Fiber helps regulate your digestion, lowers your cholesterol and can even help you lose weight. But are you getting enough fiber in your diet? According to the Mayo Clinic, women 50 and under should get 25 grams a day; women over 50 need 21 grams. Boost your intake with beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Don't diet on your own! Knowing someone will check your progress can be a big motivator. Round up a couple friends who also want to lose weight; you don't have to have the same goals or use the same methods, but talking about your progress will help keep you on track.
Want a fast, simple, healthy snack that satisfies your craving for crunch? Toss 1/3 cup popcorn kernels into a paper lunch sack, fold down the end twice, and microwave the bag for about 90 seconds. Sprinkle with your favorite low-salt seasoning and you've got a terrific low-cal snack.
Getting enough vitamin C? For most women, your recommended daily intake is 75 mg. You don't have to rely on OJ for all your vitamin C; other fruits like guava, mango and strawberry are loaded with it, as are veggies like broccoli, bell peppers and kohlrabi.
Chocolate is your friend. That's right, chocolate - in some forms - is good for your heart, according to researchers. Dark chocolate, in particular, is loaded with antioxidants that help reduce blood pressure. But don't go overboard: a healthy daily amount is about the size of a Hershey's kiss.
Grow your own herbs. You can really perk up your menu (and cut back on the salt) with the addition of fresh herbs to favorite meals with pasta, poultry and seafood. From the smallest countertop planter to the biggest backyard garden, a fresh stock of herbs will help you prepare healthy and tasty meals year-round.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is common, and often very treatable with simple dietary changes
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is common, and often very treatable with simple dietary changes. Start by avoiding eating anything a few hours before bedtime, and reducing or ceasing your consumption of chocolate, alcohol, spices, fried foods and tobacco products. (Your health care professional can offer a more detailed list of dietary dos and don'ts.)
Be food label savvy. You can learn so much by just reviewing a food label before eating; new regulations mean they include information on fats (are they saturated or trans?), salt, protein content, calories, serving size (is this bag of chips one serving or three?), carbohydrates (are they good or bad?) and more.
Skip the soda. Why fill up on empty calories when you can have something equally tasty and much more healthy? Try mixing a small amount of fruit juice with club soda and adding a twist of lemon, or making a pitcher of strawberry-mint water (just add a handful of sliced berries and a sprig of mint and chill for a couple hours).
Not all herbal dietary supplements are created alike. In fact, in recent times the U.S. government has instituted massive recalls of drugs like ephedra, which had been used in supplements for years. Read labels carefully, and ask your physician about the value of supplements and potential interactions with other medications you take.