10 Healthy Habits to Try in 2023

| 3 January 2023
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It’s that time of year again when we take an audit of our life and think about ways we can improve in the new year. Many resolutions fail because they are too ambitious or too vague but here are 10 simple resolutions for you to try. Of course, you don’t need to try all 10 (at least not at once) – and no one will be checking – but if you’re able to introduce just one of these healthy habits into your life, you’ll be better off than last year.


1. Covet cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower bok choy, Brussels sprouts and kale. The reason why these green powerhouses are so highly praised is that all cruciferous vegetables contain very powerful natural compounds that have a strong cancer-fighting effect. Their consumption can thus help protect against many types of cancer. These compounds are called glucosinolates and their breakdown products, such as isothiocyanates, are believed to be responsible for their health benefits. Dark leafy green vegetables are also a great source of calcium and other important nutrients.

Read more about cruciferous vegetables here.


2. Bring on the berries

The term ‘superfood’ has certainly been exploited by marketing companies, but if there is a food worthy of this title, it’s berries. Probably the most nutritious, health-protective foods in the world, berries are true heroes. They contain a wide range of essential nutrients and a whole lot more – a wealth of health-defending antioxidants which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties and are great for your digestive system.

Read more about berries here.


3. Spice up your life

The science is in and experts agree that spices not only improve the flavour of our food but also enhance our health. Spices and herbs possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to fight cancer and tumour growth, reduce cholesterol and improve cognition and mood! And it’s so easy to add these powerful powders to our diet – even the humble baked bean can be souped with a sprinkle of turmeric and smoked paprika.

Read 5 spices with superpowers here.


4. Favour fermented food

In the last few years scientists have just started to get to grips with the magic of our gut microbiome. There is still a lot to discover, but most gastroenterologists agree that fermented foods are extremely good for our gut health. Fermentation involves the use of microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi or yeast, in preserving foods and drinks. The process usually alters the original food, enriching it at the same time, making it tastier and healthier.

Read The amazing benefits of fermented foods here.


5. Choose unsweetened (you’re already sweet enough!)

It’s hard for those of us with a sweet tooth to hear that the consumption of refined sugar has been linked to an incredible amount of illnesses including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, depression and even dementia. With that in mind, it makes sense to choose the unsweetened option whenever possible. For those following a plant-based diet, apart from the obvious (sweets, cakes and biscuits), this mainly applies to dairy analogues like milk and yoghurt. If you’re used to a sweeter taste, it might take a little getting used to but your taste buds will adapt, and you can always sweeten the latter with some fruit.

Read 7 healthier alternatives to sugar here.


6. Heroes stay hydrated

Here’s a simple one to try. Many of us forget to drink enough water throughout the day but it is indeed the elixir of life. Dehydration can cause headaches, bad moods, brain fog, overheating, constipation and kidney stones. It’s also good for dental health and keeping many of our bodily processes running smoothly. It’s recommended that we drink around two litres of water a day, but it will be more if it’s hot or you’re very active. An easy way to do this is keep a large flask of water nearby and make sure you drink it all by the end of the day.

Read 12 ways to boost your battery when you’re feeling drained here.


7. Jettison the junk

We all know we should be eating less junk food and more wholefoods, and there is no better time than now to give it a try. Ultra-processed foods are generally high in sugar, salt and saturated fat, and it’s usually difficult to recognise the foods’ individual ingredients. But giving up these hyper-palatable foods doesn’t need to be a sacrifice. Nowadays there are loads of healthier options that still hit the spot.

Read 6 vegan junk foods get a makeover here.


8. Savour sleep

We all know the difference a good night’s sleep makes. If we sleep well, we’re more likely to eat well, be more active and have a better mood. Sleep also has a huge effect on our immune system. A lack of sleep can reduce the number of natural killer cells in our body which hunt and neutralise threats like cancer, and it may also reduce the efficacy of vaccinations. Sleep is one of the main pillars of good health so make it a priority in 2023.

Read 10 tips to help you sleep here.


9. Reach for the weights

Once we hit our thirties it becomes harder for our bodies to gain and maintain muscle mass. In fact, as we age, we begin to lose muscle mass, a natural process known as sarcopenia. A healthy diet and regular exercise can combat sarcopenia, the best type of exercise is resistance training. This can be done at a gym, simple body weight exercises done at home, or you can use resistance bands and weights if you have them.

Read 6 nutrition tips for healthy ageing here.


10. Get your heart racing

It’s not just our bones and muscles which need to stay strong – so does our cardiovascular system. It’s pointless being built like a brick house if your heart and lungs aren’t also getting the exercise they need. Try and find a cardio exercise that you enjoy and are likely to stay motivated with. It could be a brisk walk every morning, jogging, swimming, cycling or even dancing around your living room for twenty minutes every evening.

Read 6 ways to fuel your New Year fitness goals here.


If you decide to try one or more of these healthy habits in 2023, the key to success is to make it easy to manage and achieve. Set up your environment so it supports the habit rather than creates an obstacle. So, if you want to eat less junk food, keep it out of the house; if you want to lift some weights, keep them in plain sight; if you want to use more spices, arrange them so they’re easy to grab when you’re cooking. Whether you make a new year resolution or not, have a happy new year!

(By the way, the ideas above presume you’re already eating a plant-based diet. If not, this blog, Creating and sustaining vegan habits, might be useful!)

About the author
Nicholas Hallows
Nicholas has been vegan since the early 2000s and worked for Viva! between 2017 and 2020 as a Senior Administrator and Web Content Assistant. He is a qualified teacher, specialising in Language and Literacy, and an accredited Proofreader and Editor. He is now a freelance writer covering topics including veganism, mindfulness and minimalism.

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