Health is Wealth’ was what we learnt in our school days. But, then it seems that today most of us have forgotten what our true wealth is. With our busy lifestyles, our food habits have deteriorated drastically! We have forgotten what healthy eating is all about!
Eating a balanced diet holds umpteen benefits for us. These benefits are exceptional and long term. That is why, it is vital that we understand the benefits of eating healthy and what impact this has upon our well-being.
What Is Healthy Eating?
It means eating a proper nutritious diet, which is balanced in lean protein, carbs and fats. It includes good food, which makes our body strong, keep diseases away and improve our mind and body. It should not mean starving ourselves only on few foods, but eating everything in proper proportions. Consuming adequate fats also forms a part of a healthy diet.
What Makes Up A Healthy Diet?
Good food like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, cereals, pulses, everything that provides us with required nutrients for the body make up a good diet. Healthy diets are low in fats and calories. Healthy eating also means avoiding fast foods like pizzas, pastas, burgers, fries, etc., as they mostly contain unhealthy fats and are high in calories. Alcohol and soft drinks also are to be avoided.
What to include in a healthy diet: Plenty of water, starchy food, vegetables, fruits, fibers, milk and dairy products, proteins, and right portion size.
And what to avoid : Alcohol, soft drinks, fried foods, fast foods, too much of sugar and salt.
Benefits Of Eating Healthy Food:
Healthy eating has long term benefits. It is good for the whole body. It keeps the brain, heart, bones, mind and all the allied systems working in good condition. Some of the many benefits of eating healthy are mentioned below:
1. Healthy Heart:
Low in sodium, fats and cholesterol diet is best for the heart. It keeps the heart healthy. Saturated and trans fats, mostly found in fried foods, red meat, margarines, etc., increase the risk of heart problems. Diet, which is rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products and low in calories and cholesterol takes care of our heart too.
2. Healthy Bones And Teeth:
A calcium rich diet keeps the teeth strong and prevents bone loss. Vitamin D helps our body in absorbing calcium, so adequate intake of Vitamin D is also essential. Low fat dairy products and fortified foods, like fruit juices, cereals, etc., are rich sources of calcium.
3. Healthy Brain:
It is said that the brain controls the body. So, it is very important to make the brain function well. Proper nutrition improves the blood flow to the brain, protecting the brain cells and helping the brain stay fit and sharp. Eating a healthy, balanced diet ensures to offer the brain the sufficient energy level to be more productive.
4. Controls Weight:
Munching on apples, carrots, cucumbers and other raw fruits and vegetables instead of chips, fries, chocolates, and sodas can help keep our weight in control. Healthy eating reduces the risk of obesity, thyroid dysfunction and similar diseases.
What we eat is burnt and processed into energy and fats. Avoid eating food, which contain excess fats, sugar, and refined carbohydrates (like white bread) to control blood sugar fluctuations. This allows us to maintain steady blood sugar and constant energy levels too. Small, frequent meals also help maintain energy levels and eating a healthy breakfast keep us energized throughout the day.
6. Less Stress:
Healthy eating fosters a healthy mind and body, and when both the mind and body work properly, there is a very little room for stress. Even if there is stress, Omega-3 fatty acids can come to the rescue. These acids protect the body against the fluctuation in stress hormones, such as cortisol. Black tea has been shown to reduce cortisol after stressful events, making it easier for us to recover. Vitamin C and magnesium, found in nuts and spinach also reduce these hormones, while protecting the immune system, keeping stress at manageable levels.
7. Delays Aging:
Foods which have high water content, such as fruits and vegetables, keep the skin moisturized, supple, and hydrated. They also contain antioxidants to protect against cell damage and keep the skin looking younger. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nourish the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
8. Overall Health:
Healthy eating also keeps all the organs of the body and all its systems functioning properly. It improves the immune system which helps fight against diseases. It keeps us energetic and strong all through our lives.
9. Long Life:
Healthy heart, healthy mind, lower level of stress, fit body, less diseases—all these contribute to make our life healthier and happier. One of the wonderful benefits of eating a healthy diet.
10. Saves Money:
Last but not the least, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc., costs less than the fast foods, which does nothing but harm our body. Eating healthy also means falling ill less frequently, less visits to the doctor, less medicines, all of which also helps save money.
11. Fewer Cravings:
A drop in blood sugar level can lead to an unhealthy mode of eating. Lean proteins and carbohydrates help to stabilize the blood sugar in the body in order to control rapid changes. When you start consuming a balanced and nutritional diet, your cravings for unhealthy foods such as junk foods will gradually decrease. This will help you to maintain a healthy and decent lifestyle.
12. Improves Mood:
The carbohydrate rich foods help to boost serotonin secretion. Serotonin is a chemical of the brain which helps to improve mood. Complex carbohydrates are a very good choice of food as it helps to control the blood sugar level of the body.
13. Improved Knowledge:
Once you start opting for a healthy balanced diet, you will start researching on various foods and their methods of preparation. And once you initiate a research in this field, you gain knowledge about various cuisines. So later, if you want to make a change in your diet, you will have more options on what to eat, when and in what combination, making your meal times more interesting.
14. Less Picky:
Feeding healthy foods to children has never been easy for parents. Adults, too, get bored of eating the same food daily. To try maintaining a healthy diet, you need to start selecting various ethnic cuisines. Once you start experimenting with food, you will start becoming less picky and start enjoying your portions of fruits and vegetables.
15. Flatter Belly:
Carbonation, excessive sodium, and constipation can all lead to a bloated belly. Diet which limits the intake of sodium and high sugar carbonated drinks can all lead to a flatter stomach.
16. Healthy Smile:
Once you start consuming healthy foods, your mouth related problems such as tooth ache, bad breath, and gum diseases will decrease. This will let you smile brightly without any worry.
All in all, our body needs healthy food to maintain, improve, and heal itself. Depriving it of good food is just a way of harming ourselves, the results of which may not be instant, but in the long run, it will be very evident. Healthy eating benefits us to feel better, stay healthy and live longer. So, start making changes in the way you eat and you’ll notice the difference quickly!
Do you think your diet is healthy? What does your regular diet include? Share with us in the comments section below.