Simple question. Do you want to feel better today?
And long term…do you want to decrease your risk of many chronic health implications?
Of course you do!
And there are a few simple things you can do right now that will make a big difference to your health and well-being.
These simple things involve increasing your micronutrient intake, which is something that is often overlooked in the diet.
This can sound like a throwaway health statement you’ve heard a thousand times and have tuned out to long ago…but trust me, this can work!
“What are micronutrients?” you may be thinking.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are needed for healthy functioning of our bodies systems, and we get these through the foods that we eat.
We’re talking nutrients like vitamin B1, which can prevent heart disease and plays a key role in elevating one’s metabolism. Or Vitamin A, useful in treating eye disorders and skin disorders. How about B5 as an arthritic treatment or stress reliever, or vitamin E to improve blood circulation and slow down the ageing process? Or B2, B3, B7, B12, C or K?!
Clearly, deficiencies in micronutrients can be quite costly to our health, and impact our capacity to lose weight. More illness equals less physical activity. Less energy means less exercise. Lower metabolism means lower calorie consumption.
The scary part here is that micronutrient deficiencies often do not show initial symptoms and therefore can go unnoticed for years and even decades before eventually resulting in ill health.
Bruce Ames, leading nutritional expert and one of the top 300 most cited scientists of all time, believes that this is due to the low amounts of certain micronutrients being used for immediate needs at the expense of longevity.
So what are the things you can do to stop deficiencies and reap these health benefits?1
1. Increase and diversify your fruit and vegetable intake.
After all, the research compellingly shows that a higher intake of fruit and vegetables can:
- Decrease the risk of various types of cancer
- Decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Decrease the risk of obesity
At Fit For Living, we have a Geelong Healthy Meals Service where we supply nutritionally optimal, prepared and ready for pick up meals that are micronutrient dense.
2. Get outside and soak up some sunshine!
We live in one of the best places in the world! Right along a beautiful coastline, with beaches wrapped around our increasingly buzzing city. So get out into the sun and enjoy it! Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that we cannot get from our diet alone and therefore need it from the sun. This is especially important in these cold winter months!
It has also been shown that more sun exposure can decrease cortisol (catabolic stress hormone) throughout the day and increase melatonin (sleep hormone) at night.
Which means less stress and better sleep! Who doesn’t want that?!
So look out for future you and eat some fruit and vegetables and get some sunshine!
Jung, C., Khalsa, S., Scheer, F., Cajochen, C., Lockley, S., Czeisler, C. and Wright, K. (2010). Acute Effects of Bright Light Exposure on Cortisol Levels. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 25(3), pp.208-216.
Bazzano, L., He, J., Ogden, L., Loria, C., Vupputuri, S., Myers, L. and Whelton, P. (2002). Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in US adults: the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 76(1), pp.93-99.
Aune, D., Lau, R., Chan, D., Vieira, R., Greenwood, D., Kampman, E. and Norat, T. (2011). Nonlinear Reduction in Risk for Colorectal Cancer by Fruit and Vegetable Intake Based on Meta-analysis of Prospective Studies. Gastroenterology, 141(1), pp.106-118.
Ames, B. and Wakimoto, P. (2002). Are vitamin and mineral deficiencies a major cancer risk?. Nature Reviews Cancer, 2(9), pp.694-704.