Self-care is about looking after yourself. It requires self reflection, self-awareness, and the ability to meet your own needs.
Doing so can make us feel healthier and happier.
Diet, hydration, and nutrition are an often overlooked part of self-care.
But these factors play a massive role in our overall physical and mental wellbeing.
When we don’t consider our diet, we can’t care for our body as a whole.
In this guide, we’ll explain to you the importance of taking care of the body by providing it with everything necessary for optimum performance.
Read on to find out how to incorporate diet, hydration, and nutrition into your self-care plan.
Good Nutrition Is Good Self Care
When you hear the term “nutritional self-care”, you might think of dieting.
Too often, dieting is presented as the best solution to any health issues, and the best way to care for ourselves.
But dieting isn’t always what good nutrition is about.
So, what is nutritional self-care?
Nutritional self-care is about providing your body with everything it needs to function and to thrive.
Yes, that includes vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
But it also means the healthy fats and carbohydrates that we’re frequently warned to stay away from.
Nutritional self-care isn’t about dieting or indulging. Instead, it focuses on providing.
Giving the body all that it requires for you to feel happy and active. And nurturing a strong, positive relationship with food.
Food is what fuels accomplishment, and a healthy diet can help us be the best person we can be.
What Is Self Care And Why Is It So Important For Your Health?
To understand the important role diet, hydration, and nutrition play, you must first know what are the benefits of self-care.
Self-care is about taking care of yourself.
Engaging in behavior that promotes physical, emotional, and mental health, and providing ourselves with the support we need.
Self-care can occur in many ways. It could be going for a run on a sunny day, enjoying a warm bath, or writing a diary.
By practicing regular self-care, we learn to recognize our needs and respond to them.
Many of us think of self-care in relation to pamper sessions. We go out of our way to treat ourselves.
We get manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, and spa treatments.
But we don’t always think of how self-care plays a role in our everyday life.
Self-care also means ensuring we’re eating right, staying hydrated, and caring for our body.
Doing so can improve not only our physical health, but also our mental wellbeing.
What Is Hydration – Definition, Facts, & Benefits
Hydration is the act of replenishing water in the body.
Our body needs a huge amount of water to work at optimum efficiency, but we lose fluid throughout the day.
By drinking water, we keep our fluid levels topped up, and our body can function effectively.
There is no set amount of water that you must drink every day, as it depends on your own body, activity level, and the temperature.
However, you should aim for at least 5 glasses of water per day. This replaces the fluids that you lose naturally.
It’s suspected that almost 75% of American adults suffer from dehydration, and will only drink 2.5 cups of water per day.
Hydration doesn’t have to come from water. You can drink milk, low sugar fruit juice, sports drinks, or even eat watermelon.
Is Milk Better For Hydration Than Water?
Is milk good for dehydration?
We don’t always associate milk with hydration, because it’s so thick that it doesn’t seem quite so thirst-quenching.
But if you’re struggling to drink 5 cups of water a day, you might be surprised to learn that milk can be better for hydrating than water.
Milk contains electrolytes and carbohydrates.
Electrolytes, charged minerals, and carbohydrates all help to maintain hydration.
So, when you’re feeling dehydrated, a glass of milk might be what you need to help you rehydrate.
And as milk contains protein, it can also aid recovery after exercise.
We don’t always recommend grabbing a glass of milk when you’re thirsty. It is high in calories when compared to water.
But if you like milk, and struggle to drink several liters of water, it’s a good way to practice self-care.
Does Salt Help With Hydration: The Science-Backed Answer
We rarely associate salt with hydration. In fact, we tend to think of it as doing the opposite.
But hydration isn’t just about drinking water. It’s about balancing fluids in the body.
Water is important, but it isn’t the only factor.
Salt, or more accurately, sodium, is another factor of hydration.
Sodium is an electrolyte, which helps to maintain that all important fluid balance. It’s also lost through sweat.
If you’re avoiding salt completely, you’ll never replace the sodium lost throughout the day.
Does adding salt to water help hydration? It can, but not in all situations.
The best time to add salt to water is if you’ve been exercising, live in extreme temperature conditions, or eat only a low-carb diet.
Rather than adding salt to your drink, try electrolyte drinks instead. They have the balance sorted.
10 Ways Your Body Changes When You Start Drinking More Water
Drinking water consistently has plenty of benefits, and you really can see and feel the difference.
Our body is 60% water, and a lot of that is found in the brain and the heart.
What happens to your body when you start drinking more water?
- You’re less likely to feel hungry. Proper hydration can reduce the desire to snack, and help you lose weight.
- Digestion is more comfortable, and you’re less likely to experience heartburn.
- You’ll feel energized. Hydrated cells function better, giving you an energy boost.
- Memory can improve. Your brain needs water to get those neurons and synapses firing.
- You can focus better. Just as your brain needs hydration for memory, drinking enough water can help you focus.
- Workouts can get stronger, and recovery time quicker. Fatigue, a lack of motivation, and feeling weak can all be caused by dehydration.
- You’ll have regular bowel movements. Water can help move things along, reducing bloating and constipation.
- Your skin will look and feel better. Skin is the largest organ of the body, and it requires hydration to remain plump and vibrant.
- Your kidneys work better. Kidneys filter the waste from our blood, and they need water to do it. When dehydrated, you risk urinary tract infections and even kidney stones.
- You’ll feel better and happier. Dehydration leads to fatigue, headaches, and physical discomfort. Stay hydrated, and feel happier.
Should I Take A Daily Multivitamin?
With so many vitamins and minerals in our diet that are so necessary to the function of our body, it can seem like getting them all is an impossible task. In that case, you may turn to a multivitamin.
These are tablets or capsules that contain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
A multivitamin can be a way to introduce important nutrients into your diet.
However, there are some things to consider before taking one. Multivitamins are not always necessary.
Some people think that a daily multivitamin is necessary to ensure their bodies receive the proper nutrition.
But if you eat a balanced diet, then you may not need a multivitamin.
A daily multivitamin may seem like a no-brainer. After all, most people take them every day without thinking twice.
But is it good to take a multivitamin every day?
Excessive consumption of multivitamins can actually prevent the body from absorbing nutrients.
In some cases, it can even be toxic.
Before taking your multivitamin, consult with a medical professional to find out just what your body needs.
Omega-3 Fish Supplement: Benefits, Side Effects, And Uses
Fish oil pills may not sound very nice, but they actually contain some pretty good stuff.
An omega-3 fish supplement contains fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Omega-3 fish oil pills are good for you because they can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and reduce the likelihood of a stroke or heart attack.
Side effects of omega-3 supplements are generally mild.
An upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea can occur, and you may have fishy breath.
Excessive consumption can lead to bleeding, so speak to a medical professional before you start taking them.
5 Vitamins You May Need More Of And Where To Get Them
These are the 5 most important vitamins that you might not be getting enough of, and where you can find them.
- Vitamin D. The body uses vitamin D to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, we can get sick, suffer from bone loss and hair loss, and struggle with pain. Vitamin D is found in sunlight, which is one of the reasons we should spend time outside. Foods with vitamin D include egg yolks, fatty fish, and fortified foods. Vitamin D can be hard to come across, so it’s a good one to look for in a supplement.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). There are many reasons why the body needs vitamin B6. It helps us produce red blood cells, regulate sleep, improve the immune response, and even increase mood. B6 can be found in fish, chickpeas, potatoes, bananas, and leafy vegetables.
- Vitamin B9 (Folate/Folic Acid). Vitamin B9 is most often recommended to pregnant women, as it can help lower the risk of birth defects. It can also help form red blood cells and encourage cell growth. Folate is B9 in natural form, while folic acid is the synthesized form. B9 can be found in leafy greens such as spinach, citrus fruits, nuts, and enriched breads.
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). Vitamin B12 is essential for keeping your blood cells healthy. It can also help your nerves cells, and is known for producing energy. B12 can be found in fish, meat, and poultry, as well as eggs, milk, and cheese. Vitamin B12 can be difficult to find in a vegan diet.
- Magnesium. Magnesium is best known for producing energy and supporting bone health, but many people aren’t getting enough of it. Magnesium can be found in leafy greens like spinach, beans, tofu, and nuts.
Dietary Supplements: What You Need To Know
If you’re looking to take dietary supplements, here are some things you need to know to make sure you’re making an informed decision.
What are the benefits of taking supplements?
Dietary supplements can improve health by providing the body with essential nutrients that might be missing from the diet.
However, in many cases, dietary supplements aren’t necessary.
Instead, you should look to find these nutrients by eating a balanced diet.
Eating the right diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough nutrients are all forms of self-care.
They can make you feel better both emotionally and physically, and also help you stay aware of your body.
Consider what your body needs, and then do what you can to provide it. You’ll soon feel the benefits.