Brisbane university student and aspiring writer constantly satisfying my craving for adventure and experiencing the diversity of life. Come explore Queensland with me. What will I get up to next?
Published March 10th 2013
Make a change this weekend
This weekend calmly lay down the alcohol (or soft drink) and the chips and explore some healthier but surprisingly tasty options. If you want to look better, our usual reaction is to vow a trip to the gym and to trim the calories of our diets. Good exercise is important but there are also some simpler ways that can enhance your appearance whilst also working towards a healthy body internally.
1).Tomatoes. There is a reason why tomatoes thrive instead of wither in the sun. Tomatoes are essentially sunscreen for your skin. It earns this title by producing a great amount of lycopene, which is the antioxidant that protects our skin from the sun. It also strengthens your immune system and can help with wrinkles. Having a night out this week? Think about choosing a meal that contains tomatoes.
2). Carrots. Like tomatoes it protects your skin from the sun. They contain cartenoids which reduce your skin's sensitivity to UV rays. Added bonus: they also decrease redness of your skin. As well, carrots are full of beta carotene which the body converts into vitamin A. This vitamin is a crucial nutrient for maintaining proper eyesight. Isn't eating a lot more fun than taking vitamin supplements?
3). Fish. You need your omega 3-acids. If you are a vegetarian or don't have fish as a frequent member of your diet, take the supplements. This again helps the body strengthen your immune system. This will result in better skin, shinier hair and stronger nails. It also can help with stress and improve your mood. Fish is low in fat and high in protein. Eating fish during pregnancy may also reduce the likelihood of a premature baby. Try it for dinner this weekend.
4). Green tea and Spearmint tea. It helps with hormonal acne and oily skin. The tea helps to control your blood sugar levels. As an added bonus these teas are riddled with antioxidants which help your body fight against free radicals. Blueberries are filled with antioxidants as well. Antioxidants protect the body from cell damage and can consequently reduce the effects of aging. Green tea also increases the effects of sunscreen. Personally, I am not too keen on the taste. I prefer my tea with milk and sugar. So if you are like me, you can find similar effects from other foods and drinks on this list.
5). Yoghurt. Yoghurt is full of protein and contains a bunch of amino acids. Amino acids are great for bringing light back into those dark circles under your eyes. The appearance of your skin has a lot to do with digestion. Yoghurt helps the digestive tract stay strong. Yoghurt is especially good for people with eczema, acne and psoriasis. It is also quite fulfilling so consider trying it for breakfast one day. However, if you are to truly get health benefits make sure it is unsweetened. Refined sugar feeds unhealthy bacteria. If there isn't enough flavour for you add strawberries and blueberries.
6). Celery. Celery gives you good breath. The perfect date food? It causes good breath as it forces you to chew harder than most other foods. The more you chew the more saliva you produce which kills the evil bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath. And like apples, it is a reverse calorie food as you expend more energy eating it than you intake in the food.
7). Strawberries. Strawberries, and this one surprised me, whiten your teeth. They are also a good source of vitamin C (a key factor in stimulating collagen production). Broccoli is also a good source of Vitamin C (which also helps improve blood circulation) as well as antioxidants. However, personally I'd rather the strawberries.
8). Water. Drink water, you know this. When you are hydrated your metabolism functions at its best. A good tip for those trying to shed some extra weight. It isn't bad for your kidneys either. Aim for eight glasses a day. Try it. It's easier than you think.
9). Dark chocolate. Don't even try to feel guilty about this one. Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than even green tea. So long as you eat in moderation it can also help lower blood pressure. A precious thing in these highly stressful lives of ours. It has been found to also potentially lower cholesterol as well as act as some protection from heart disease, cancer and strokes. Of course, it cannot be denied that it is a chocolate so it is high in calories. Nevertheless, with moderation this could be a sneaky healthy part of your diet. Avoid eating it with added flavour like caramel or mint. Hello, Easter.
10). Your favourite food. So, depending on what it is, maybe this won't help towards a healthier or more beautiful you. Especially if your favourite is as healthy as my love of brownies and hamburgers. Nevertheless, having a treat every now and then is not going to instantly turn you into King or Queen of the walruses. Do not go on a crazy diet because you will most likely end up binging later and be in worse shape than when you began. Eat in moderation. And if you're like me and hunger for something like hamburgers, avoid take out and make one at home. Add on it things on this list like tomatoes and carrots and have it with a glass of water. Simple.
Our world is teeming with foods that are good for us, that make our skin glow and can even protect us against diseases. These are only ten (okay, maybe nine) so have fun discovering the health benefits of everyday and hopefully your favourite foods. Look for these foods on restaurant and cafe menus and think about ordering a glass of water or maybe green tea instead. On my weekend shopping list: strawberries, tomatoes and guilt free dark chocolate. What will you add to your diet?
Thanks Elizabeth, A Great healthy and simple routine, thats good for everyone. I just can't get my son to eat tomatoes unless they are crushed into a sauce.
For all those that want omega 3 but don't eat fish, try a spoonfull of Chia seeds, They have the highest amount of Omega 3 acids than most foods. Chia seeds are sich in vitamins: A, B, E, D. Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids; they are 30% oil, of which 30% is omega 3 & 40% is omega 6. They also have approximately two times the protein concentration and up to ten times the oil concentration of other grains, and are digestible without grinding. Chia seeds also provide fibre (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fibre) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
How to use chia Seeds,
Chia has a nutlike flavour, as with ground flaxseeds, you can sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, in yoghurt or salads. You can grind chia seeds and mix them with flour when making muffins or other baked goods,You can also mix the seeds in water and add lime or lemon juice and sugar to make a drink known in Mexico and Central America as 'chia fresca.' My wife is a strict Vegetarian and wouldn't be without Chia seeds.
Unlike my wife, I eat fish but i still like my Chia seeds in my Yoghurt or on my Mueseli. You can now buy Chia seeds at some large supermarkets as well as heathfood stores.