Five healthy eating tips

You know that your health largely depends on what you eat – live on hamburgers and chips, and your body will start to show the symptoms very quickly. Here are some healthy eating tips to help you make important decisions about your diet.

1. Junk food drains the brain
Difficulty concentrating? It may be your diet. If you're living on junk food such as pizzas, chips and doughnuts, your waistline may be expanding, but your body could be starved of vitamins and minerals, causing concentration problems.

Take action
Eat healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables (citrus, kiwi, broccoli, apples bananas, potatoes), fish and grains. Fish provides the body with omega-3-fatty-acids, which are believed to up concentration abilities. Grains provide carbohydrates, which provides energy for both the brain and the body.

2. Eat your way to a glowing skin
Time inevitably takes its toll on the skin. But there are ways to slow this process. One of the solutions to healthy, youthful skin is to follow a balanced diet that is rich in protective nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.

Take action
Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, unrefined grains and cereals, low-fat milk, yoghurt and cheeses, lean meat, fish and eggs, and poly- or monounsaturated fats and oils to ensure that you get all the vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids you need for overall good health and beautiful skin. Do regular exercise – at least three to four times a week – to improve the supply of blood and oxygen to your skin. And avoid exposure to the sun.

3. Don't skip breakfast
Results of a new American study showed that eating a proper breakfast is one of the most positive things you can do if you are trying to lose weight or if you want to maintain your weight after weight loss. Eating breakfast helps people manage both their hunger and food intake throughout the day. Breakfast skippers tend to gain weight.

Take action
A balanced breakfast includes fresh fruit or fruit juice, a high-fibre breakfast cereal, low-fat milk or yoghurt, wholewheat toast, and a boiled egg. Buy your fresh fruit today to start afresh tomorrow.

4. I say tomato
Tomato is a superstar in the veggie pantheon. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful cancer fighter. These veggies are also rich in vitamin C. The British Thoracic Society says that tomatoes and apples can reduce your risk of asthma and chronic lung diseases.

Take action
To enjoy the benefits, eat five apples a week or a tomato every other day. Cooked tomatoes are also nutritious, so use them in pasta, soups and casseroles, as well as in salads.

5. Eat your stress away
When you get stressed, your body gives off cortisol. This can create intense food cravings, especially for fuels of stress response, like fats and carbohydrates. Counteract this response by following the right diet.

Take action
Eat regular and small healthy meals and keep fruit and veggies handy. Herbal teas will also soothe your frazzled nerves. Eating unrefined carbohydrates, nuts and bananas boosts the formation of serotonin, a "feel-good" drug. Small amounts of protein containing the amino acid tryptamine can give you a boost when stress tires you out.

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