It’s a no-brainer that there are many benefits of healthy food. Consuming foods rich in nutrients help your body function smoothly. Being in good health is the real wealth you must invest in. While your life is becoming busier and your food habits are deteriorating, it is never too late to start eating healthy to reverse all the ill effects of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Healthy eating has a plethora of benefits that last a lifetime. It has a positive impact on one’s physical and mental wellbeing. Here’s a list of benefits of consuming healthy foods. Check them out!
Top 15 Benefits Of Healthy Eating
1. Helps Lose Weight
Obesity and excess body weight are global health issues. Thankfully, healthy eating can help reduce this problem. Consuming more green vegetables, whole fruits, healthy fats (olive oil, fish oil, nuts, and seeds), lean protein (skinless chicken breast, fish, eggs, mushrooms, tofu, and lentils), and whole grains helps lower calorie intake, increase satiety, and lower BMI (1), (2), (3), (4).
Healthy eating also helps balance the hunger hormones, improves insulin sensitivity, and maintains normal thyroid function, which aids weight loss and helps you live a healthy life.
2. Helps Manage Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes affects millions of people worldwide, irrespective of age (5). Unhealthy eating habits, obesity, insulin resistance, and genetic factors may lead to diabetes type 2 (6).
Changing your eating habits and lifestyle can certainly help reduce the risk or type-2 diabetes and related complications. Avoid consuming sugary and junk foods. Eat healthy greens, beans, low-glycemic index foods, dark chocolate, and healthy snacks to keep your cravings and hunger pangs at bay (7).
3. Improves Heart Health
Excessive consumption of unhealthy foods, alcohol, and smoking leads to an unhealthy heart. The cholesterol and triglyceride levels rise and cause heart blockage, ultimately weakening the heart muscles. Eating healthily by including fresh green vegetables, fruits, fruit juices, and plant sources of protein in your diet, limiting the intake of meat, and avoiding junk food, animal fat, and sugary foods helps reduce cholesterol and improve heart health (8).
4. Decreases Cancer Risk
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide (9). An unhealthy lifestyle and genetic factors can cause the cells in your body to divide exponentially, leading to abnormal cell functions (10).
Researchers have found that consuming organic and unprocessed foods is the best way to keep cancer at bay. There are certain foods that have nutrients that may inhibit cancer progression. These include berries, watermelon, broccoli, cabbage, tomato, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and leafy greens (11).
5. Increases Immunity
A healthy immune system helps keep infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and the common flu at bay. It aids faster recovery and healing. Consume foods that are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Eating healthy foods like blueberries, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, leafy greens, carrot, tomato, cheese, milk, fatty fish, herbs, and spices help improve your immunity (12).
6. Boosts Brain Health
Healthy eating boosts brain health and elevates your mood. Foods loaded with omega-3 fatty acids (olive oil, fatty fish, fish oil, nuts, and seeds) help maintain the cell membrane and normal brain function and facilitate synaptic plasticity. These foods are used as “diet therapy” for people suffering from dyslexia, attention deficit disorders, schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder (13).
7. Improves Digestion
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and probiotics are essential for maintaining good gut health and improving digestion. Dietary fiber is found in fruits and vegetables. Dietary fiber cannot be digested by humans, but the good gut bacteria ferment it, which helps them thrive and survive (14).
Probiotics like yogurt, buttermilk, kimchi, probiotic drinks, and sauerkraut help add more good gut bacteria, which, in turn, help improve digestion (16).
8. Strengthens Teeth And Bones
Eating healthy also helps strengthen bones and teeth. Fish, milk, tofu, soy, leafy greens (except spinach), oranges, soaked beans, and nuts are a great source of calcium. You must also get morning sun or eat egg yolks, liver, and saltwater fish for vitamin D (17).
9. Delays Aging
Eating healthy foods has a direct impact on how fast you age. Fresh greens, fruits, lean protein, fatty fish, whole grains, green tea, herbs, and spices are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids that help flush out the harmful free oxygen radicals from the body. This, in turn, helps maintain the DNA structure and slow down the aging process (18).
10. Improves Skin Health
Unhealthy oily junk food leads to breakouts and acne. The key to getting healthy skin is drinking water, green tea, and coconut water and eating fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and whole grains (19).
Consume foods loaded with vitamin A, C, D, and E and omega-3 fatty acids, and avoid trans fats and sugary foods. Also, maintain good hygiene, and you will start to see an improvement in your skin.
11. Reduces Stress
Vegetables and fruits are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress in the body, thereby reducing inflammation (20). Unhealthy foods do just the opposite. They have no nutritional value, and the trans fats and high sugar increase inflammation in the body, leading to an increase in oxidative stress (21), (22).
Avoid eating heavy, unhealthy, fat-loaded foods. In the long run, eating light and healthy foods is the best solution to physical and mental stress.
12. Improves Sleep Quality
Healthy eating also helps improve sleep quality. Late-night snacking on junk food or ice cream, having dinner at an odd time, and consuming oily and heavy foods disrupt the normal biological cycle. This increases the chances of obesity and metabolic syndrome (23). It leads to poor digestion and concentration and leaves you feeling uneasy.
Eating healthy and at least three hours before you go to bed aids digestion, lowers stress, and helps you get sound sleep.
13. Increases Productivity
Light and healthy food helps keep your energy levels high and your brain alert and makes you more active. This, in turn, helps increase your productivity (24). Try consuming superfoods that can help you lose weight, improve your energy levels, and keep your brain active.
14. Increases Longevity
Eating healthy has a direct correlation with living longer and your quality of life. Healthy foods decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of various diseases (25).
15. Good For The Environment
The less processed a food is, the less impact it has on the environment and climate. Eating organic, fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, plant proteins, farm-raised chicken and eggs, and wild-caught fish and avoiding dairy (as much as possible) is a smart way to contribute toward sustainability.
Healthful eating has many health benefits. The intake of foods rich in nutrients may help your body function properly. The positive effects of healthy eating on your life may include weight loss, reduced risk of diabetes, improved heart health, decreased cancer risk, and better immunity. It is also important for physical and mental well-being. Additionally, consult your dietitian and discuss a proper diet plan. Stop consuming unhealthy foods and indulge in healthy eating that makes you healthier.
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- Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age, NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center.
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