Sometimes our friends and family can be stubborn when it comes to improving their health. Fortunately, there are ways to make them healthier, without causing too much resistance.
Get them to drink more water
Everyone knows how important water is, yet most people don’t drink enough. One reason that people don’t drink as much as they should is that it isn’t as appealing as other, less-healthy beverages. So, to help your loved ones drink more water, you have to make water more exciting.
If they prefer carbonated beverages, consider buying them healthier alternatives, such as;
Carbonated water — Carbonated water not only is more exciting than regular water, but also has been shown to help people eat less. With countless flavors to choose from, you can easily find something that they will prefer to drink and also potentially limit their consumption of other, less healthy beverages.
Sugar-free soda — There are many sugar-free beverages on the market now. Of these, I believe the stevia and xylitol based sweetened ones to be the healthiest. Keep your eyes peeled for them next time you are in the grocery store.
Another way to improve the taste if water is by adding trace minerals. Most trace mineral supplements are a liquid, usually isolated from the ocean or other bodies of water, such as the Great Salt Lake in Utah. By adding just a few drops of these trace minerals to water throughout the day, not only do these trace minerals make their water taste better, but they also provide minerals that are otherwise hard to obtain through a regular diet.
Of the minerals they contain, they are especially rich in:
Magnesium, which plays a role in over 600 enzymatic reactions in the body and is lacking in many diets, mostly because people don’t eat enough vegetables which are a great source of magnesium and take drugs which deplete the body of magnesium or prevent its absorption (R). If you choose to supplement with magnesium choose a form that ends in “ate” (glycinate, chelate) and not “oxide” to improve absorption. One of my favorite ways to get magnesium is by drinking this magnesium product.
Lithium, which has been associated with reducing the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease in bipolar patients by improving the recycling of damaged proteins (autophagy). It’s also a common mineral found in water throughout the world, yet is lacking in many municipal water sources (R).
Reduce their sugar consumption
- Replace their refined and processed high-sugar snacks with healthier alternatives.
- Buy more fruit, berries, apples, high-fiber fruits, and choose fresh over dried fruit.
- Use sugar-alcohols like erythritol which don’t impact blood sugar and have cavity prevention benefits (R).
- Use trehalose instead of sugar – trehalose was shown to extend the lifespan of other organisms by increasing autophagy (R)
Increase their fiber intake
Adding fiber powder to their baked goods will reduce the blood sugar spike of sweetened goods, make them feel full longer, and improve their microbiome.
Here are some good fiber sources:
- Oat bran, wheat bran – mostly insoluble fiber.
- Chicory root fiber – mostly insoluble
- Psyllium husk powder – insoluble fiber.
- Glucomannan – be careful with this soluble fiber powder as it expands up to 20 times its volume in water! Make sure to drink plenty of water and don’t add too much fiber powder. If you don’t feel like waiting for it to congeal, you can stick your drink of choice in the freezer and create a fibrous icy treat by adding some fruit.
- Cellulose fiber – the most common undigestible plant powder, is tasteless. It’s more economical to eat vegetables for this fiber source.
- Acacia fiber — This is a tasteless fiber that contains mostly soluble fiber and is very gentle on the digestive system, but harder on the wallet.
Cook for them, and replace their fried foods with healthy cooked alternatives.
Replace their vegetable oils (high in polyunsaturated oil) with healthier oils, such as olive, macadamia (both are high in healthy monounsaturated oils), coconut, or butter (good for cooking with at higher temperatures).
Buy them healthier desserts.
Buy them dark chocolate — dark chocolate can suppress the appetite, boost blood flow, reduce stress, and give people more energy, causing them to be more active. It can also improve the microbiota which can impact how your body utilizes calories, and impact many other important bodily functions.
Spice up their food
- Add some vinegar to their food — this reduces the blood sugar spike of their food R.
- Add some Ceylon cinnamon to the food — this also reduces their blood sugar after high carb meals by improving their insulin sensitivity. R
- Cook with more spices.
- Consider using low-salt alternatives if they have blood-pressure problems, or potassium-chloride, to replace their salt consumption and potentially improve their blood pressure, by giving them a good source of potassium. (disclaimer: this doesn’t taste exactly the same as regular salt)
Fix their Sleep
Install flux on their computer (free).
They may notice the screen has changed a bit, but maybe they’ll also notice that they are getting better sleep, as this program reduces the amount of blue light that screens emit, which allows your brain to synthesize melatonin properly.
Make them breakfast in the morning.
High protein foods in the morning, not only reduce our hunger for longer than carbohydrate-containing foods, but also reduce blood sugar fluctuations that can result in poor sleep.
Get them outside
Suggest a fun activity or just ask if they want to go outside for a bit. The benefits of getting enough sunlight, exercise, vitamin d, and social engagement are too many to name here.
Hopefully, you learned something that can help you keep your friends and family healthy.
Do you have any special ways of keeping people healthy? I would love to hear about them.
Impact of water intake on energy intake and weight status: a systematic review https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C33&q=carbonated+water+and+appetite&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&p=&u=%23p%3DYQgrxllb9zEJ
Replacing sweetened caloric beverages with drinking water is associated with lower energy intake https://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=10&q=carbonated+water+and+appetite&hl=en&as_sdt=0,33#d=gs_qabs&p=&u=%23p%3DdnPHNHPEXA4J
Functional Food and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Treatment: A Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29528772/?i=11&from=dark%20chocolate
Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29495598/?i=12&from=dark%20chocolate
Acute dark chocolate and cocoa ingestion and endothelial function: a randomized controlled crossover trial– https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C33&q=dark+chocolate+and+cardiovascular&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&p=&u=%23p%3DjQeSuphiX6QJ