Can you keep a secret?
I have some secrets I’m dying to tell.
I want to share my secret healthy habits. There’s one secret that fights aging. Another secret increases the amount of nutrition in your food. A third shares how to cook healthy food quickly.
Interested? I’m ready to spill them all. All you need to do is keep reading.
I’m guessing you haven’t heard of amla, which is a shame. It’s my first secret healthy habit.
Amla, or Indian gooseberries, is one of the richest sources of antioxidants on the planet. To give you a better idea of the number of antioxidants it has, amla contains 200 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Amla has more antioxidants than goji berries and açaí, too.
Our bodies need antioxidants to reach optimum health. Antioxidants prevent oxidation caused by free radicals in our bodies. Essentially, that means I prevent damage to my body by eating plenty of antioxidants.
Unlike protein or calories, you can’t have too many antioxidants. The antioxidants you eat first go to the vital organs that need them the most. Then they’re sent to “extra” places, like your pimples and scars. These places benefit from antioxidants but don’t need them to function.
If you don’t consume plenty of antioxidants, your body may run out of them before they get to the “extra” places. Have more questions about amla? Read up.
My second secret healthy habit is probiotics.
Don’t know what probiotics are? Here’s the gist: probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria found in our digestive tracts and in certain foods. There are several benefits of probiotics, a few of which are:
- Prevent and relieve digestive issues
- Prevent or cure allergies
- Prevent illnesses such as the common cold
- Boosts the immune system
The benefit I concentrate on is immune health. That means less time being sick and more time living my life to the fullest.
Click here if you want to learn more about probiotics.
Eating flaxseeds every day is my third healthy habit.
I eat flaxseeds to boost my intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Why are omega-3’s important? Glad you asked.
Too many people suffer from mood disorders, depression and poor brain health. One reason you can suffer from these problems is your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is out of balance.
Standard Americans eat 1 portion of omega-3 for every 16 portions of omega-6. A lower ratio, such as 1:8, is much better.
But don’t think that if you eat healthy you can forget about omega-3s. Those who eat a whole, plant-based diet can have an improper omega-3 to omega-6 ratio if they eat lots of grains, peanuts, nuts or seeds. These foods can also cause an omega imbalance.
A tablespoon is beneficial to everybody to increase the amount of omega-3. Make sure to grind them up. If you don’t, your body won’t be able to digest them.
4. Soak and Sprout
My next healthy habit is soaking and sprouting.
I’m sure you’ve heard of sprouts such as broccoli sprouts and mung bean sprouts. But did you know you can sprout your own legumes, grains, nuts and seeds?
Soaking and sprouting is the process of rehydrating legumes, grains, nuts and seeds.
I’m constantly soaking and sprouting. All you need is 10 minutes a day to start doing it yourself.
Soaking and sprouting is beneficial because it:
- Eases digestion
- Increases the amount of absorbable nutrients in food
- Increases the amount of protein in food
- Decreases cooking time of grains and legumes
There’s no limit to the amount of vitamins and minerals you can eat. Why not consume as many nutrients as possible? An excess of nutrients is better than not enough.
5. Pressure Cook
If you’ve looked at a few recipes on Carob Cherub, this isn’t a secret. I love using my pressure cooker.
Pressure cookers help you cook healthy meals quickly. Most of my healthy meals consist of a grain, a starchy vegetable, a legume or a combination of the three. Cooking these yourself can take a long time.
Unless you have a pressure cooker.
Cooking brown rice can take 45 minutes or longer in a regular stove-top pan. A pressure cooker takes a fraction of that time. I’ve cooked brown rice in 8 minutes.
Some people wonder about the safety of pressure cookers. I assure you, they’re safe. As long as you have a functional pressure cooker that was manufactured in the last 10 years, you won’t have a problem. Pressure cookers have safety features to prevent the horror stories you’ve heard about.
I don’t think this is a secret: I love to cook. But it’s also a healthy habit that I do.
I understand you’re busy. We’re all busy sometimes. But don’t let your busy schedule prevent you from being healthy.
Studies show that those who cook for themselves tend to be healthier.
Don’t feel pressured into cooking restaurant-quality meals. Begin by choosing a Deep Fudge Smoothie over a Poptart for breakfast. Kale Pasta with a baked potato is a better lunch than one from the drive thru. Dinner can be as simple as Simply Festive Sweet Rice.
Are you surprised by this healthy habit? I’ll explain myself.
It’s best to obtain the majority of your nutrients from whole foods. But when you can’t, it’s best to supplement.
One nutrient that can be difficult to get enough of is Vitamin D. Usually we can synthesize our own Vitamin D through enough sun exposure. But sunlight is limited in the winter time in cold climates.
Other nutrients that are troubling are Vitamin B12 and Iodine. Most people get these nutrients from enriched foods. Taking a supplement takes out the middle man. Supplements give me control over which nutrients I want to add to my diet.
Steal my healthy habits
I challenge you to steal one of my healthy habits.
Which of these is easiest for you? Probiotics? Pressure cooking? Sprouting?
I dare you to pick one of these healthy habits and try them out in your life. Most will only take a few minutes out of your day. Others can even save you time.
Let me know which one you’ll be starting by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Happy habit-ing!