3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Health In 2019
We are more than half way through January and resolutions and goal setting are still fresh on my mind. For those of you who have set New Year’s resolutions, I hope you are knocking them out of the park! For those still looking to make a healthy change, I wanted to lay out three essential steps that you can take to improve your health in 2019. These steps don’t include extreme diets, extensive juice cleanses, or workout marathons, and even better, they are extremely easy to maintain throughout the entire year!
1) Start each day with a full glass of water
Water is necessary for an array of critical functions in your body, such as removing waste from your cells, increasing your cells’ ability to communicate with each other for better body function, and even empowering your body’s natural healing processes.
Your body is made of about 60% water and if that percentage drops by as little as 2%, it can cause issues like fatigue, irritability, anxiety, depression, and headaches. Water is considered the most important nutrient in your body and is one of the most common deficiencies as well.
Not only do most people not drink enough water, this lack of water consumption is compounded by the large amount of diuretics most people are drinking, such as coffee, tea, and sodas. Diuretics pull water from your body, increasing your urine output and causing further dehydration.
Outside of diuretics, we continuously lose water through our kidneys by urination, through our skin by perspiration, and through our lungs by exhalation, making daily water drinking essential for a healthy body.
This year make it a habit to drink a full glass of water as the first thing you do upon waking.
For more on the benefits of water, check out my blog post from November “Simply Add Water”.
2) Upgrade your oils
Slowly but surely, our society is coming out of the low-fat mindset that has predominated the field of health and nutrition for the past few decades and becoming more aware of the key role that healthy fats play in our diet.
Healthy fats are critical for managing inflammation, building healthy cell membranes, creating healthy hormones, and helping our bodies utilize the protein we eat.
However, the wrong kinds of fats do just the opposite. Unhealthy fats can contribute to runaway inflammation in the body, impair proper hormone function, and impede our cell membranes’ ability to absorb nutrients.
Oftentimes, the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats is simply in the way they are processed. For example, hydrogenated oils are made through the process of hydrogenation, where a vegetable oil (normally liquid at room temperature) is forcibly altered at a molecular level. This creates the hydrogenated oil that is now solid at room temperature, unrecognizable to our bodies, and damaging to our cells.
Steer clear of all processed vegetable oils, including canola oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil, and the commonly seen supermarket vegetable oils in clear, plastic bottles. Instead, try ghee, coconut oil, duck fat, lard, and tallow for cooking at higher temperatures (such as baking, broiling, and roasting); and olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil for light sautéing. If you’re looking for additional oil options for your salads or for other uses that don’t require any heat, try raw and unprocessed flax oil, pumpkin seed oil, or walnut oil, all which should be kept in dark containers and refrigerated, as they are sensitive to heat and light.
3) Mind your minerals
Even though minerals only make up about 4% of our body, they are essential for a wide variety of processes. They play an integral role in the proper function of our hormones, in the transfer of nutrients across our cell membranes, and in critical chemical reactions throughout the body.
Additionally, when we are under stress, we use up our minerals at a faster rate which is why, in our modern, fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever that we consciously consume mineral-rich foods. These include leafy greens, nuts and seeds, apricots, figs, eggs, and organ meats such as liver.
A simple way of increasing your daily mineral intake is to add a pinch of unprocessed sea salt or pink Himalayan salt to the glass of water you’ll now be drinking when you wake up.
In conclusion, as you can hopefully see, these three small adjustments are not in fact small at all, in terms of the positive impact they can have on your body. They represent a profound and holistic shift in your health by establishing simple habits that can markedly improve your health in many ways.
Cheers to a great start to 2019 that will continue all year long!