.
Cook More Garlic
Add some extra garlic to your meals to gain a health boost. Garlic is high in allicin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cancer.
Drink Green Tea
Instead of starting your day with a morning coffee, consider switching to green tea. Green tea is high in antioxidants and catechins, which can help to improve heart health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Cook With Olive Oil
Try swapping from vegetable oil to olive oil for a potential health boost. Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Alternatively, try reducing the amount of cooking oil you use in general as this is a quick way to make your meals healthier.
If you eat a lot of bioled white rice, consider either adding quinoa to your rice, or swapping to quinoa entirely. Quinoa is high in protein, fiber, and minerals such as magnesium, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones, and manganese, which is essential for healthy metabolism.
Swap Potatoes for Sweet Potatoes
Instead of eating potatoes (and, of course, potato fries) try eating more sweet potatoes and fries. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good eyesight and skin health, and Vitamin C, which is essential for collagen production and a strong immune system.
Reduce Your Meat Intake
Unless you're vegetarian or vegan, chances are high you're eating more meat than your body really needs. Reducing red meat has immediate heart health benefits, but even replacing chicken with vegetarian alternatives can improve your health, simply by helping you to eat more vegetables.
Go Hard for Lentils
Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas, are high in protein, fiber, and minerals such as iron, which is essential for oxygen transport in the blood, and potassium, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure. Mix some in with your next meal or serve them on the side to give yourself a protein boost.
Try Out Miso
Miso is a fermented soybean paste that is high in probiotics, which can help to improve gut health and boost the immune system. A common Japanese dish, miso soup, is an excellent way for newcomers to the food to explore what it tastes like.
Eat Some Seaweed
If you're a little too obsesed with chips, try out seaweed as a healthy alternative. Seaweed, such as nori, dulse, and kelp, are high in iodine, which is essential for maintaining healthy thyroid function, and also, high in minerals such as iron and magnesium. It's also naturally very salty, so there's no need to add additional flavoring.
Bake with Coconut Oil
Instead of baking using butter, you can use coconut oil for a healthy, conveniently vegan alternative. Coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can help to improve energy levels and promote weight loss.
Try Out Papaya
An excellent fruit for its health benefits, papaya can be either drunk or eaten. Papaya is high in enzymes such as papain which can help to improve digestion and also high in vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which are essential for maintaining good eyesight and skin health.
Add a Little Black Pepper
Add a sprinkling of black pepper to your drinks. It's is high in piperine which can help to enhance the absorption of curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that's present within turmeric.
Spice Things Up with Paprika
Paprika is another excellent spice to add to your cooking. Paprika is high in capsaicin, which can help to reduce inflammation, improve heart health and also high in Vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good eyesight and skin health.
Make Saffron Ice Cream
Saffron is high in antioxidants, which can help to protect against cellular damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. The threads can be added to savory dishes such as rice, stews, and soups, and also to sweet dishes such as cakes, pastries and ice cream.
Eat a Watercress Sandwich
Instead of a more traditional sandwich filling, try watercress. Watercress is high in Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and Vitamin C, which is essential for collagen production and a strong immune system. Cress can also be tossed into a salad.
Try Some Endive
Endive is high in Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and Vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good eyesight and skin health, and also high in antioxidants. It can be thrown into a salad, or grilled to be eaten alone.
Eat a Chlorella Cookie
Chlorella is a type of green algae that is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and can help to detoxify the body and improve overall health. It's often thrown into smoothies or added to cookies or other sweet treats.
Pumpkin seeds may be at their most plentiful around Halloween, but they're a useful source of fuel that will keep in the cupboards all year long. They're rich in antioxidants and unsaturated fats, making them an excellent go-to snack when you just want to crunch something.
Roast Tenderstem Broccoli
Broccoli is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which can help to improve heart health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Tenderstem broccoli tastes very different to its more common cousin, and is excellent when roasted, or even put on pizza.