4 Wellness Practices to Add to Your 2021 Goal List
While we do hope that 2021 will be a better year than 2020, we can’t help but look back on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in various ways. If you’re looking to adopt healthy habits in the new year, consider adding these four wellness practices to your list of 2021 goals:
1. Immune-Boosting Foods and Behaviors
Trying to fend off contracting a potentially fatal virus has more individuals seeking immune-boosting foods. While you need to steer clear of the gimmicks, scams and misinformation that abound on the internet and social media about boosting immunity with specific products like detoxifying drinks, some foods and nutrients have more solid science to suggest that a healthy diet coupled with adequate sleep can help keep your immune system functioning optimally.
Foods to add include vitamin C-rich choices like citrus – oranges, grapefruit and 100% orange juice. Other vital nutrients that can supercharge your immune system include probiotics found in nonfat plain Greek yogurt, kefir and fermented foods and have been shown to improve gut health and vitamin D (otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin). The best food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, fatty fish and some mushrooms, as well as vitamin-D enriched foods and beverages, like milk and some breakfast cereals.
2. Healthier Freezer Finds
Sales of frozen fruit and veggies are outpacing sales of fresh, as more homebound shoppers turns to frozen foods for their added convenience, affordability, longer shelf-life and healthfulness.
Studies consistently show that frozen foods are nutritionally on-par (or even better!) than their fresh counterparts. And having plenty of fruits and veggies in the freezer means that you always have produce on hand to make preparing plant-forward meals and snacks a cinch.
3. Kitchen Confidence
Polls show that consumers say their kitchen confidence has soared over the last nine months. There are multiple perks of enjoying more home-cooked meals. Generally speaking, these dishes tend to be lower in total calories, saturated fat and added sugars compared to meals prepared outside of the home, along with being less expensive. That’s a win-win in any house.
4. Sleep Enhancers
Without any reason to be out into the late hours, many people have started putting a higher priority on optimizing their sleep and bedtime rituals. Research has shown that improving sleep quality can help boost your body’s immune system. Furthermore, one timely study found that flu shots were more effective among individuals who got a solid night of shut-eye on a regular basis.
If you’re hoping to catch more sleep in 2021, consider following a few sleep hygiene strategies. For example:
- Avoid drinking alcohol in the evening.
- Consume functional foods and beverages that promote sleep.
- Also, try drifting off while listening to a relaxation app and lying in a dark bedroom using evidence-based sleep enhancing products, like pillows and mattresses designed for your weight and preferred sleep position or a cozy weighted blanket.