6. 44It’s the start of a new year and to celebrate, it’s essential to take stock of your overall health achievements in 2021. By reviewing your current health and lifestyle habits, it’s possible to make appropriate changes to enjoy a healthier and happier year ahead.
We recommend taking a journal and writing down your main health goals for the year ahead. Then take a look at our 12 tips below to help guide you towards achieving great health in 2022 and beyond…
1. Quit Sugar
The sweet stuff has a detrimental impact on our overall good health. Anyone looking to lose weight should quit sugar. This is because sugar and refined carbs trigger the release of insulin into the bloodstream (it does this by converting sugar you’ve just eaten into stored energy for later use as body fat).
Eating sugar also disrupts the bacteria balance in the gut leading to impaired digestion. This also impacts hormone function, disrupts skin health and can depress the immune system making you less equipped to fight off infections and viruses.
Along with links to heart disease and diabetes, sugar also impacts mental health. Studies show there is a direct relationship between our mental health and gut health thanks to the gut-brain axis and 80% of your serotonin (another mood-boosting neurotransmitter) is housed in your gut. Over consuming sugar can affect blood sugar spikes, energy levels and directly impact our mood which may even lead to anxiety and depression. 
2. Add More Fruits and Vegetables To Your Meals
Rich in vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrition that you should include more of in your diet for best health. A diet that’s rich in fruit and vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Fruits and veggies are also full of fiber that can fill you up and leave you feeling fuller for longer so you’re not reaching for sugar-laden snacks or processed foods to try and fill the gap.
Low carb vegetables such as dark leafy greens – i.e. spinach, kale, collard greens, mushrooms, cauliflower and onions are all great to eat more of, while dark skinned fruits such as blackberries contain antioxidants such as anthocyanins that can help people to fight against the adverse impacts of free radicals in the body.
Avocados are a good source of heart healthy fats including oleic acid. Studies show that avocados can help to lower cardiovascular inflammation in the body and improve cholesterol levels, amongst other benefits. 
3. Keep Healthy Snacks Nearby
One of the best ways to stay healthy and avoid giving in to the temptation of sweet or salty foods that are devoid of any nutrition is to have plenty of healthy snacks nearby. This may include raw veggies such as celery and carrot sticks, hummus, berries, dates, nuts and seeds or avocados. All of these foods are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Along with being low-calorie and low-fat, they are low in sodium and cholesterol and are convenient to carry with you while on the go. You may also want to blend fresh fruits or veggies such as dark berries and avocado to blend up into a smoothie. A spoonful of Greek Yogurt or Coconut Yogurt is also recommended to add on top of berries or nuts for a delicious breakfast snack.
4. Stay Hydrated
As your body is mostly made up of water, it’s essential to ensure you are drinking enough daily for best health. It’s estimated that humans are 60 per cent water, so it’s important to drink plenty of water to ensure you’re not becoming dehydrated. Drinking water is essential for the health of the kidneys and other bodily functions. It’s also recommended for ensuring good skin health and supporting your weight loss goals.
5. Take A Daily Multivitamin
You can ensure your body gets enough of the vital vitamins and minerals it needs by taking a daily multivitamin. As we age, our nutritional needs increase and it can become more difficult for the body to absorb nutrients. Taking a multivitamin can help you to avoid these deficiencies.
Studies show that a high-quality multivitamin may reduce cardiovascular disease. In particular, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, K1 and K2, Niacin (B3), CoQ10 and Magnesium all play a role in cardiovascular health. Along with supporting eye health and healthy hair and skin, research shows that multivitamins containing a combination of vitamins, lutein and zeaxanthin can help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration. 
We recommend ActiveLife™ from Good Health Naturally (see recommended example below) as each multivitamin contains 130 nutrients in one capsule along with 5-MTHF Folate, making it suitable for those who cannot metabolise synthetic folic acid.
6. WALK DAILY
Walking is a simple and easy exercise you can do to lose weight and become healthier. It’s recommended to walk for at least 30 minutes a day or more on most days of the week as this is a great way to improve your overall health. Try and make walking a part of your routine so it’s as convenient as possible for you. For example you might want to walk to work or take a brisk stroll through the park at lunchtime to ensure you are getting your daily steps in.
You may choose to wear a pedometer while walking to measure the number of steps you take so you can keep track of your daily movements. Otherwise, keeping an activity diary or log is also a good idea to keep on track of your daily exercise routine.
Regular meditation can help to soothe anxiety and lower stress levels. Numerous studies show that meditation can significantly reduce these symptoms in people with anxiety and mood disorders.
Along with supporting the immune system, regular meditation practice can lower the body’s stress response and cool chronic inflammation. It can also promote healthy gut barrier function which is key to a balanced immune system.
By lowering stress and cortisol levels, meditation can help to regulate blood pressure, insulin resistance, cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease. Meditation can also increase blood flow to the brain and this is beneficial for enhancing focus, memory and cognition. Research suggests this may support healthy moods and also protect against Alzheimer’s disease. 
8. Quit Smoking
Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do for your good health. While quitting the cycle of nicotine addiction can be difficult, the sooner you quit then the more you can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, lung disease and other conditions related to smoking.
Cigarette smoking exposes a person’s lungs to dozens of harmful chemicals that can contribute towards diseases. Studies show that going 24 hours without smoking increases your oxygen levels and decreases your blood pressure. Over time, lung function will improve making it easier to breathe. After one year of being a non-smoker for example, you can reduce your risk of developing coronary artery disease by 50 per cent – and this percentage continues to increase the longer you go without smoking.
9. Eat More Nuts and Seeds
As good sources of protein and healthy fats, along with vitamins and minerals, nuts and seeds can help you to feel fuller for longer. This makes them a great choice to include in your diet if you’re looking to lose weight. Nuts and seeds both help with reducing your body’s inflammation levels according to the Linus Pauling Institute. 
Some of the healthiest nuts to include in your diet are almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans. Brazil nuts are high in selenium that acts as a protective antioxidant in the body. Other nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans are packed with plant sterols and antioxidants that may support heart health.
10. Exercise Your Brain
Practising certain brain exercises can help you to boost your memory, concentration and focus. Studies have shown that exercise can decrease your feelings of anxiety and depression. Along with improving your focus and concentration, it can promote the growth of new brain cells – essential for improving cognitive function. 
Brain exercises may help to keep you mentally sharp and these include puzzles, playing cards, dancing, building your vocabulary or learning a new skill.
11. Take More Vitamin C
As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C is necessary for the growth, development and repair of the skin and bones, along with supporting the wound healing process. By encouraging the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, these can help to protect the body against infection.
Anyone looking to boost their immune system should take more Vitamin C. This is because Vitamin C also helps the white blood cells to function more effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals. Studies have shown that taking Vitamin C may help to shorten wound healing time.  We recommend taking Liposomal Vitamin C such as PureC™ from Good Health Naturally (see examples below), for enhanced absorption into the bloodstream.
12. Detox Your System
After overindulging during the festive season, a detox is recommended. Raw Clay detox baths in particular have been used since ancient times to address chronic health problems. This can benefit you in various ways along with providing relief for aches, pains and fatigue.
Clays such as Bentonite act as a catalyst to quicken chemical reactions. This can pull toxins through the pores, helping to eliminate them from the body. Taking regular clay baths can also help to stimulate the lymphatic system and cleanse the skin – the largest detox organ in our body.
Cleansing and detoxifying your body’s internal system is essential for good health. Not only does detoxifying protect your cell health, it can also improve your overall longevity. For this reason, consider taking a Bentonite Clay bath (see recommended examples below) a few times a year, as part of your spring clean and wellness routine.
What Health Goal Will You Achieve In 2022?
What are your New Year’s resolutions? Do you have any healthy habits that you’d like to develop? We’d love to hear from you and which lifestyle and wellness tips you would like to nurture over the next twelve months!
Active Life™ – Provides 800mcg, 500% of Folate as (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid) (equivalent to 1600mcg of (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid, glucosamine salt*** (Quatrefolic®) ), along with 80mg, 588% of Niacian Vitamin B3 (from Niacinamide), plus other essential nutrients for a total of 130 vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Available from Good Health Naturally.
PureC+™ Liposomal Vitamin C + Quercetin – Powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support, providing 1000mg of high-quality Liposomal Vitamin C, along with 175mg C-Support (citrus bioflavonoids, quercetin), plus 1000mg Phosphatidylcholine (PC) per serving. Vitamin C can support immune function, brain health, blood sugar, and heart health. Protects cells from oxidative stress and may help to maintain healthy bones, cartilage, and connective tissues. Available from Good Health Naturally.