1. Eat more fruit and veg
The vitamins and minerals (a lot of which are antioxidants or have the same effect as antioxidants) found in fruits and vegetables are protective against disease. Everyday living causes stress to the body; breathing, exercising, eating, all of the things we all do every day, cause stress to the body. Reactive oxygen species or ROS are produced as a result of this stress and these species can damage your DNA, promote inflammation in the body and reduce immune function. Antioxidants deactivate the ROS and prevent them from causing damage to the body. So when it comes to fruit and, veg especially, the more the better!
2. Always leave the dinner table knowing you can eat more
This isn’t easy, due to human evolution we are wired to eat as much as we can, but eating until you’re 80% full has long health benefits.
3. Keep red meat consumption below 455g a week and cured meats consumption to a minimum
The international agency for research on cancer has classified “processed meat as a carcinogen, something that causes cancer – and red meat as a probable carcinogen, something that probably causes cancer” (IARC, 2015). The IARC is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization.
So keep portion sizes small (size of your palm) and try to have a few meat free days each week.
4. Read Nutrition Labels
Unfortunately, many processed foods contain much more added sugar, salt and fat than we would expect. This is why reading ingredient lists and nutrition labels is so important!
The three keys things to look for are:
- where sugar and salt sit on the ingredients list – the further down the better
- Ideally the product contains less than 5g per 100g of saturated fat
- preferably the product doesn’t contain trans fats
5. Don’t get swept up in fad diets and food trends
There is a lot of misinformation on the internet these days, so if you decide to give something a try, make sure you do your research, gather your information from credible sources or talk to a health professional.