Ten Ways to Improve Your Eating Habits
It can be hard work trying to eat in a more healthy way and it is easy to slip into bad habits.
In this post, we share ten ways to help you improve those eating habits...
1. Delaying that morning coffee - Instead of making that cup of coffee immediately on waking up each morning, try delaying this habit for at least an hour. This is because when you wake up, your body is busy removing adenosine - the compound that makes you sleepy in the first place. This removal takes about an hour. At the same time, you could be quite dehydrated after hopefully eight hours sleep so rather drink a glass of water on waking and delay that coffee for another hour.
2. Breakfast - and that all important meal should be protein-rich and not a sugary concoction that will just give you a sugar rush only to let you down later in the morning, leaving you feeling hungry just when you need to maintain those energy levels.
3. Adding lots of fiber to your eating habits - there are many different foods you can use to up your fiber intake and these include pulses, mixed raw nuts, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as wholegrains. In addition, it makes good sense to change from white bread, white rice and pasta to brown and wholewheat versions to increase both your fiber intake and your nutrient content. And bulgar is another food to consider.
4. Trying to cook from scratch more often - we are all busy with our everyday lives and often it can be easy to grab a takeout or buy a ready made meal. But if you can get into the habit of home cooking just about every day, this is a great way to ensure a more balanced diet.
5. Learning to chew your food. In my family, I get teased for being such a slow eater and of course this is because I chew my food so many times. It is not something I do intentionally - it has always been the way I have eaten! However, it is not the case for many. Once our food has left the mouth and made its way into the digestive tract, if it has not been chewed sufficiently it puts a greater burden on the stomach and the chemical digestion process within the intestine. At the same time, improperly chewed food will also increase the risk that insufficiently digested food will reach the large intestine to be fermented by colonic bacteria - contributing to abdominal bloating.
6. How many different plant foods can you eat? With today's interest in a plant based diet, we are really spoilt for choice in the number of different plant foods available and yet many people stick to a narrow range of their tried and tested favorites. If you can be more diverse in your choice of foods - for example eating a different plant food every day for thirty days - you will improve your gut health by feeding the millions of micro-organisms whose chemistry is essential for good brain health.
7. Adding a spoonful of fermented food to your diet. This will help to support good gut bacteria. As we grow older, our gut microbiome will lose some of its diversity. Such diversity has been linked to increased longevity so by adding a simple spoonful of sauerkraut or kimchi or by drinking fermented tonics, this will provide an easy way to keep the beneficial gut bacteria diverse.
8. How can you include magnesium in your diet? Magnesium helps you to relax, improving your sleep quality, lowering your stress levels and blood pressure while even relaxing those muscles within the digestive tract. Another benefit is improving hydration. You can take a magnesium supplement and you can add Epsom salts to your bath water.
9. Adding herbs and spices - there are so many to choose from but suggestions include turmeric, cardamom and cinnamon to help you fight inflammation while boosting your immunity.
10. Mindful eating - this is a new concept to consider! It is all about bringing more awareness to your food without obsessing about counting all those calories. It is said to be about being in the moment when you eat your food so that you appreciate it at the time. Slow down the process so that you actually enjoy your food!
Fang X, et al. (2016). Dietary magnesium intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality: A dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. DOI:
10.1186/s12916-016-0742-z. Accessed, 7 May 2021).