What Are The Benefits Of Eating Healthy Food?
We all have heard the statistics about eating healthy food and what that can do to impact your body. Although it is easy to define unhealthy food (sugary drinks, processed cookies and chips to name a few), it isn’t always as easy to understand what exactly healthy food is. The dictionary defines it as a natural food that has health-giving qualities. That seems direct enough, but the benefits are wide-ranging and can be a bit more nuanced than simply health-giving qualities.
Why You Should Be Eating Healthy Food
One of the benefits of eating healthy food is the prevention of heart disease. Unlike many processed foods that contain toxic chemicals and artery-clogging trans fats, healthy foods are usually not processed and do not contain any of that stuff which is important, especially when looking at avoiding health problems like heart disease and high cholesterol. Keep in mind that fat is not automatically a dirty word. Fat is important for storing energy and water and for providing support to your immune system when you are sick. Obviously, there are some healthy fats out there (omega-3 for example) that you should include in your diet, but you have to stay away from trans fat. Trans fat is bad for you and should be avoided at all costs. It is a known fact that Trans fat can increase your risk of heart disease by increasing your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and decreasing your “good” cholesterol (HDL).
Eating healthy food will also keep your body functioning in a balanced way. That means that the sugar levels will maintain a healthy balance and there will be a little buildup of plaque. It also means that your organs will function better because they will not have an excess of unhealthy fat or cholesterol clogging them up. Your kidneys and liver will function better which can help you flush more toxins out of your body and make you feel healthier overall. Healthy food will also prevent an excess of acids in the body because there are little if any chemicals used in the production of such foods. Not to say that there is no acid at all in healthy foods, but unhealthy foods have much more which can cause acid reflux or heartburn.
The benefits of eating healthy food start on the inside but the improvement of your bodily functions has another impact on your outsides. Healthy food will cause your skin, hair, and nails to look better and healthier and the food can also improve your quality of sleep. The better that you sleep, the more refreshed and energized you are each day and that will improve your mood and prevent mental illnesses like depression. The better quality of sleep that you get from eating healthy food is also going to help prevent negative impacts of aging like cognitive issues or joint problems. It will improve the health and strength of your bones which will help support you through the process of aging.
The impact of unhealthy foods is far and wide, but the problems that they cause often build upon each other to lead up to serious illnesses. The impact of the chemicals and preservatives and fats combined in unhealthy foods will make a person feel sluggish and struggle to get up and moving. The lack of energy will result in a lack of exercise and if we do not burn the fats that we eat then we are only adding onto a very dangerous foundation. The more that this goes on, the more likely it is that plaque will build up in your arteries and that can cause strokes or heart attacks in the long run. The excess of fat that can build up can also cause breathing problems like sleep apnea. Having breathing problems will restrict your lung capacity and the amount of oxygen being infused into the bloodstream. The lack of oxygen will only make you feel more tired which will compound problems and create a vicious cycle.
How To Clean Up Your Diet
In order to make sure that you are eating healthy food and limiting unhealthy food, you have to exercise self-control. You have to start your shopping in the produce aisle and make sure that you are loading up on fruits and veggies above all else. You need to avoid the aisles that are full of temptations (usually contain highly processed snacks, sweets and other unhealthy packaged foods) and make sure that you focus on things that have a high caloric density. That means that you should focus on nutritient-dense foods that are both filling and low in calories. It is also recommended to go for the whole food option instead of getting processed food which usually has a lot of negative side effects. For example, instead of buying deli meats that are high in sodium and other chemical preservatives, you can simply go for a healthier option (fresh meat).
To make sure that you stick with the healthy foods then you should also plan your meals ahead of time. With a meal plan, you are sure of what to expect for breakfast, lunch & dinner and not just consume anything in sight that looks pleasant. Make sure that you not only plan for the meals themselves but also plan for the snacks in between the meals. Chop up apples and keep them on hand, try celery or cucumbers or anything that will curb your cravings throughout the day without adding unnecessary fats and chemicals to your diet.
Keep in mind that the best motivators for healthy diets are not only within your body and personal health. You also have to remind yourself about your future as it pertains to those who you love the most. If you want to live long enough to experience having a family or if you have one and want to make sure that your kids develop healthy habits then you have to make conscious choices every day to be healthy. You must make yourself healthy for all of the people who count on you every day and want to spend the next twenty years enjoying your company and experiencing life. Healthy foods are not just the buzz words of the day, they are the tickets to longevity and health that we all desire for our futures!