Starting afresh: is healthy eating your New Year’s resolution?

Helping your family lead a healthier lifestyle doesn’t need to be hard and it can be a great benefit to your loved ones in the long run. Whether a family member is overweight, underweight or the perfect weight, it’s still important that they know how to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet.

This time of year is packed full of parties and many people feel the pressure to get their presents bought and plans organised before the holidays begin. Owing to the cold weather, it’s a time of colds and flu as well, and many people end up at the GP or emergency room seeking treatment.

According to experts, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are two of the most dangerous times of the year, partly due to road accidents and psychological stress. One of the best precautions you can take to keep your family safe at any time of the year is by getting private medical insurance, which provides access to private healthcare facilities when you need them, but it also gives you peace of mind that in the event of an emergency you’ll be able to receive treatment straight away.

Take into consideration these helpful facts on the importance of living a healthier lifestyle and the long-term benefits that can pay off in the long run:

Don’t underestimate the power of 5-a-day

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Eating fruit and vegetables on a daily basis is an essential part of any balanced diet and will boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, most likely prevent some cancers and regulate your appetite. Implementing 5-a-day into your family’s diet will most likely make eating different types of vegetables easier and encourage younger members to continue this healthy habit into their adult lives.

Get into the water habit

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Making sure your family is staying hydrated throughout the day is necessary to maintain good health. Your body uses water to help with several key functions such as transporting nutrients and oxygen around your body, getting rid of waste products, controlling your temperature and also helps your digestive system to function properly.

We’re often encourage to drink up to 2 litres of water every day to remain hydrated; however, understandably this can be quite a difficult task for those families with smaller children or for those who need a little bit of flavour to prevent boredom from drinking so much water. Luckily this number can also include squash, milk, fruit juices or teas.  

Select treats & snacks carefully

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While it’s sometimes easier to reach for the biscuit tin when you feel like a snack in-between meals, you will see more benefits from eating healthier alternatives to sugar-filled or calorie-laden treats.

The first step is to avoid the sweet aisle in the supermarket to reduce the temptation to snack on sugary treats, and instead try healthier alternatives such as sweet fruits like melon, strawberries or grapes or for something different a small handful of nuts such as almonds, cashews and pistachios.

Not only are these treats better for your family’s overall health but will leave them feeling full and satisfied for longer.

Make time for breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Eating 3 meals a day gives your body the appropriate amount of time to digest food and helps avoid health problems down the line. By eating 3 small meals a day, your energy will be better regulated, leaving you feeling more energised.

You might often hear the expression that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and it’s true. Having gone up to 8 hours without food means that your body has digested any food you had the previous day and it will now need more to help you ‘refuel’ for the day ahead.

Lunchtime is necessary to help maintain your energy throughout your busy day at work or your kid’s day at school. It’s often recommended that this meal should contain carbohydrates to supply the body with energy while fibre and protein will keep you full until your next meal.

Finally, consider a healthy final meal of the day for dinner as it’s responsible for what goes on in your digestive tract and often helps your body to repair itself. Too much sugar and fat from processed or fast food will encourage your body to hold on to excess weight and could increase your blood pressure, leading to health problems.

Making 2014 a year to improve your family’s health will improve the quality of life for the longer term and will help your loved ones to stay healthier and happier for years to come.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post

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