How Small Changes in Your Diet Can Lead to Huge Health Benefits


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Focusing on our health and well-being is essential, but completely changing the way we eat can sometimes be overwhelming.

For National Nutrition Month, Susan Jones, PhD — a holistic nutritionist and the author of “Wired for High-Level Wellness” — offered advice in an interview with Fox News Digital for making small but important dietary changes to the overall health benefits.

The Los Angeles-based health expert highlighted the need to take care of our bodies and curb bad habits that could lead to health complications down the road.

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“Our gift to God should be to take very good care of our bodies,” she said. “He wasn’t designed to be sedentary and eat a lot of junk food.”

Here are some small substitutions for the biggest nutritional gain.

1. Ditch the soda – go for purified water instead

There is nothing worse than very acidic and sugary sodas that dehydrate your body.

As an alternative, Jones suggested loading a glass of purified water with an array of herbs, spices and slices of lemon to cleanse the body and flavor the water.

Add fresh herbs like sage and rosemary to your water to boost your brain. (Stock)

Adding a cinnamon stick will also provide a great taste while balancing blood sugar levels and boosting immunity.

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You can also add fresh herbs like sage and rosemary, she said, to boost intelligence. Adding cilantro can help reduce inflammation and help with high blood pressure and lack of iron.

Adding a little basil will also boost immunity, aid digestion, protect the liver and prevent cancer. Slices of raw ginger and turmeric give your water mix a kick, Jones said.

Include one or two of these additions – or stack them all at once for powerful hydration.

2. Replace coffee with ginger and turmeric tea

The habit can be hard for coffee drinkers to kick, but infusing tea with ginger and turmeric as a replacement is a recipe for maximum hydration and immunity.

Health expert Susan Jones, PhD, holds a plate of cultured sprouts in her kitchen, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (Fox News Digital)

Health expert Susan Jones, PhD, holds a plate of cultured sprouts in her kitchen, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (Fox News Digital)

Throw three to four slices of raw ginger and turmeric into a teapot, bring the water to a boil and simmer for five to 10 minutes until the golden tea is ready to drink. Feel free to add lemon or other spices to your liking, as well as a green tea bag for caffeine.

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“There are over 3,000 studies on the healing benefits of ginger and turmeric,” Jones said. “And it’s a lot cheaper than buying a lot of tea bags.”

Drinking hot beverages, especially tea, can also aid digestion.

3. For a sweet treat, eat raw fruit – not candy

Jones emphasized how important it is to avoid processed sugar.

“Cancer feeds on sugar,” she said. “It wreaks havoc on your body.”

Holistic nutritionist Susan Jones suggests staying away from processed sugar. A much better choice is fresh fruit. (Stock)

Holistic nutritionist Susan Jones suggests staying away from processed sugar. A much better choice is fresh fruit. (Stock)

The best alternative to munching on a chocolate bar is snacking on sweet fruits such as antioxidant-rich grapes, which are great for your skin (and for an energy boost too). Throw a few grapes of your choice into the freezer for an icy snack on a hot day.

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For snacks on the go, bananas are an easy option; or, pick up a variety of fruits such as brain-boosting blueberries, orange slices, and vitamin C-rich strawberries in a freezer bag for road trips.

4. Never go out for dinner hungry

When you go out to eat with friends, family, or co-workers, there’s almost always pressure to eat foods you know you shouldn’t be eating.

The first rule of thumb is to never show up to dinner hungry. You will avoid snacking on bread or ordering too much from the menu if you are not hungry when you arrive.

Jones advised drinking a glass of water with lemon once you get to the table, to fill your stomach a bit more.

“You never want to overeat.”

— Susan Jones, nutritionist, at Fox News Digital

Sequencing how you eat in a restaurant makes all the difference.

For example, incorporating fiber into your meal will help you feel full, so try ordering vegetable soup as a starter before tackling pizza or pasta at an Italian restaurant.

5. Add some avocado

Next time you sit down at a Mexican restaurant, tell your server to save the fries but bring the guacamole.

Avocados have the highest level of protein, vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, and fiber of any fruit. (Stock)

Avocados have the highest level of protein, vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, and fiber of any fruit. (Stock)

Avocados have the highest level of protein, vitamin E, folic acid, potassium and fiber of any fruit – while only having a quarter of fat calories as butter.

Mixing in fresh guacamole makes a great substitution for butter. Try it on toast, a baked potato or as a salad dressing.

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A little known fact about avocados is that they are also aphrodisiacs and can help boost libido.

“And you thought it was the margarita that got you in the mood,” Jones said. “But it was probably the guacamole.”

6. Color your smoothies green

Fruit smoothies are already a great option, but adding a little more punch to the blender will give you an extra nutritional boost.

Sprouts are a good start, as most types such as radish and alfalfa sprouts have high nutritional value and can be grown from seed right in your own kitchen.

Green vegetables like spinach, kale and romaine lettuce will add more protein to your smoothie. (Stock)

Green vegetables like spinach, kale and romaine lettuce will add more protein to your smoothie. (Stock)

Broccoli sprouts have even more health benefits than an actual head of broccoli.

Consuming a cup and a half a day has the power to reduce the risk of cancer by 50%, according to Jones.

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She explained that green vegetables like spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce will add more protein to your smoothie because these super veggies contain more protein ounce for ounce than meat and milk.

Also add flax or chia seeds for a bit more fiber; add almonds for vitamin E and more protein.

7. Snack on light meals throughout the day

Fill up on a light salad filled with colorful veggies, sprouts, and beans throughout the day instead of filling up on two big meals a day.

Your body can only handle a certain number of calories per meal – much of it will be deposited as fat – and large portions can overload your digestive system. Meanwhile, eating four or five small meals a day will help boost your metabolism and lower cholesterol.

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“It makes you feel like you have more control over what you eat because you never want to overeat,” Jones said.

8. Cut out salt and sugar

It’s hard not to want to add a little more flavor to a meal, but that doesn’t mean you have to knee-jerk reach for salt and sugar.

“Cancer feeds on sugar. It wreaks havoc on your body.”

— Susan Jones at Fox News Digital

Instead of salt, try vegetable alternatives such as celery, onion, or garlic powder. Freshly cracked pepper or lemon pepper will also add a little spice.

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Replace the sugar with pure maple syrup, maple syrup crystals or date crystals for a little sweetness.

Cocoa powder and nibs, the purest form of chocolate, are a great alternative to chocolate, whether used in baking or as a sweetener.


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