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Proper nutrition is the keystone of a healthy and productive life. When you take in the nutrients your body needs, you provide the raw material for all the processes your body performs on a daily – and nightly – basis. Your nutritional choices have a profound influence on the level of well-being you can achieve.

When cooking, use as little butter as possible. Instead, use olive oil. It contains monounsaturated fats which are actually healthy and beneficial to your health. Butter is loaded with saturated fat, something that is harder for your body to burn through and increases your risk of heart complications. So, use olive oil as a substitute for butter, whenever possible.

Use whole grain products instead of refined white flour foods. Target whole wheat and grain products as better sources of fiber and protein, as opposed to refined products. Whole grains will keep you feeling full for a long time and help to lower your cholesterol. Make sure that the primary items on the list is “whole”.

Adding garlic to your meals has many benefits. Garlic is a natural antibiotic, and will fight a number of diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Garlic contains natural properties that are deemed antibacterial as well as anti- fungal which aid in keeping your organs healthy. With all of these great abilities, garlic, whether as an extract or in clove form, is an important every day food.

If you are trying to eat healthy, begin slowly. You can’t change everything in one night. You don’t want to put yourself into shock transitioning into a nutritious lifestyle. Make a small but accessible change every week to see the best long-term results.

When it comes to pregnancy cravings, watch not only what foods they are but how much you want. In other words, if you must satisfy an unhealthy craving, do it in a healthy way. Watch your portions and what is in what you desire. This is not a free period to engorge yourself on junk as not getting enough of what you need can harm you, and possibly the baby, later on.

Vegetarianism is quite popular today; many vegetarians choose to forgo animal products entirely (vegans). Vegans need to work a bit harder at maintaining good nutrition since the foods they eat do not naturally contain certain substances, primarily vitamins B12 (from meats) and D (from milk). To maintain good nutrition, vegans need to make sure they are getting enough B12 and D, either from natural sources or supplements, and also ensure they are eating enough protein-based foods to maintain muscle mass.

Broccoli is a big star in the nutrition “show.” It is loaded with betacarotene, lutein and lycopene. Studies have shown these nutrients to be valuable in preventing cancer. They help liver function. Eat broccoli every day and your health is sure to benefit. You won’t need to buy supplements to provide these nutrients if you eat broccoli consistently.

Carrots are universally recommended by nutritionists. Most of us eat carrots because we like the taste. They are also rich in carotenoids, vitamins and iodine. Studies show that carrots lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of lung cancer. Also, carrots provide a natural source of sugar, that is safe for diabetics.

Moderate your alcohol intake. Sugary calories, which are abundant in alcoholic drinks, are easily converted to fat stored in your body. Also, when there is alcohol in your body, it causes your liver to work overtime to process it and burn fat. Excess alcohol intake can cause many threatening health conditions.

Good nutrition can be the answer to managing some bothersome digestive health problems. Fiber is essential for digestive health and can be added to the diet to relieve constipation. Careful preparation of beans can avoid the gas commonly associated with this high fiber ingredient. For diarrhea, try small amounts of nuts or nut butters.

Make your own breakfast smoothie for a healthy first thing in the morning pick me up. Use low-fat milk for a healthier option. Pour it in a blender along with some ice cubes. Throw in some fresh fruit like bananas, strawberries, and blueberries and get ready for a real treat.

Sleep soundly and avoid excess alcohol. Alcohol increases oil production on your face and enlarges your pores. The larger your pores, the more likely dirt can get trapped and cause pimples to occur. Sleep at least seven hours each night and limit yourself to one alcoholic drink each night.

Make sure you drink lots of water each day. Sports drinks, sodas, coffee and even juices do not count toward this. Drinks other than water are filled with sugar and additives that may do more to dehydrate you than hydrate you. Drink more water than anything else, and if you have a beverage like alcohol that is dehydrating, make sure to drink twice as much water as it, to balance out.

A great nutrition tip is to not overcook your food. When you overcook food to the point where it becomes burnt, you are altering the food’s nutritional value. Protein in the food might become denatured. A lot of vegetables will lose their nutritional value if they’re overcooked.

Motivation is key, and one great way to stay motivated is to have a workout parter or buddy. Having a workout partner keeps a consistent back and forth flow of motivation, and both of you realize that there is always someone by your side going through it with you. To stay motivated, find yourself a workout buddy!

Fresh fruit is much better for you than drinking fruit juice. Fruit juice is often sweetened, and does not contain all the vitamins and nutrients of fresh fruit Fresh fruit offers a lot of fiber and vitamins. The next time you are craving fruit, grab a piece instead of a glass.

When you apply the basic principles of nutrition, you maximize the quality of the fuel you feed your body. This is an important step in your overall health and wellness plan. Like using the proper fuel in you car, proper nutrition can optimize the overall performance of your body. Remember, don’t live to eat, instead, eat to live!

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