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World Health Day: Getting Healthy The Easy Way

| Reviewed By Arya Krishnan

World Health Day is observed on 7 April every year. The global health awareness day is celebrated under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO). The day marks the founding of WHO along with the raising awareness on the importance of global health.

The theme for World Health Day 2020 is 'Support Nurses and Midwives', where the theme celebrates the work of nurses and midwives and remind the role they play in keeping the world healthy. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses and other health workers are at the forefront, selflessly providing service and care. World Health Day 2020 is also called as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife [1].

On this World Health Day, where health becomes the primary and central element (as it should be every day), we will help you with ways and habits that you could adopt to help yourself be healthy and happy. And worry not - it does not require your extreme effort but some.

20 Simple Tips To Make Your Diet A Healthy One

Take a look at the following ways that can help you get healthier, with minimal effort.

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1. Add Fruit To Your Breakfast

Addition of raw foods, such as fruits can help improve your heart health, reduce your risk of diabetes, aid weight loss, and improve digestion [2]. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day which boosts your ability to function every day and adding fruits such as bananas, kiwi, papaya, cherry etc. contributes polyphenols - compounds that act as antioxidants in the body and help fight inflammation and risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and early death [3][4].

Always remember to have fruits along with other foods such as oats, cereal etc.

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2. Include Fatty Fish In Your Diet

Choose fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout, tuna and mackerel; due to the presence of high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Eat fish at least once a week to help keep your body lean and also help in the development of body and improve cognitive functioning [5].

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3. Drink Green Tea

Drinking green tea is a simple and effective way to get healthy with minimum to no effort. Green tea contains antioxidants that help in calming your nervous system. Plus, it also contains a lesser amount of caffeine than tea and coffee [6].

Drinking green tea can be favourable, since the L-theanine in it is believed to offer copious benefits for health, like easing anxiety and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease [7].

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4. Switch To Black Coffee

Coffee? Make it black. If you want to make your coffee healthy, ditch the milk and cream [8]. Black coffee has less than 10 calories per cup and drinking black coffee is the simplest way to help yourself from being exposed to the chemicals and fat content in the sweeteners and creamers [9].

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5. Drink (A Glass Of) Water With Every Meal

Drinking the right amount of water every day is key to a healthy you. Every human being needs to drink at least 7 to 8 glasses of water daily, which most of us often fail to do [10]. So to make things easier and healthier, start drinking a glass of water with every meal, which also helps in keeping you full and increasing how many calories you burn [11].

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6. Eat ‘Real Foods’

Although processed foods are easy and quick, they lack the nutrients ‘real foods' possess [12]. In addition to that, processed foods increase your risk of diseases as well [13]. Eating real foods such as spinach, apples, bananas, whole eggs, fresh meat etc. can not only improve your health with almost no effort but also are free of chemical additives [14].

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7. Practice Portion Control

Eating in large quantities has never been proven to be healthy for anyone (unless you have any eating disorders that medically requires you to eat in large quantities) [15]. You can change into this habit by eating in smaller plates, which studies prove have been effective in making one feel satisfied with less food [16].

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8. Eat Non-starchy Vegetables

It is no news that vegetables are extremely essential for maintaining a healthy diet. It is not that eating starchy vegetables such as potatoes, beans etc. are bad for your health but that eating non-starchy vegetables such as spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower is a simple way to make your diet healthier [17] - as these veggies are low in calories but packed with nutrients, fibre and water [18].

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9. Carry Healthy Snacks

Cravings are a man's enemy - there is no denying that and it is this feeling that makes you reach for that packet of fried chips. To avoid this mistake, carry a pack of healthy snacks with you [19]. Some of the easy and best options for healthy snacks are apple with peanut butter, almonds, pistachios, sugar-free crackers, roasted chickpeas, peanut butter and banana, sprout salad, makhana etc.

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10. Sit Down And Eat

With life becoming faster, meals have become smaller and ‘quicker'. Many of us chose to eat on the go, which health experts suggest is not a great habit for one's health because it has been pointed out that people consume more food and overall calories if they ate while walking [20][21]. Sitting down for your next meal will help you see the difference as it allows you to eat mindfully - where you eat your food slowly and chew thoroughly by focusing on what you are eating and not what goes on around [22][23].

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11. Take The Stairs

Getting involved in easy physical activities like walking and running are easy ways to improve your health [24]. So avoiding that elevator and taking the stairs will help improve your health in numerous ways - with the most minimal effort.

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12. Develop A Sleep Schedule

Although it may seem difficult, developing a sleep schedule can contribute towards improving your health in several ways [25][26]. Leave electronics and work-related things out of the bedroom and maintain a dark and cool atmosphere in your bedroom [27]. Sleeping at the same tie every night can improve your concentration and memory as well [28].

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13. Exercise Regularly

The first step towards a healthy life, regular exercise can help you become healthy with minimal effort. You do not have to do the heavy exercises as a walk for 20-30 minutes, simple push-ups and jogging are also equally beneficial in improving your health [29][30]. You can go for a walk during your breaks, be it for 10 minutes or less.

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14. Drink Alcohol In Slender & Tall Glasses

To avoid alcohol entirely is not required (if your health doesn't require you to). However, it is important to be aware of the quantity you consume. So a simple and minimal effort towards the shape of the glasses you drink the alcohol can help you turnaround the habit to be a non-risky one.

According to a study, when we drink from a taller and more slender glass, we end up drinking less because we believe we're consuming more [31] - similar to that of eating in smaller plates and bowls.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.

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More Tips...

Here are some more tips that you can adopt without having to sacrifice your routine or lifestyle.

  • Make a grocery list before you go shopping
  • Shop on a full stomach, so that you do not stray away from your shopping list [32]
  • Replace sugary soda with fruit juices or pulp
  • Consider supplements (consult your doctor or nutritionist)
  • Choose whole, unprocessed carbohydrates
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On A Final Note…

Staying healthy in the modern world can seem a bit difficult for most of us, considering the fast life and the lack of time. Being healthy and staying that way has to be one of the priorities in your life - which can never be met with any compromise. Considering the aforementioned lifestyle and habit changes can help contribute towards a better and healthy tomorrow (and you).

Arya KrishnanEmergency Medicine
MBBS
Arya Krishnan
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