Feeling a bit daunted by the pressures of a new year and a new you? We’ve got 5 handy tips to get you on the right track to a healthier 2020.
Get into probiotics
It’s a well-known fact that you should always be able to trust your gut, and probiotics help keep your gut healthy.
They’re live bacteria and yeast that are good for you, and can help reduce a bloated stomach that’s been caused by an overabundance of ‘bad’ flora in your gut – which lets face it is always a boost when you’re starting a new diet. Probiotics are found in the likes of kimchi, sauerkraut, yoghurt and the fermented drink Kefir, but our personal favourite is kombucha – a Korean probiotic soda that’s a low-calorie and healthy alternative to fizzy soft drinks.
Start using an algae supplement
Back in November we interviewed Heather Mills about the recent vegan boom, and she cited algae as “the future’. Algae boosts the immune system, has long been used as a metabolic aid, and is the original source of omega (oily fish get their goodness from eating algae). It’s also extremely environmentally friendly – Mills told us “If the world was an A4 page, algae’s pressure on climate change would be a pin prick.”
An algae supplement is an easy addition to your day-to-day routine, but if you want to try something different, try sprinkling something like Aaonori Powdered Seaweed (seaweed being a type of algae) onto shakes and salads for a quick health boost.
Make small changes to your diet
Being healthier needn’t mean overhauling your entire diet – even small tweaks can yield results. For instance, swap out of one of your daily coffees for a herbal tea – peppermint will help keep bloating to a minimum (always a good thing post-Christmas) and turmeric is loaded with health benefits, including increasing your antioxidant capacity.
Or switch out your regular table sauce – often a source of hidden sugar – for something like Real Good Ketchup, who spoke to us last month about how much work they’ve put into creating a great tasting sauce that will save you consuming about a cube of sugar in every serving.
Discover pea protein
Whilst many people are attracted to the potential health benefits of veganism, its diet does tend to rely on soya as a source of protein – which can be an issue for allergy sufferers. But 2020 is set to be the year of pea protein, which is gluten-free and comes from yellow split-peas and can be found in meat replacements, snack bars and savoury snacks. As an added bonus, peas are a pulse and so can help reduce belly fat and lower the risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes – they can also be used in protein powder for muscle building.
Look into healthy sugar substitutes
Even with 2017’s Soft Drink Levy (better known as the “Sugar Tax”), cutting down on sugar remains a challenge for lots of us. But where sugar alternatives in the past – the likes of aspartame and saccharin – came with health concerns of their own, manufacturers are increasingly turning to plant-based sugar substitutes like xylitol, erythritol and stevia, which have less calories than sugar and all of the sweetness. Find out more about natural sugar alternatives and how you can use them in our handy guide here.