As you no doubt are well aware already, good nutrition is one of the cornerstones of a healthy life. We all know the basics to nutrition: eat right, take steps to keep from getting sick etc. but there’s much more to it. The human body is a complex machine that needs proper, and constant, maintenance, repairs, and inspections if it is to function properly. There are some health tips and nutritious guidelines that you may not be aware that you aren’t following, or at least, aren’t following as well as you could be. If you’re a man at or above 25, nutrition is important at your age, so here are some helpful tips on how to improve your health.
#1. Examine your diet
This is the best first step you can take, because most nutritional issues stem from what we eat. Without knowing, the average man may end up ingesting more sugar, salt, or trans fats than they otherwise would have been comfortable with. So if you’re serious about improving your health, you need to take a good hard look at what you’re putting into your body every day. Now, this is a daunting task, to be sure, so it’s okay if you want to start with very small changes and work from there, such as cutting back on a specific type of sweet you eat every day. There’s no wrong way to do this, for the most part, as long as you know where to start.
#2. Get more sleep
A full night’s rest every night is vital to your health overall. It improves your immune system, makes you willing to face the next day, makes you more alert and attentive, and many other benefits that make getting a good night’s sleep all the more enticing. And on top of that, it just feels great to sleep for a full 8 hours, wake up, and just feel utterly refreshed. Not getting enough sleep, on the other hand, can increase insulin resistance, reduce your mental and physical performance significantly, and throw your entire appetite off. One all nighter may not have this affect, but they pile up after a while. So be sure to get 8 hours of sleep whenever possible.
#3. Drink coffee
When people think of coffee, especially young people unfamiliar with it, they think of an addictive liquid that hooks you worse than cocaine. However, that is an unfair demonization, as coffee is actually very good for you. More than just wake you up in the morning, coffee is rich in antioxidants, and has actually been shown to help people who drink it regularly live longer. On top of that, its various antioxidants reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and numerous other ailments by a surprisingly large margin. So if you tried coffee years back and didn’t quite like it, give it another shot, because it’s a lot better for you than you might think.
#4. Drink fresh water
Especially before meals. Specifically about half an hour before a meal. You may not know this, but drinking water before a meal can increase your weight loss rate by a staggering 44%. And on top of that, drinking water regularly can boost how many calories you burn, increase your metabolism by 24-30% over 1.5 hours. Breaking down the math, this means that drinking 2 liters of water a day can add up to 96 calories burned. Not a lot on its own, but keeping it up can drastically increase your health.
#5. Turn off your ceiling light in the evening
This may seem random, but there is a good reason for this. Humans are compelled to sleep by a hormone known as melatonin. The problem with melatonin is that it’s not very good at producing itself when under bright lights, particularly blue lights (i.e. the type of light that is produced by televisions). So when the evening rolls around, but you don’t feel as tired as you think you should, switch off your t.v. and ceiling light (turning on a lamp is a good substitute) and the added darkness will help the melatonin produce at a much faster rate, which will help you get to sleep much faster.
#6. Go on more walks
If you think that it’s been a while since you took the family dog for a walk, then you’re not far off. Daily cardio, or just going on a nice afternoon walk, can work wonders for your mental and physical health. For one, it’s very effective against belly fat, which is easily one of the most harmful types of fat, since it build up around your organs and risks clogging them. It’s also good mental exercise to get out of the house for a few minutes. Humans are social animals, so simply passing by other people during a stroll through the park is beneficial to your mental health. And going back to belly fat, reducing that not only aids your internal organs and helps you fit into jeans better, but it can lead to major metabolic health improvements down the road.
#7. Drink only in moderation
Knocking back a few cold ones isn’t that bad. In fact, red wine can be beneficial to your health. In moderation of course. It should be obvious to most of us that too much drinking is definitely bad for you. It impairs your judgement, kills your brain cells, and depending on what you do when drunk, can get you arrested. So if you love a nice cold beer every once in a while, that’s perfectly fine. Just remember to keep it to every once in a while.
These are not revolutionary bits of advice, but rather helpful tips that you may not know, or may not be aware of just how beneficial they are. Making sure to get enough sleep, drink responsibly, drinking plenty of water and coffee, and examining your overall diet are easy, small ways you can improve your nutrition and your overall health.