Eating healthy is vital for our well-being. We all know how external factors can influence our health, so it would be helpful to at least avoid those we can control, and our eating habits are one of them.
You’ve probably heard countless times the saying that you’re what you eat. Well, to a certain extent, it is true. Food influences not only your physical state but also your mental one, so it’s essential to follow a healthy and balanced diet to function correctly. It’s generally recommended that your diet include nutrients from five food groups, counting fruits and vegetables, proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. You should remove added sugar and salt and processed foods from your meals because they increase the disease risk. What you drink is also crucial for your health, so try to stay away from sugary drinks such as soda. And if you’re wondering how to change your food choices, it would be best to take baby steps.
The first step you can take in adopting a balanced diet is understanding its benefits for your health. Therefore, we came up with some of the most significant advantages of eating healthy:
A poor diet rich in fats can lead to obesity, blood pressure, and cholesterol – risk factors for heart disease. Think seriously about protecting your heart by adopting a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Keep in mind that you don’t have to give up on fats – you can include healthy fats in your meals, such as olives, nuts and seeds, as well as avocado, which can successfully save you from cardiovascular disease due to its monosaturated fats. Other low-fat foods include poultry and fish, which means that you do not have to become vegetarian to avoid heart problems. Consider reducing the consumption of salt and sugar – you can use herbs, for example, to spice up your food instead of salt.
Better mood and energy
Eating healthy means getting all the nutrients you need to function properly. You probably know that feeling when all you can do is lie in bed. Well, it might be because you’ve just finished a high-fat meal and your body does not have enough energy to process it.
Studies also say that food and mood are closely related because eating influences your disposition. 2016 research admits that high-glycemic food can lead to depression and tiredness, something that should be alarming, taking into account how many refined carbohydrates we tend to consume daily. So, it would be best to avoid day-to-day sweets, white bread, chips, or fries for better living.
As we’ve just mentioned, a healthy diet can prevent depression and fatigue. Thus, eating well is beneficial for your mental health. If you don’t do so, try to introduce whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, milk, and eggs in your diet because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega 3. Specialists say that omega 3, vitamins C, D, and E boost your memory and brain health. So, it’s not surprising that all these vitamins are found in food supplements for better cognitive function.
Strong bones and teeth
Paying close attention to your eating habits is of the utmost importance, especially if you want to avoid health problems when getting older. Some of the most visible issues the elderly experience is weakened bones and teeth. So, you better prevent them earlier and introduce foods rich in calcium and magnesium into your meal. Such foods include broccoli (we know what you’re thinking, but trust us, broccoli can be delicious if cooked properly), cabbage, tofu, and cauliflower.
If your older relatives suffer from osteoporosis, following a diet rich in magnesium, calcium, and potassium would be helpful. There are many recipes for elderly parents, such as fruit salad, breakfast egg muffins, vegetable omelet, mashed potatoes, or pesto salmon, that would help them strengthen their bones and improve their mobility.
Reduce cancer risk
Preventing cancer is an important matter nowadays, as more and more people suffer from this cruel disease. And you’ll be surprised, but an unhealthy diet can cause many forms of cancer. So, you should pay attention to your food habits and include in your diet foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, pumpkin, nuts and seeds, leafy greens (kale, broccoli, lettuces, spinach, Swiss chard, etc.), and carrots that remove the free radicals from your body (one of the causes of cancer is the presence of free radicals at the cellular level). Maybe these foods don’t delight you, but if you take a little time, you can find delicious recipes that include them.
Prevent type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes has become such a common disease among people, and unfortunately, eating habits can be one of the causes. We know that you may associate diabetes only with excessive sugar consumption, but this is not the case – we’re dealing with an entire diet. Possible causes of type 2 diabetes include, among foods and drinks with added sugar, low-fiber carbs, processed meat, alcohol, and salt. So, it would be helpful to make wiser choices when it comes to eating. That means you should choose foods without added sugar, cut down on processed foods, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and consume healthy fats (avocado, olives, rapeseed oil, nuts).
Promote good night’s sleep
You may be wondering what sleep has to do with eating. Well, these are more connected than you think. Studies found that your food choices affect your sleep quality, meaning that you can experience sleep problems if you don’t follow a healthy diet. For example, if you eat foods high in fats just before sleep, it would be difficult for your stomach to process it, which is one of the reasons you might stay up at night. Caffeine can also ruin your sleep, especially if consumed in the evening. It acts as a stimulant that makes you more alert and nervous.
To avoid sleep issues, try to eat foods rich in vitamins (vitamins C and D, selenium, calcium) and nutrients. And if you’re into late-night snacks, no one can stop you from crunching – just make sure you choose foods that promote sleep, such as kiwi and milk, or rich in fiber snacks, such as nuts and seeds.
A healthy diet proves to be more than beneficial to your health, as it promotes a balanced lifestyle and prevents the appearance of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. So, if you haven’t decided on following a healthier diet, we hope our benefits above convinced you to do so.