The Benefits of Healthy Eating
Food is the key to life. We need food for the basics of everyday life to pump blood, move our body, and think thoughts. We can eat to live well, live longer, and extend the quality of life. Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It is also a powerful way to enhance or impair your health. Most of us are aware that food choices are important to health; very few people truly realize that foods can promote health. Western medicine is so focused on treating disease that prevention is often ignored. Part of disease prevention is making sure you are eating foods that are healthy and nutrient dense.
To function to the best of our body’s ability it requires balance and harmony. The best place to start is with healthy eating. The benefits of healthy eating are exceptional and there are many far- reaching health advantages and gains that cannot be overlooked. Healthy eating practices are important in shaping lifelong behaviors, as well as affecting ones’ health and wellness. Harvard School of Public Health challenges us all to follow a healthy foods diet to see how it can make a positive impact on your health. Vegetables and fruits are clearly an important part of a good diet. Most everyone can benefit from eating ore of them, but variety is as important as quantity. No single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need to be healthy. The key lies in the variety of different vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins that you eat daily(“Vegetables And Fruits: Get Plenty Everyday”, ). Everyone from a small child to a mature adult requires a healthy eating habit to be physically in peak form.
The food you eat can influence how you feel and how you look they can affect your health. The health benefits associated with healthy eating include maintain a healthy body weight, lower blood pressure, ower cholesterol, healthy blood sugar levels, and a decreased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. These health benefits will also allow you to have more energy, think more clearly, and have an improved quality of life. Your body runs on fuel in the form of food, and if the fuel you put in your body is not high grade, you should not expect your body to give you peak performance. To keep your body running to the best of its ability, it is up to you to feed it healthy foods (Covelli, 2011). As noted in the book Eating Well For Optimum Health Weil, 2000, p5), “ healthy eating is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. ” Hippocrates advised people to “let food be your medicine and medicine be your food. ” Healthy eating is not just about extending life but about extending the quality of life. It is probably the easiest and most important way in which you can keep active and shield yourself from the many diseases that have become more common, as we grow older. By eating healthy you will boost your energy levels, improve your bodily functions, help to improve your immune system, get better sleep, and even have more radiant skin.
Who does not want to feel more energetic and lively? You will be able to manage more tasks and more importantly, you will live life to the fullest. I do not know about you but having radiant skin sounds wonderful, instead of having gross cellulite. What you put on your plate, day after day, will play a major role, along with your genes, in determining whether you will live a long healthy life or succumb to a heart attack, a stroke, type 2 diabetes, or cancer. If you look closely at all diseases, one thing pops out at you; they are all reversible. In addition to supplying the basic needs of the body for calories and utrition, a healthy diet should also reduce risks of disease and fortify the body’s defenses and intrinsic mechanisms of healing.
Even small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference in your body and the way you feel. A healthy diet leads to a better performance of the body and mind. What you put into your body not only affects your physical well being, but also can impact your psychological well-being. Foods influence mood and contribute to both positive and negative feelings. Therefore, making healthy good choices can contribute to a variety of improvements to your mental and sychological well-being. Eating a healthy, well balanced diet has been shown to impact a number of mental health conditions positively. It can help reduce the negative symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reduce depression symptoms, reduce anxiety, and reduce chances of bi polar episodes.
The typical “Western” diet that is high in sugar, processed foods, and alcohol tends to aggravate these disorders. According to Andrew Weil, MD (2012), many studies link specific nutrient deficiencies to suboptimal brain function and mental / emotional health. The most important by far is the lack of omega-3 fatty cids. These special fats are critically important for mental health. The body needs regular daily intake of adequate amounts of both EPA and DHA, two long chain omega-3 fats. Low levels of DHA might increase the chances of developing dementia. The lack of vital nutrients in our diet can be responsible for exacerbating the symptoms of some pre existing mental health conditions. Keeping your brain sharp and functioning at its best can make you feel better about your abilities as you age and will help you remain active, which can also help reduce your chances of experiencing depression. Following a healthy ating regime leads to engaging in a lifestyle that is fulfilling, beneficial, and might possibly offset the desire to change any other harmful habits. Our bodies and our minds are connected. Stress can take a toll on our physical health.
By understanding that unhealthy eating causes more stress on our bodies and how that impacts our health, we can begin to take steps to laying the foundation for complete health by changing our eating from unhealthy to healthy. It is important to know how eating healthy and unhealthy foods affects your body. The brain is one of the most important organs in the body to keep well ed, and a healthful diet is essential to keep it running at full capacity. Your brain cells require twice as much chemical energy from your diet as any other cell in your body. When you are eating unhealthy it hinders brain function and causes reduced self-esteem, stress, foggy thinking, mood swings, and confusion. If you are not eating nutrient rich foods most of the time, your brain cannot produce substances required to maintain a healthy mood. The foods you eat can have an immediate impact on your mood. Certain foods trigger neurotransmitters in the brain that can reduce stress and promote calmness.
Eating foods high in vitamin D, serotonin, folate, B3, and B12 are excellent for your emotional well being. When you are feeling emotionally well you are also able to handle stress in a positive manner. Choosing foods healthy and nutritious can give you a sense of control and allow you to feel proud of yourself. These increases in positive feelings for yourself and improvements in your appearance can result in your overall self esteem. The foods you eat now can result in good or bad health in the future. As Dr. Gillian McKeith (2006), has said many times in her book and on her television show “You Are What You Eat”.
Healthy eating simply means having foods that aid in the growth of the body, improve many functions, provide protection from diseases, and help in building a strong immune system. To eat healthy is much easier than you think. Taking small simple steps that together add up to a huge leap forward in your health. Diet has a special significance among lifestyle factors in that people have total control over it. Being able to function better is something that everyone wants to see happen in their bodies. You are only as healthy as the natural world in which you live. The gains from ealthy eating are tremendous and more than worth it. So go ahead follow a diet full of healthy foods and see how it can make a positive impact on your health and life. References Covelli, G. (2011). How Eating Healthy & Unhealthy Foods Affect Your Body. Retrieved from http://www. livestrong. com/article/41294-eating-unhealthy-foods-affects/ McKeith, Dr. G. (2006). You Are What You Eat Vegetables and Fruits: Get Plenty Everyday. (). Retrieved from http://www. hsph. harvard. edu/nutritionsource/vegetables-full-story/#bottom_line Weil, MD, A. (2000). Eating Well For Optimum Health Weil, MD, A. (2012). Spontaneous Happiness