The start of a new year is an apt  time to start your life afresh. Wipe the slate clean. Re-boot. Topping the list of New Year resolutions, as always, is the desire to eat healthy and stay healthy, especially after that particularly indulgent week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. So come January 2, 2018 (because we will all still be hung over the day before), switch over and commit to a healthy lifestyle by making achievable goals that won’t fade away by mid-February. To help you eat better, feel better and look better, wellness specialist at Bombay Hospital and author of the recipe book, Low Fat- Low Guilt, Namita Jain gives us a few realistic healthy eating tips for the year to come.

Food for life

Jain stresses that we’re all about the food we eat; it plays a vital role in our well being. According to her, diets help maximise physical and mental performance, but only if you choose them correctly. Unfortunately, the New Year diet mindset can compel us to jump on a plan without analysing it well. This could be dangerous, as a diet that lacks nutrients can lower immunity levels and result in ill-health. When talking about eating healthy as a lifestyle and not just a temporary fix, Jain firmly believes in the long-term benefits of a balanced diet that includes all the six essential nutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Also Read: Wellness Expert Namita Jain on Guilt-Free Party Food Recipes

Healthy Eating Mantra for 2018

Fads may come and go but Jain thinks that these healthy eating resolutions will stay evergreen.

Plan a balanced diet

When you plan your meals, it is smart to look at the caloric content in relation to your body’s nutritional requirement. Fad diets that cut out essential food groups for a prolonged period of time can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies.

Look out for alkaline foods

A good diet should include 60% alkaline foods. These include lighter, water-rich fresh foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, unprocessed plant-based sources of protein etc. Such foods balance essential minerals and pH levels in your body.

Indulge in moderation

Treat yourself to small quantities of food you enjoy every now and then. Severe restrictions in your diet plan can compel you to fall into binge eating patterns that often leads to yo-yoing of weight.

Everyday Superfoods

You don’t need expensive and trending superfoods to make it to your meal every day. There are a bunch of simple foods that are also so nutrient-dense that they are as good as any other superfood. Here are a bunch of everyday superfoods suggested by Namita Jain that you should include in your diet.

Banana: A high-energy fruit that will fill you up

Bananas are good for the nerves and muscles, and enhance functioning of the immune system too. Rich in potassium and sugar, they provide the body with nourishment and instant energy. A large banana has about 100 calories. It also provides a quick recovery from fatigue.

Figs: A high-fibre snack

Rich in iron and calcium, figs improve blood quality and build strong bones. They help balance acidic conditions that result from a diet rich in meat and refined food.

Almonds: The king of nuts

When it comes to nuts, almonds have the highest calcium and fibre content. Their high nutritional value is the reason they are called the king of nuts. Make sure to limit your intake though, eating too many will result in weight gain (think one handful, not a bowlful).

Sprouts: Super energy-enhancing foods

Filling and low in calories, sprouts increase valuable amino acid (protein) content. Popular sprouts are moong, alfalfa, kidney beans and chickpeas.

Yogurt: Cooling and filling

Yogurt is a delicious and filling snack that now comes in an array of flavours. It contains probiotics, which are responsible for several activities in your gut, such as producing lactase and improving the functioning of your digestive tract. Yogurt also boosts your immune system. Also Read: The Only Black Dress You Need In 2018 Make better resolutions this year, but more importantly make achievable ones so that you can begin and end 2018 on a healthy note.