Add These Foods to Your Diet for Better Overall Health

By Stepy Kamei

If you've recently decided to make the commitment to living a healthier lifestyle, you should be proud of yourself; in many ways, coming to terms with your current unhealthy lifestyle is the hardest part about bringing change for the better. We always start off these goals with the best of intentions, but change can be pretty difficult, even when we know it's for the best. The key to making succesful and lasting health and wellness goals for yourself lies in making these goals more specific and breaking them down into smaller tasks that can be relatively easily accomplished on a daily basis. If, for example, the vague desire is to "be healthier," this involves improving your overall health, and one great place to start is your diet. Hone in on this specific aspect of your health by making these smart and effective changes now for a healthier and happier version of yourself to come. 

Really Cut Back on Sugar

We'll start off with something you actually should be taking away from your diet. One of the worst facets of the modern Western diet is the amount of sugar that goes into so many of our food products, snacks, and drinks. Consumed in excessive amounts (which is easy to do with processed foods), sugar can lead to a whole host of health problems, from increased inflammation in the body to weight gain and even sleep deprivation. You may think you don't consume a lot of sugar, but if you check the labels of your most commonly used food products, you may be surprised to see just how much sugar is in your diet. This year, make an effort to really examine the labels of foods you pick up in the grocery store -- and avoid products with high amounts of added sugar. 

Whole Grains are Key

One of the easiest ways to improve your diet is by introducing more whole foods into it, and there are many different types of grains out there that can fill you up and provide you with the nutrition you need. Quinoa, sorghum, brown rice, spelt, and barley are some great options for you to try out. Just be sure to stick with whole grain options, instead of processed and refined versions of these foods, such as white rice and white pastas. 

Add More Probiotics into Your Day

Probiotics are the (good) bacteria in foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi that make your gut happy, which in turn makes your entire body healthier. Gut health is directly linked to mental health, so do your mind and body a favor by stocking up on pickles, kombucha, and sauerkraut for better digestion and mental fortitude.