by Sophia Smith: The previous year has been anything but ordinary, so most of us have found ourselves dealing with challenges and setbacks of various levels of difficulty…

In the midst of it all, when our health became our most precious asset, many have abandoned their dietary habits to replace them with stress-eating and all kinds of cravings. Then again, some have tried various ways to shed the added quarantine pounds, only to discover that their nutrition isn’t up to par with such a goal.

Nutrition, above everything else, is the foundation of healthy living. It shows just how much you value your temple, how you fuel yourself with the right kind of energy, and how you stay true to your health goals for the long haul. No matter if you’re looking to lose a few pesky pounds, or you simply want to make sure your immune system can withstand another challenging year ahead, this is the guide for you. Meant for everyone eager to improve their nutrition in 2021, these tips will help you carve out your own approach to healthy eating.

Prevention at the heart of it all

People are becoming increasingly aware that they can use their everyday habits to prevent cancer and a slew of other major illnesses. In addition to the things you don’t do, like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, as well as eating too much sugar, nutrition in 2021 will be all about prevention as a more holistic concept.

Start building your daily menu with your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing in mind. Handpick your ingredients to ensure you’re consuming the necessary amount of all the micro and macronutrients your body needs. Moreover, use food to enjoy life: practice mindful eating to awaken your senses, but also use mealtimes to connect with your loved ones. It’s all in the service of preventing social alienation, anxiety, cravings, but also preventing various forms of physical illness.

A shift towards all things organic

A few years ago, research has started uncovering that organic is indeed better for us, but over the course of the pandemic, more people have learned just how important it is to switch to foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals. As a result, many are going to invest more in organic options in 2021, to make sure their bodies can ward off illnesses and stay resilient.

With more organic options becoming available, people will be able to eat organic on a budget and pick high-quality organic ingredients without having to break the bank. To introduce organic ingredients, start looking into what’s locally available, and you can even try growing some of your own produce, be it in the form of herbs and spices, or even lemon, cherry tomatoes, and the like. For the items you choose to buy, make sure to check the label and confirm that the produce indeed comes from all-organic farms.

Local, seasonal, fresh, and wholesome

Most people have so far focused on diversification when looking to lead healthier lives through eating better. If you’re ready to take your efforts a step further, you can limit yourself to the produce that is local, seasonal, fresh, and whole. Why? Because foods grown locally reduce your carbon footprint, need less chemical treatment to have a longer shelf life and survive transportation.

Grown in the perfect conditions when the time is right, these foods are much more nutrient-dense than other items you’ll find. Add to that, whole foods are much better for you than highly processed foods. Scaling down from imported and exotic foods and focusing on what’s locally sourced and available also grows the local economy, and you’ll give your body all the nutrition it needs to thrive.

Try fasting for your body and mind

In numerous religions, people will use fasting as a way of “cleansing” before an important ritual practiced in their faith. However, science has done its research too, only to discover that fasting can be very helpful for your wellbeing pursuits.

For many people, this remains a spiritual practice that helps them focus on their faith, emotional state, and their core values in life, but as far as dietary benefits go, 2021 will be the year many people embrace fasting as a healthy practice, too. It shows promising potential to boost your longevity, immune strength, and it simplifies weight management.

Creating a purpose-driven menu

Another aspect of our ongoing dietary revolution is reflected in the way we will use food in the months to come. If you’re like so many people, you might have been dealing with cravings of your own, reaching for sugary and savory snacks when the going gets tough. Instead of letting our negative, temporary states dictate what kind of foods we reach for, it’s time to change our patterns.

Food plays a vital role in our mental health, and just like we can spot mental health issues in our dietary patterns, we can use our dietary patterns to build mental fortitude, discipline, and self-love.

Instead of succumbing to your cravings, you should strive to leave temptation out of reach. Fill your kitchen cabinets with healthy, low-calorie snacks such as fresh fruit, veggies, and healthy treats. Pick foods that contribute to your mental wellbeing, instead of packing your plate with chemicals and toxic ingredients that have no nutritional value.

Food is so much more than fuel for your body or for keeping you slim. It’s your main energy source, it empowers your mind and mental health as much as it makes your fitness routine possible. Eating right starts with changing your mindset towards food: this year should be all about not taking our wellbeing for granted, and we can use nutrition as the perfect basis for a healthier future. Let the food you choose be a reflection of your goals, and you’ll lead a life of health and balance.

Source: AWAKEN