Ten suggestions for your dinner table.
1. Use your senses, not your head when you eat
Trust your body’s signals. Don’t eat anything you don’t like, but that others say is ‘good for you’.
2. Eat mindfully and taste your food
Your digestive system is a reflection of your state of mind; and that’s why digestive problems often go hand in hand with stress. If you are angry, concerned or nervous when you eat, your body will not digest the food as well, no matter how healthily you eat. Avoid eating while watching TV, reading the newspaper or talking about business.
3. Eat a variety of foods
Avoid eating too much of what is not good for you.
4. Eat enough vegetables
Vegetables are an excellent source of potassium and other minerals, vitamins and fibre. Most contain very little fat and calories and some, like potatoes, contain a lot of starch. Every day eat at least one serving of lightly cooked leafy vegetables like spinach, beet leaves or cabbage, which are important sources of iron.
5. Eat fresh food
We are eating increasing amounts of dried, canned and frozen foods, and ready-made meals. These foods often contain too much fat, salt, sugar and unhealthy additives.
6. Eat less rather than more
Studies show that animals that eat less than the ‘recommended’ daily amount of calories live longer and get sick less often.
7. Eat simple, basic food
The modern diet is often much more geared to pleasing the palate than providing good nutrition.
8. Eat a balanced diet
That means eating the three basic nutrients in the right proportions: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. A balanced diet is rich in complex carbohydrates, relatively low in protein and low in fat. It contains a minimum of saturated and polyunsaturated fats (see box) and much less animal-based food than most of us are used to.
9. Drink enough clean water; six to eight glasses a day.
10. Drink green tea: it kills bacteria, lowers cholesterol and is anti-carcinogenic.