BY SALMA ED-DAOUI
In his latest book, Food for Life, Tim Spector uncovers the lack of practical guidance on food choices that are crucial for our health and the planet. He emphasizes that how we eat can be just as important as what we eat. In this article, we’ll explore simple ways to help our bodies thrive according to Tim Spector.
Change the Order of Your Meals for Better Control: Subtitle: Adjusting Your Food Sequence to Prevent Overeating
One simple way to help our bodies thrive and prevent overeating is by changing how we consume our food. Starting a meal with starchy items like bread or crisps causes a rapid spike in blood glucose levels, followed by an insulin response. This often leads to fatigue, hunger, and irritability a few hours later. To avoid this, begin your meal with a grilled vegetable platter, crunchy veggies, or zesty fresh herbs with a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, or lemon. The added acidity can reduce hunger signals and prevent harmful blood sugar spikes.
Diversify Your Protein Sources: Subtitle: Exploring Alternative Protein Options Beyond Traditional Meat
While the importance of quality protein in our diet is well-known, it’s essential to understand that the conventional “meat and two vegs” combination is not the only way to meet our protein needs. Smoked tofu is a surprisingly tasty option that can be added to salads and stir-fries for an extra protein boost. Tim also highlights the untapped potential of shellfish, such as clams and mussels, as sustainable sources of nutrient-rich seafood protein. These tiny delicacies offer protein, zinc, iron, B vitamins, choline, and iodine, making them a valuable addition to our diet.
Embrace the Power of Polyphenols and Probiotics in Your Drinks: Subtitle: Making Healthier Choices for Your Hydration
Many find plain water monotonous, and classic British builder’s tea with milk and sugar adds significant calories, especially when accompanied by biscuits. Tim suggests some delicious alternatives that are rich in polyphenols and probiotics. Switching from a builder’s brew to black coffee can make a significant difference. Coffee is packed with polyphenols and fiber and won’t contribute to excess calorie intake if consumed black or with a drop of unsweetened plant or whole cow’s milk. Green tea, especially matcha powder, offers well-known benefits due to specific polyphenols like green tea catechins and fiber.
For cold drinks, Tim advises avoiding fruit juices and soft drinks and opting for unsweetened live kombucha instead. This naturally fizzy and flavored beverage provides probiotic strains without added sugar, thanks to the fermentation process carried out by microbes. As a hearty alternative to store-bought milkshakes and smoothies, Tim recommends natural kefir, which can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Enhance its taste with almonds for crunch or chopped fruit for added flavor.
Embrace the Rainbow: The Power of Polyphenol-Rich Plants: Subtitle: Choosing Colorful Varieties for Optimal Health Benefits
The vibrant colors in plants come from polyphenols, or phytonutrients, which plants produce as a defense mechanism against environmental stressors. These chemicals offer numerous health benefits to humans as well. To maximize these benefits, incorporate a wide variety of colorful plants into your diet, focusing on diversity rather than sticking to familiar favorites like iceberg lettuce and apples. Different polyphenols have distinct advantages: beetroot improves blood pressure and aids post-exercise recovery, while black beans, rich in polyphenols, are a staple in the diets of some of the world’s longest-living populations. Choose colorful versions of familiar foods, such as sweet potatoes, purple carrots, and purple sprouting broccoli, to introduce a range of polyphenols to your meals.
Opt for Whole Grains and Fiber-Rich Bread: Subtitle: Making Informed Choices for Your Carbohydrate Sources
Select bread with high fiber content, seeds, and no added sugar. Many supermarket breads contains additives to prolong shelf life and enhance the taste. True sourdough bread, made from a simple base of flour, sourdough starter, water, and salt, is a healthier option. Look for breads that use whole grains, and various types of flour like dark rye, and prioritize high fiber content rather than relying solely on attractive packaging.
By following these simple but effective tips from Tim Spector, you can improve your eating habits and promote a healthier lifestyle. Remember, making sustainable changes throughout the year is far more beneficial than resorting to crash diets or restrictive eating for short periods. Embrace these practical recommendations and enjoy the journey toward better health and well-being.