- Maintaining a personal health journal can help identify health abnormalities sooner.
- Including more fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and vegetables in the diet can lower the risk of chronic diseases and increase longevity.
- Home-cooked meals are often healthier than restaurant food, leading to consumption of more nutrient-dense foods and maintaining a healthier weight.
- Adopting a diet that nurtures healthy gut bacteria, primarily plant-based foods, greatly contributes to overall health.
- Care for sinus passages through regular sinus rinse with saline can ease symptoms of congested and inflamed nasal membranes.
When it comes to health, it’s natural for everyone to want to start afresh. Besides analyzing our habits and lifestyle, setting out a path towards change can leave us pondering the exact steps we need to take. Here, we present six steps, gathered from health experts at the famed University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which can enhance your well-being:
1. Maintain a Personal Health Journal
Dr. Aparna Sridhar, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA, suggests that tracking your health through a journal can be more beneficial than we recognize. By noting down medications, mood shifts, or irregular symptoms, one could identify health abnormalities sooner and seek appropriate care.
2. Include More Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet
Dana Hunnes, UCLA Dietitian, starkly emphasizes the role of diet in our health. Having an eating plan abundant in fruits, whole grains, legume, nuts, seeds, and other produce can potentially lower the risk of developing chronic diseases. Furthermore, diets low in animal protein may increase longevity.
3. Advocate Home-Cooked Meals over Eating Out
Erin Morse, Chief Clinical Dietitian at UCLA Health, argues passionately for the merit of home-cooked meals. Studies have shown that those who mostly cook at home consume nutritionally dense foods and tend to maintain healthier weight. As Morse points out, restaurant food often contains less fiber and more salt, sugar, fat, and processed carbohydrates.
4. Adopt a Diet That Nurtures Healthy Gut Bacteria
Dr. Zhaoping Li, Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, reminds us of the essential role our gut microbiome plays in maintaining overall health. As she notes, the best foods for nurturing these microbes are plant-based foods and drinks.
5. Recognize the Significance of Lifestyle Changes
Dr. John Mafi remarks on the heavier influence our lifestyle choices command over our health compared to occasional visits to the doctor. As he states, adhering to the time-proven advice to consume fresh produce, get adequate sleep, reduce work stress, exercise, and spend quality time with friends and family can lead to significant health benefits.
6. Care for Your Sinus Passages
Dr. Marilene Wang, Professor of Head and Neck Surgery at UCLA, underlines the need for consistent sinus care. Regular sinus rinse with saline can help clear particles, allergens and ease symptoms such as congestion and swelling. Plus, this routine also thins mucus and moisturizes the inside of the nose, bringing relief to allergy and infection-inflamed nasal membranes.
Note: Saline sinus rinse kits are easily available over-the-counter at most drug stores.
For more insightful health tips, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page that provides handy weekly tips on protecting your health.