9 easy tips for a healthy mind, body and spirit.

Yes, eating well offers long-term health benefits, such as reducing your risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes-but it delivers short-term boons too. Making nutritious food choices can keep your energy level steady, bolster your immunity and even help you sleep better. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to overhaul your diet all at once. Small, simple changes add up. Here are nine to get you started…

1. Keep Almonds on Hand

Store almonds in the freezer to keep them fresh. Spice them up for an appetizer, toss them in a salad or eat a handful for a snack. Almonds offer a satisfying carbohydrate-protein combo; plus, they've been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.

2. Read Labels When Shopping for Crackers

Pick crackers with fiber-rich whole grains, as few ingredients as possible and no hydrogenated oils (a source of heart-harming trans fats).

3. Replace Full-Fat Sour Cream

Instead, use reduced-fat sour cream and nonfat plain yogurt. You'll save calories and fat without sacrificing flavor.

4. Start Your Meal With Soup

Research suggests that starting dinner with a vegetable-based soup may help you to consume 20 percent fewer calories over the course of your meal.

5. Use Stronger Cheeses

Use cheeses like extra-sharp Cheddar-they give a bigger flavor impact so you can use less and cut saturated fat and calories.

6. Top Your Salad With Sardines

Per 3-ounce serving, you'll get a whopping 1,950 mg of heart-healthy omega-3s-the most from any fish available.

7. Skip Canned Vegetables

Opt for frozen vegetables when you're looking for convenience. Canned veggies usually have added sodium, while frozen vegetables don't.

8. Opt for Brown Rice

Opt for brown rice over white rice whenever possible to add fiber to your diet. Per cup, brown rice has 3 more grams of fiber than white.

9. Serve Sandwiches Open-Face

You'll save about 100 calories simply by ditching that top slice of bread.