8 Benefits of Eating Healthy

When we limit our consumption of processed foods in favor of whole or unprocessed foods, our health, both physical and mental, will often see an improvement, too. This is because our diets can significantly impact our health. There are many benefits related to healthy eating, eight of which we’ll dive into here.

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1. Reduced Risk of Heart Problems

A considerable benefit of a healthy diet is that it supports your heart health. This is because a well-balanced, nutritious diet reduces the consumption of foods linked to heart concerns like hypertension, high cholesterol, heart attacks, and strokes. 

If you’re planning your diet with your heart health in mind, most health and heart care professionals, like those at NIH, recommend including plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. It’s also important to remember that eating a heart-healthy diet isn’t just about what we put on our plates; it’s also about what we don’t, like reducing the amount of red meats, sodium, and fats we eat.

Healthy eating can even help manage these heart conditions if we already have them. A common diet for this is the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).  

2. Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Healthy eating habits can help reduce the risk of becoming diabetic and help us manage our symptoms. It does this by supporting our cardiovascular health, which, if compromised, can complicate type 2 diabetes symptoms. Two other significant ways a healthy diet can help prevent and manage diabetes are by helping to maintain steady blood sugar levels and helping to manage weight.

3. Reduced Risk of Cancer

Cancer has been linked to certain lifestyle factors related to our food consumption, like not eating enough fruits and vegetables. The link between our eating habits and cancer is so strong that five of the ten recommendations in the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)’s Blueprint to Beat Cancer are related to healthy eating. These five recommendations include limiting red meats, sweetened drinks, fast foods, and alcohol consumption while focusing on consuming foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes.

Beyond eating a diet rich in these nutritious foods, certain foods are associated with lowering the risks of cancer. These foods include broccoli, carrots, beans, berries, nuts, olive oil, turmeric, and cinnamon.

4. Improved Digestion

When we’re eating healthy foods, we’re supporting our entire digestive system. So naturally, it makes sense that if we eat healthier foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and nutrients, our digestion will also improve. 

Fiber, particularly, is credited for better digestion and gut health because it supports the good bacteria in our digestive system. This improved digestion affects more than just stomach discomfort and bowel movements; it can even reduce acid reflux, heartburn, and less bloating.

5. Improved Memory and Brain Health

When it comes to our memory and brain health, there’s still a lot to be learned, but plenty of links have been made between eating habits and brain health. Like other areas of our physical wellness, our brain health improves with a healthy diet. Some foods, including green vegetables, fish, berries, and walnuts, may be more positively linked to our cognitive functioning.

6. Improved Mood and Mental Health

Related to our brain health is our mental health, meaning that when we’re eating a well-balanced and healthy diet, we’re also supporting our mental health. Even though we may occasionally feel depressed or anxious and want to reach for processed foods, this can become a negative feedback loop. This is because processed foods have been linked to mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression.

Our mood and mental health are also very closely linked to our gut health, and since healthy eating supports our digestion, it seems natural that this would also influence our mood and mental health. This connection is fascinating; as Harvard Health Publishing explained, “A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression.”

7. Increased Bone Strength

When our diet consists of foods that deliver essential nutrients and vitamins like calcium, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin D, we’re helping to support our bone health and strength. These nutrients are found in a range of foods often considered part of a healthy diet, like leafy greens, fish, nuts, and tofu.

8. Improved Skin Health and Appearance

We often approach our skin health and look with skincare products, but what we eat can also help improve the look of our skin. Like other parts of our bodies, our skin also depends on the nutrients we provide through the food we eat. This means that eating foods with nutrients our skin needs, like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc, will improve the health and look of our skin. A few foods that may improve your skin’s look include avocados, walnuts, fish, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.

Final Thoughts

Pursuing healthy eating can be an intimidating process that’s more easily said than done. But taking the time to research the benefits, the same way you might research a product before buying it or research which no wagering casinos to playat, can help you begin the process. With so many reasons why eating a healthy diet is beneficial, it’s well worth the time and energy to pursue to improve your overall health and wellness.

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