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Eat to Feel Good

Eat to Feel Good

Eat to Feel Good

There's an ever-strengthening bond between what we eat and how our bodies feel and function. Better Homes & Gardens’ Eat to Feel Good delivers simple changes home cooks can make to live better: eating fermented food for gut health, incorporating antioxidants for inflammation, cooking with ingredients for elevated mood, trying food to get a better night’s sleep, etc. Each idea is supported by the latest research and some delicious recipes to make the change easier.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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1 min.
from the editor

I used to buy bottled low-fat salad dressing. I’d eat it for lunch drizzled over greens with a few grilled chicken pieces and some packaged croutons. Have you ever tried low-fat dressing? It’s not good. But it was a way to cut a few calories (all diligently calculated and tracked), and I was forever chasing the same weight loss and wellness goals— without much success. I’ll blame the bottled low-fat salad dressing. There’s no single food you can eliminate from your diet or any supplement you can add to catapult you to perfect health, but the new version of healthy is one I can subscribe to. I’m leaning into the notion of feeling good by eating mostly whole, real ingredients and plantbase foods; balancing stress with workouts I (pretend to) enjoy; getting…

1 min.
health as a moving target

DO YOUR RESEARCH. The internet and social media are fraught with get-fit-quick schemes, supplements, and unsubstantiated or unsourced writing. If you’re basing your health decisions on secondhand research results, make a note of who funded the original studies. If research was funded by a company that could benefit from a certain outcome, dig a bit deeper. Large-scale, longitudinal studies funded by a third party provide more accurate, objective results. MAKE A PLAN. Be selective and regimented with your lifestyle changes— you can only focus on so much at one time. Once you’ve worked toward meeting a goal (say, getting more sleep), work on your next health goal, setting a realistic timeline to get there. SEE A PROFESSIONAL. Be wary of health and wellness advice that suggests taking artificial supplements (without clear substantiated research to support…

1 min.
what’s up with fats?

Healthy fats and oils are necessary additions to any diet (and they add flavor and tenderness to foods). All fats and oils are made up of a combination of different fatty acids or fats, and commonly classified by the levels of saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats they contain. Olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and avocados are rich in MONOUNSATURATED FATS: hearthealthy fats that can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while maintaining HDL (good) cholesterol and blood sugar levels. POLYUNSATURATED FATS, such as the omega-6 and omega-3 fats naturally found in walnuts, fatty fish, and flaxseeds, may protect against heart disease and stroke by reducing blood pressure, raising HDL (good) cholesterol, and lowering triglycerides. Soybean, walnut, and corn oils are all polyunsaturated fats. SATURATED FATS are usually solid at room temperature (butter,…

2 min.
8 healthy lifestyle changes

1 EAT LESS SUGAR. Sources estimate the average American adult eats 19½ to 22 teaspoons of sugar per day (and a whopping 66 pounds per year). In the last 30 years, daily sugar intake in adults has increased 30 percent. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises no more than 10 percent—and ideally less than 5 percent—of total calories per day should come from added sugars. 2 GO VEGETARIAN (OR CUT YOUR MEAT INTAKE). Eat meat-free one night per week for your health, budget, and the environment. Stretch ground meat in burgers, tacos, and pasta sauces by using half the amount of meat and supplementing with chopped mushrooms and/or veggies. The meat will help flavor the veggies during browning, and the veggies will add more texture. 3 DRINK MORE WATER— AND LESS OF EVERYTHING ELSE. Dehydration…

3 min.
don’t stress

STRESS STAT 36% OF AMERICANS SKIPPED A MEAL IN THE LAST MONTH BECAUSE OF STRESS. Eating meals and snacks on a regular schedule— and including protein and good fats in your diet—will help keep blood sugar levels and hormones balanced. EXERCISE has powerful effects on mood and behavior, both in the short and long term. Moving more can help raise serotonin levels in the brain, bringing on a rush of mood-boosting endorphins. 30 to 60 MINUTES of moderate activity every day. LACK OF SLEEP AFFECTS YOUR BRAIN’S ABILITY TO REGULATE YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSES. Meanwhile, elevated cortisol levels and heart rate can prevent restful sleep. STRESS STAT 43% OF AMERICANS SAY THEY OVEREAT OR EAT UNHEALTHY FOODS TO MANAGE STRESS. UPPERS When you follow a healthy diet, over time your body rewards you with better physical and mental health. DARK PURPLE FRUITS…

2 min.
your best night’ sleep

DAY-AND-NIGHT LIGHTS Sync with your natural circadian rhythms— these LED smart bulbs turn warm and soft at night, vibrant and bright in the morning. GE C-Life and C-Sleep combo, $75; cbyge.com CAN YOU MAKE UP LOST SLEEP? Experts say it’s best to catch up by going to bed earlier—not by sleeping in. For two or three nights you’ve stayed up late, go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. Bergamot and neroli give this linen spray a clean, herbal, citrusy scent. $38; themotley.com RESEARCH SHOWS YOU GET A MORE COMFORTABLE NIGHT’S SLEEP ON SHEETS WITH A FRESH SCENT. A BOOST OF ENERGY Counting down the hours until bedtime? Up your daytime energy by eating foods high in B vitamins and protein (eggs, beans, meat, tofu, spinach), whole grains, and foods with lots of vitamin C and a…