Holistic Nutrition: 10 nutrition tips for a healthier life

Holistic Nutrition: 10 Nutrition Tips for a Healthier Life

It is very seductive to consider the next eating plan that promises a loss of kilos, youthful appearance and easy to manage recipes will fix all our problems.  Sadly many of our problems are rooted in our convenience lifestyle where we are short on time and money. A holistic approach to our health care and lifestyle is required to help us understand that the short cuts we have been engineering the last few years have led to our drop in energy levels, our flagging libidos and our mounting belly fat. When we’re pressed for time (typically after prioritising other aspects in our lives like work and family commitments), we often find ourselves relying on quick fixes. 

In this article, our team at zazen Water explore what holistic nutrition is and provides a range of healthy lifestyle hacks to help you and your family thrive. 

What is Holistic Nutrition?

Holistic nutrition considers the environment in which you make the decisions that have led to your current position - social, emotional, physical and financial.  It takes into consideration you as a complete picture rather than the didactic approach of a one size fits all diet plan or lifestyle regime. It considers the impact of lifestyle factors on the health of our body and mind. It seeks to promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being by embracing healthy lifestyle choices as well as engineering a food plan that suits you personally. 

Holistic nutritionists believe each person should build a balanced diet based on the needs of the individual, encouraging a more exciting and engaging selection of whole foods. Seen from this perspective of the individual makes it far easier to introduce the necessary level of nutrition and hydration the body requires, prevent chronic illnesses, establish greater mindfulness and more. 

Holistic Nutrition and Diet

So, what is holistic nutrition going to look like when applied to your diet?

This means understanding your relationship with food, consuming a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, complete proteins, and healthy fats, as well as maintaining adequate hydration with a source of fresh, clean, energised water. Additionally, holistic nutrition encourages a mindful approach to eating, paying attention to hunger cues and eating in moderation. 

By personalising these nutrition tips to your lifestyle,  you can begin to thrive  and attain the wellness and fabulous health you deserve.

Holistic Diet: 10 Nutrition Tips for A healthy life

Healthy Eating Tips #1. Love your Gut Bugs. 

Make friends with your gut bugs, by limiting soft drinks & food with high sugar content

Our gut microbiota holds a diverse smattering of bacteria that can impact the wider body’s functions, including regulating the immune system and metabolising nutrients. 

Include probiotic-rich foods in your diet, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, to support a balanced gut microbiome. Prebiotic foods, like onions, garlic, and asparagus, can also help feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Processed foods and drinks, such as fast food, soft drinks, and candy, are often pumped with added sugars and unhealthy fats, contributing to a slew of non-communicable diseases and conditions, such as obesity, inflammation, and cardiometabolic issues. Yes, these may be convenient and tasty, but either completely removing, or significantly decreasing the consumption of these foods will significantly improve your diet and health.

The gut microbiome is made up of billions of bacteria and other microorganisms that co-exist with other human cells in the lower intestine. The gut microbiota helps with digestion, metabolism, immune function and brain health.  It is integral to your overall long term health that you make friends with your gut bugs.  There are foods that will improve your gut microbiome, like natural, whole foods and there are substances that will destroy your biome like sugars, chemicals, processed foods, heavy metals, toxins. 

Opt for whole, natural foods and beverages to nourish your body and support overall health.

Healthy Eating Tips #2. Stay Hydrated with Fresh, Clean Water

Full, cellular hydration is required for maintaining healthy bodily systems, including brain function, digestion, and immune response. Unfortunately, tap water might not be enough to achieve this level of hydration, as many contaminants may be present, including heavy metals, organic matter, and even an excess of chemicals like chlorine meant to treat the water.

Perhaps one of the most important of our health tips is to consider investing in a water filtration system that not only strips away these dangerous elements, but also reintroduces the necessary minerals and electrolytes for optimal hydration

For example, the zazen Alkaline Water System transforms ordinary drinking water into hydrating, alkaline mineral water through a comprehensive filtration process. This includes filtering out impurities, reducing chlorine and fluoride levels, and trapping heavy metals and contaminants. Additionally, the system infuses water with essential electrolyte minerals, enhances the bioavailability, balances pH levels, and ensures water clarity, promoting overall health and well-being.

With a clean, energised water source secured, aim to drink at least 3L for men and 2.2L for women per day to stay adequately hydrated. Again, avoid sugary drinks and opt for herbal teas, sparkling water, or infused water if you’re craving something with more flavour.

Healthy Eating Tips #3. Bring back the fat

Fats are often considered something to avoid, but they aren’t all bad. In fact, we need a selection of healthy natural fats in our diet, offering cardiovascular benefits, balancing hormone levels, improving insulin sensitivity and more. 

Seeds and nuts, are rich in healthy fats, fibre, and essential nutrients. From almonds and walnuts, to chia seeds and flaxseeds, they make for great snacks and  can be added to a variety of dishes including salads,  for a nutrient boost.  Sprinkle a handful over your meals and see your sugar cravings disappear

Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines, are also excellent sources of healthy fats. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain health, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease. 

Aim to consume at least two servings of fatty fish per week for optimal health benefits. Organic pastured eggs and organic unsalted butter are also high in beneficial fats. Include them in your diet regularly. 

The Mediterranean diet has long been considered an excellent template for human health, and extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat holding a prominent place within the culture. It is a versatile ingredient that can help with food preparation and flavouring, boasting a selection of health benefits like anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to support heart health. 

The fats to avoid are the manufactured, processed fats including margarine, vegetable oils, deep fried foods.

These fats are known as damaged or trans fatty acids and will increase inflammation and disease in your body.

Healthy Eating Tips #4. Eat Real Food 

Real food is unprocessed and whole.  It does not come with a bar code ! As soon as a real food is processed in some form, it loses some of the nutrients it contains and is less valuable to us.  For example, turning a piece of fruit into a roll up or a sugary flavoured treat.  Real food contains the nutrients our body recognises as useful for us, the rest is a chemical soup the body struggles to detoxify and remove from the body.  This includes artificial gums, numbers (preservatives) and sugars. Whole foods contain the vitamins, minerals, fibres, amino acids and other accompanying chemicals our body requires for sustenance. 

Artificial trans or damaged fats like margarines and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and pastries, can contribute to inflammation and an increased risk of chronic diseases

Instead, focus on consuming whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread, which provide more nutrients and help maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Include seasonal vegetables and fruits. These nutrient-dense foods can help support your immune system, promote healthy metabolism and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Your plate should be based on veggies and fruits daily, choosing a variety of  colours and types to ensure a wide range of nutrients. 

Healthy Eating Tips #5. Intermittent Fasting

 Research is clear, having a period of fasting without any food at all helps to reduce inflammation in the body, improve metabolic function and generally improve our wellbeing.
It needs a window of at least 12hrs to achieve these outcomes.  
The most comfortable way to include fasting in your daily programme might be overnight from 6.30pm to 6.30am.

Healthy Eating Tips #6. Sleep Deeply

Getting enough sleep can be challenging at the best of times but for sleep to be of value to us, it needs to be the deep, reparative sleep our bodies only achieve in the deeper waves of REM sleep

As we lose the light in the sky, our melatonin levels rise, this is our sleep hormone and can be disrupted by exposure to blue light so too much screen time before bed can reduce our capacity to achieve the healing levels of deep sleep.  

Aim for a good 7-8 hrs of sleep each night. 

Avoid stimulants before bedtime like caffeine, sugar and staring at screens. 

Try to go to bed at the same time each evening to create good sleeping habits.

Healthy Eating Tips #7. Chew your Food.

I always feel like someone’s mum when I tell my clients this, but seriously, chew your food. When the food is in your mouth for long enough, it gets coated in saliva and this saliva contains enzymes and chemicals designed to break down your food, as well as containing bacteria that protect your gums and teeth from disease.  

The action of chewing stimulates the release of stomach acids and further enables complete breakdown of the foods we are eating.  

When you simply swallow foods without chewing it puts stress on the stomach and digestive tract and some foods will end up passing into the intestine without being broken down properly, this can lead to bloating, gut distension, excess gas and discomfort. 

Healthy Eating Tips #8. Get Enough Protein

Protein is needed to promote muscle growth, repair and in particular to  support to those with type 2 diabetes and balancing blood sugar levels

Ensure you consume adequate amounts of protein from a variety of sources with each meal, such as meats, fish, eggs, tempeh, beans and legumes.  Pay attention to how your body deals with beans and legumes, not every digestive tract is happy with legumes/beans, if you feel bloated or gassy after eating then limit them in your diet and focus on protein from other sources. 

Healthy Eating Tips #9. Eat Less

Practising portion control can help prevent overeating and promote a healthier relationship with food. By consuming far more than your body actually requires, it can lead to added stress on your organs and digestive system, impact your sleep schedule, and create insulin sensitivity and sugar cravings.   

Be mindful of portion sizes, especially when eating out, and use smaller plates at home to help manage portions more effectively.

Healthy Eating Tips #10 Move Your Body.

A balanced diet and regular movement go hand in hand to achieve optimal health and well-being. 

While a holistic nutrition approach provides your body with the essential nutrients it needs, incorporating physical activity can help you with other benefits, such as:

  • Strengthening muscles and bones
  • Boosting mood and reducing stress
  • Improving cognitive function and memory
  • Enhancing sleep quality
  • Reducing the risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers

To reap the full benefits of exercise, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises two or more days per week. Consider incorporating a mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises to create a well-rounded fitness routine.

Benefits of Holistic Nutrition

Embracing a holistic approach to your lifestyle provides countless benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By focusing on consuming nutrient-dense, whole foods and avoiding processed, artificial ingredients, you can experience improved digestion, increased energy levels, and a stronger immune system. 

Additionally, a holistic approach to nutrition can help prevent chronic diseases, promote healthy weight management, and improve mental clarity.

By incorporating these ten health hacks into your ongoing routine, you can take control of your health and well-being, and, ultimately, enjoy a more vibrant, fulfilling life. 

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