By Jen Luu

Usually when people hear about healthy eating, they may think of bland and mundane food.  However, it doesn’t have to be that way.  In honor of April’s eco-friendly theme of improving the health of the earth, it is also important to do so with our own food choices.

Opt for fresh fruit instead of sugary snacks.  While it may be hard to resist the convenience and sweetness of a Snicker’s bar or a Pop Tart, the abundance of fruit can just be as delicious.  There is a vast range to choose from: cherries, plums, apricots, watermelons, tangerines, dates and several more.  These succulent choices provide many more valuable nutrients than their packaged and processed counterparts.  Just one Toblerone bar has 112 grams of sugar, while one cup of blueberries only has 15.

Eat brown rice instead of white rice.  Although it is a regular custom for many Asian families to eat white rice, going for the alternative may yield more advantages in the long run.  White rice does not contain many nutrients due to its excess refinement and processing; several of its outer layers are removed, ultimately stripping away most of its beneficial qualities.   In contrast, brown rice only loses its outermost layer.  Because of the lack of refinement, brown rice retains many of its vitamins and minerals.  According to livestrong.com, brown rice has “much higher levels of phosphorous and magnesium — two nutrients that nurture your skeleton.”

Make smoothies.  They are a great method of incorporating wholesome ingredients efficiently into your diet.  For those who are constantly on-the-go, blending together a variety of fruits and vegetables into a drink is an effective compromise.  Not only that, but smoothies also give access to free reign over creative combinations.

Check the nutrient facts before purchasing.  Often times, people are not aware of the ingredients they put into their bodies.  As a result, they may not be fully informed when deciding their food choices.  Making a simple, yet conscious effort of actively educating yourself may influence you to choose a better option.

To some, these changes may take some time to develop, which is completely okay.  Small, gradual changes will eventually yield results as people continue to slowly implement these suggestions.

While it is important to maintain your health through lifestyle changes, it is also acceptable to indulge in that milk tea once in awhile.  Otherwise, too much restraint may lead to binge-eating.  Moderation is key.

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