Sometimes our friends and family need help adopting healthier habits, but are too stubborn to change their ways.
Fortunately, it’s possible to help them become healthier without raising any alarms.
Get them to drink more water.
Everyone knows that drinking water is important, 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.
To help your friends and family drink more water, you have to make water more exciting.
Consider buying them healthier alternatives, such as carbonated water, sugar-free soda, or adding flavored water drops to their water to make it taste better.
Carbonated water not only is more exciting than regular water, but also has been shown to help people eat less (R).
You can also buy countless flavors of sparkling water, so you can easily find something that they will prefer to drink and also potentially limit their consumption of other, less healthy beverages.
If they want to drink something sweet, there are many sugar-free beverages on the market now. Of these, I believe the stevia, erythritol, and xylitol-based sweetened ones to be the healthiest.
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If you want something even more convenient than carbonated water or pseudo-soda, you can buy them some flavored water drops (root beer flavor, peach mango) — Just a few drops can make water taste just as good as other, unhealthy beverages.
Another way to improve the taste of 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.
Most trace mineral drops are especially rich in magnesium, lithium, and boron.
Magnesium is an important mineral to get more of because it plays a role in over 600 enzymatic reactions in the body and is lacking in many diets, mostly because people don’t eat enough dark leafy vegetables and/or 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”, such as glycinate or another chelate and not “oxide” to improve absorption (R). One of my favorite ways to get magnesium is by drinking adding this magnesium product to my water — it tastes great.
Lithium, which has been associated with reducing the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease in bipolar patients by improving the recycling of damaged proteins (R). 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.
- Encourage them to eat fruit for dessert or as a side when eating out.
- Replace their normal ice cream with erythritol or xylitol-sweetened, sugar-free ice cream.
- Replace any high sugar snacks and candy with lower sugar alternatives.
- Buy them healthier desserts, such as dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate can suppress the appetite, boost blood flow, reduce cravings for sweets, reduce stress, give people more energy and help them be more active. (R)
Dark chocolate also improves the microbiota, which can impact how their body utilizes calories, possibly making them lose weight, and impact many other important bodily functions.(R)
Increase their fiber intake.
Some good fiber sources include:
- 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 50 times its volume in water (R)! 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 add it to some water and fruit then stick your drink of choice in the freezer to almost instantly create a delicious and fibrous icy treat.
- Cellulose fiber — The most common undigestible plant powder. It’s tasteless, but it’s much more economical to eat vegetables for this fiber source.
- Acacia fiber — This is another tasteless fiber that contains mostly soluble fiber and is very gentle on the digestive system, but harder on the wallet.
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.
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 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 like regular salt)
Get them the good fats and replace their fried foods with healthy cooked alternatives.
Replace their vegetable oils, high in unstable polyunsaturated omega 6 fatty acids (R), with more monounsaturated oils, such as olive and macadamia nut oil, and use saturated fats like coconut oil, or butter for high-temperature cooking.
Fix their Sleep.
Install flux on their computer. This free software program reduces the amount of blue light that their computer screen emits.
They may notice the screen has changed a bit, but maybe they’ll also notice that they are getting better sleep, since less exposure to blue light at night allows their brain to synthesize more melatonin. (R)
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 eating more later in the day and poor sleep.(R)
Go outside with them.
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 secret ways of keeping people healthy?