Your 20s are a time for setting up a lot of the conditions for success later in life. You’re completing education, starting your career, looking for a partner, and maybe even considering having children.
With all of this prep and planning, you can also be setting up something else for your future – your health and wellbeing
Building good habits for diet and exercise in your 20s is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Here are some of the best healthy nutrition habits that you can start working on in your 20s that will set you up for life.
Everything in moderation
Not to propagate stereotypes, but men in their 20s don’t have the best reputation for healthy diets! Burgers, bacon, donuts and pints of lager – does any of this sound familiar? Now, you don’t have to kiss these foods goodbye. Fad diets and restrictive eating plans are not the best solution – you can enjoy everything in moderation. Just make sure that your diet is balanced. If you had a burger today, maybe stick to whole grains and salads tomorrow.
Add flaxseed to your diet to stave off depression and memory loss
Make a habit of adding a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to a smoothie or salad every day. While you might not struggle with depression or memory problems in the here and now, these are afflictions that could emerge as you age. The alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, in flax improves your cerebral cortex. Your future self thanks you!
Folate is your friend
One of the biggest health concerns for anyone in their middle age and golden years is cancer. Your body is constantly replicating cells – up to 6 billion per hour! – each of them creating DNA copies. If you don’t get enough folate in your diet, your body can create irregular DNA. This B vitamin is found in chicken liver, berries, and folate-enriched breakfast cereals. Include these foods in your diet throughout your life
Feed your muscles
Weight training and cardio should be a part of your weekly work out routine, but are you feeding your muscles enough? While you are working on your fitness, you need to ensure that you are eating enough high quality lean protein. This includes lean beef (organic and grass-fed is always best), tofu, lentils, beans, fish and chicken breast. This protein will ensure that you have enough raw materials to build – and maintain – strong muscles as you age.
Build your bone health now
As their balance starts to fail, older folks tend to slip and fall more often than those in their 20s. If your bones are weak or brittle they are far more likely to snap and break. This can really reduce your quality of life; a broken bone is a very serious health issue for seniors. The best solution is to start building strong, break-resistant bones now, in your 20s. Drink at least 2 200 mL glasses of low fat cow’s or alternative milk fortified with vitamin D every day.