Ever since our parents tricked us into eating vegetables when we were two, we’ve always known that we need to eat healthy foods. It can be difficult to pass up the donuts and opt for the side of fruit instead, especially if our only justification is, “because it’s good for you.” But how, exactly, is healthy food good for you? We’ve compiled some obvious and not so obvious benefits you’ll get from eating a healthy diet.
One of the most obvious benefits of a healthy diet is weight control. In the United States, more than one third of adults struggle with obesity. Although there are a lot of contributing factors, the first thing to address is the diet. Adopting healthy habits of eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains may be the most effective place to start if you’re wanting to control your weight.
If you feel like you need an energy drink in the morning to get going, you may want to take a look at your diet. Eating high-fat, sugary, or processed foods gives us a lot of empty calories while weighing us down. A healthy diet high in vitamins and minerals actually boosts our energy and keeps it up for more of the day than a caffeine or sugar fix does. Check out this superfood carrot salad recipe for a healthy and energy-boosting meal.
Diet is a huge risk factor for a lot of serious health concerns like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and even some types of cancer. If you’re keeping your cholesterol low, your muscles well-fed, and your organs hydrated and nourished, your body will be better equipped to fight anything from the common cold to cancer.
The food we eat doesn’t just affect the way we feel physically, but how we feel mentally too. If you maintain a stable blood pressure, the portion of your brain that controls your mood is under much better control. Eating a lot of junk food can lead to sporadic emotions and even bursts of uncontrolled anger. A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fats has been linked to lower risks of depression.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on beauty items to get gorgeous skin, nails, and hair. The benefits these “miracle” products boast often come from simple foods that you can easily get from a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables help to moisturize and fortify your skin against aging, while fish, lean meats, and bone broth protein powder can boost skin, nails and hair. Supplementing your diet with protein may also keep you looking younger. Try out this banana protein smoothie recipe for a shot of protein that tastes amazing.
It’s possible that eating the right kind of food can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. If stress and anxiety keep you up at night, try getting more calcium and vitamin A in your diet. Fruits like tart cherries and bananas are high in melatonin, which signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep. One study even showed that eating kiwi before bed can help insomniacs!
Maintain Better Relationships
This may seem like a bold claim, but it’s possible that eating a healthy diet can actually improve your relationships with coworkers, friends, and family. Getting enough sleep, feeling physically more energized, less stressed, and healthier all make you a far more pleasant person to be around. A change in diet may result in a change in disposition. You might find yourself becoming more patient and less irritable, and people will notice a difference. If you’re struggling to bond with your new cubicle neighbor or get easily frustrated with your kids, try taking a little time for yourself to take care of your body and feed it the things it needs. The changes will brighten everyone’s day.
The reasons for eating healthy go far beyond “just because your mom said so.”Taking care of your body by putting good food into it is the fastest way to feel better physically and mentally. Take some time to care for yourself and the return can be exponentially greater.