It is said that “you are what you eat, so don’t be fast or cheap.” We know with certainty that food is a necessity that we can not survive long without. However, it is entirely up to us to choose the kind of food we put into our bodies.
What exactly do we mean by healthy food?
Healthy food is nutritious food. Our body requires a balanced diet (a diet consisting of the desired amount of nutrients, namely- carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals) to function at its best capacity.
The food we consume impacts our body and its well-being in more ways than anything else. Even while trying to lose weight, the diet to exercise ratio is 70-30. Healthy food has innumerable benefits in the short and long term. We will discuss some of the significant benefits of eating healthy food below:
Ensures an ideal weight
Healthy food helps in maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. Having a balanced diet is a significant factor in gaining or losing weight. An unhealthy diet is most likely to result in obesity.
Obesity is a lifestyle disease that has become a global health issue in the present time. A balanced diet consisting of fruits and green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, lettuce, watercress, cabbage, beet greens, etc.), healthy fats (groundnuts, seeds, fish, whole eggs, chia seeds, and olive oil), lean protein (eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, lentils, fish, beans, Greek yogurt) along with whole grains helps in lowering the calorie intake, lower BMI and maintain a healthy body.
Furthermore, the benefits of a healthy diet also include the maintenance of the thyroid gland and the balance of the hunger hormones.
Strengthening the immune system
Your immune system should be healthy to fight the common flu, various infectious and autoimmune diseases. Consuming food that is high in vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants can aid in faster healing and recovery from illnesses. Healthy food items such as milk, tofu, cheese, green leafy vegetables, oranges, bananas, strawberries, fish, chicken breast, etc., help improve your immunity.
Healthy and light food help to keep your brain alert and your energy levels high for you to be more active and productive. Superfoods such as flax seeds, bananas, nuts, fish oil, citrus fruits, chia seeds, blueberries, quinoa, full-fat milk, broccoli, etc., help reduce weight and improve your energy level.
Many fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce oxidative stress within the body, hence, reducing inflammation. On the other hand, unhealthy food items tend to do the exact opposite. They have significantly less or no nutritional value. The high sugar and trans fat in such food items increase inflammation in the body, causing an increase in oxidative stress. Reducing mental stress and maintaining a healthy physical composure is one of the primary positive results of having a healthy diet.
Strong teeth and bones
It is necessary to consume a diet with an adequate amount of calcium and magnesium to keep your teeth and bones strong and healthy. A diet rich in magnesium and calcium can also reduce the risk of bone-related issues in the latter part of life. Some calcium-rich foods are cauliflower, low-fat dairy products, cabbage, legumes, tofu, etc. Magnesium is found in good quantity in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts like almonds and pistachios.
Better sleep quality
Consumption of unhealthy, oily, and heavy food items can lead to improper digestion, obesity, poor concentration, and metabolic syndrome. These symptoms can cause discomfort and uneasiness at night-time. Eating healthy food at least 3 to 4 hours of sleeping can improve digestion and help you get sound sleep. Reducing the consumption of alcohol and caffeine can also lead to better sleep quality.
If you have issues related to sleeping well you must look out for our tips to sleep better.
Improves skin health and delays aging
Unhealthy and oily junk food causes breakouts and acne. To achieve healthier skin, it is necessary to cut off junk food, drink water, coconut water, green tea, eat fruits and vegetables, etc. Also, consume food rich in vitamin A, C, D, and E along with omega-3 fatty acids. These foods help flush out the harmful oxygen radicals from the body, which further helps in the maintenance of the DNA structure and slows down the aging process. Maintaining good hygiene is also crucial in acquiring healthier skin.
Millions of people around the globe are affected by Type-2 diabetes. Obesity, unhealthy eating habits, insulin resistance, and genetic factors are some of the leading causes of diabetes type-2.
Changing your lifestyle choices and eating habits can help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and its various complications. Avoid consuming trans fat, junk food, fried food, and sugary drinks. Eating beans, green vegetables, dark chocolate, and various other healthy snacks help suppress cravings.
Decrease the risk of cancer
Cancer is the second most deadly disease in the world. Its risk factors include- genetic factors and an unhealthy lifestyle. These factors can cause abnormal cell functions due to the exponential division of cells in the body.
It is shown in multiple studies that consuming unprocessed and organic food helps keep cancer away. Certain foods consist of nutrients that may help inhibit cancer progression. These foods consist of watermelon, berries, tomatoes, garlic, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, and ginger.
A healthy diet benefits in keeping your gut health good and having improved digestion. Junk and unhealthy food are more difficult to digest and can cause digestive problems like constipation and bloating.
Consuming fruits, vegetables, probiotics (such as yogurt, kimchi, buttermilk and, probiotic drinks), and whole grains can help better gut health and digestion. Dietary fiber in fruits and vegetables improves bowel movements and adds bulk to the stool, reducing constipation. And, probiotics help in adding more good gut bacteria and assisting in improving digestion.
We can keep going on and on about the importance of a healthy diet because there are more than enough! A healthy diet does not only help you get in shape but also helps you feel relaxed and calm. It helps in keeping your body and mind fit and productive.