I’m sitting as I write this and you’re probably sitting or laying as you read this. That’s the harsh reality right now and you may be thinking “why does she think it’s harsh?”. The fact of the matter is that our bodies were made to move.
Our lifestyles have changed drastically throughout the years and now we’re forced to sit much more than we move around. We sit while at work, we sit in our cars, on the commute, when we eat, etc. And finally, at the end of the day when we want to take a break from everything we’re, again, sitting on the couch.
Given the fact how bad it is for our physical and mental health many researchers say sitting is just as bad as smoking. Too much sitting can increase the risk of chronic health problems, diabetes, heart issues and have an impact on your mental health.
Luckily, the damage can be decreased if you get up every half an hour to stretch and move around a bit. Going for walks, working out consistently and eating healthy helps even more.
For today’s post I decided to stick with the last part, the nutritional side of it and let you know what to eat if you sit a lot. However, if you want some stretching suggestions, you can check out these lower back stretches or these full body stretches.
8 Foods To Eat If You Sit A Lot
Berries are amongst the healthiest foods you can eat. Rich in antioxidants berries protect your cells from free radical damage and help your skin looking good. Furthermore, berries are a good source of fiber and they’re low in calories (hint: perfect if you want to lose weight).
They have strong anti – inflammatory properties and high vitamin and mineral content (such as vitamin C and manganese). Include berries in smoothies or combine them with high – carb foods to improve your blood sugar levels.
2. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are the perfect combo for a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats. Walnuts are a great plant source of omega-3 fatty acids and support good brain function as you age. On the other hand, almonds are one of the best sources of vitamin E.
Chia seeds are packed with fiber which helps slow the rate of digestion and keeps your bowel movements regular. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds contain healthy fats that help manage inflammation and maintain normal struction of cells in the body.
So many benefits come from eating nuts and seeds, so whenever you crave a snack this is the perfect combo. Best way to mix them is on your own just make sure you buy unsalted versions.
Another great food to eat if you sit a lot is pineapple. A tropical fruit that looks awesome and tastes delicious. Even though it’s sweet, it’s low in calories and packed with nutrients. One cup of pineapple provides 131% vitamin C and 76% manganese RDA. Vitamin C is essential for healthy immune system while manganese maintains healthy metabolism.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which can help ease digestion. However, the most of this enzyme is contained in the center pineapple meat, which tends to be quite bitter. To get the most benefits from this tropical fruit mix the center, bitter, part with the sweet parts.
4. Olive oil
Dietary fat – is it good or bad? Let’s put it like this – adults need about 20% to 35% of total calories to come from fat. You need fat in your diet to help the body absorb vitamins, such as A, D and E. Healthy fat choices are avocados, previously mentioned nuts and seeds, fatty fish and olive oil.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats which are quite resistant to high heat, making it a healthy cooking choice. Due to large amount of antioxidants that help fight inflammation, olive oil can help reduce the risk of heart disease. In an array of benefits, extra virgin olive oil can lower blood pressure, improve the function of blood vessels and has antibacterial properties.
Make olive oil your #1 healthy fat choice when preparing food but be mindful as with any other healthy fat.
Throughout ancient history garlic was mainly used for its medicinal and health properties. And if you ever googled home remedies for some health problem you had, garlic popped up for sure. To get the most of garlic health benefits it is recommended you crush it before eating.
It is no surprise that garlic is low in calories which makes it a perfect addition to many meals. Garlic is rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C and manganese. Amongst its many benefits, garlic can help lower LDL cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and help regulate blood sugar. The best thing of all is that it is super easy to include in your diet and it gives every meal a special yummy factor.
I talked a little about dietary fat with the above mentioned olive oil. Avocado is one of those foods that have a high healthy fat content. And while it would be logic to think that fats make you gain weight it’s the exact opposite with healthy fats.
The majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid – a monounsaturated fatty acid that helps burn fat and reduce inflammation. Avocado is great for keeping blood pressure at a healthy level due to high potassium content. Other than potassium, avocados are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and said healthy fats. Perfect food for adding to salads or healthy sandwiches.
7. Omega-3 fatty fish
Fatty fish has been linked to many health benefits, such as improved mental ability, reduced inflammation, and lowered risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis. All of this is due to omega-3 fatty acids. Two crucial ones, EPA and DHA, are found in certain fish. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, etc. Other than fish being the best source of omega-3’s, it is also a great source of protein and vitamin D. As well as other various vitamins and minerals.
8. Green tea
Green tea is one of the most powerful drinks. It is a great substitution for coffee and carbonated/energy drinks. It contains less caffeine than coffee but just enough to have an effect. Main reason I listed green tea under foods to eat if you sit a lot is because it increases fat burning, aids in weight loss and helps regulate healthy weight.
Due to high amounts of polyphenols green tea has strong anti – inflammatory properties. Other than that, green tea can improve brain function and lower the risk of cancer.
If you got this far it means you spent a couple of minutes sitting and reading. Now get up and spend a couple of minutes moving or stretching! And remember, you can always minimise the bad effects of sitting, just stay consistent and make healthy choices, nutritionally and physically.