22 Jun 10 Amazing Nutritional Benefits You Derive From a Healthy Diet
There are tons of nutritional benefits to derive from following a healthy diet, it impacts physical, mental, and emotional well being positive. We’ll list and explain ten of the major nutritional benefits you can derive from following a healthy diet below.
Studies have shown that following a healthy diet makes one more energetic as your body gets the full nutrients it needs to function properly. Little wonder why most athletes follow a strict diet. Eating junks will generally make you feel lethargic or sluggish. Most unhealthy food often gives little nutritional benefits as they have been stripped of essential nutrients and only contribute to weight gain. While you may feel full while eating them, the body starves from a lack of nutrients. Eating healthy also helps to improve body metabolism as healthy food digests easily and is excreted properly. While you might get a sugar rush from taking artificially sweetened food and drinks, it won’t last for long and you’ll feel very tired after, but with a healthy diet, your energy levels are sure to be maintained at a good level throughout the day. Foods with artificial sweeteners can reduce your energy instead of increasing it. However, a balanced diet helps you maintain and boost your energy levels.
Lower risk of cardiovascular issues
Cardiovascular diseases have become very common in recent times due to unhealthy eating habits. Heart issues and stroke can be caused by high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol as these cause arteries to be clogged and possibly blocked thereby increasing the risk of having a stroke. Also, most refined foods and junks have an unhealthy amount of sodium in them which can increase blood pressure and increase the likelihood of stroke and kidney diseases. Following a healthy diet will help your body maintain normal blood pressure and helps to excrete waste properly.
Most cases of heart disease can be avoided by simply following a healthy diet, these diseases are usually the long term results of an unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to prevent cardiovascular issues and are very good for the heart whereas too much of saturated fats destroy the heart slowly and raises cholesterol levels.
A healthy diet helps maintain a healthy body weight
Studies have shown that around 160 million Americans are obese or overweight making weight loss seem like an unachievable goal. Meanwhile, obesity can simply be avoided by following a healthy diet. Processed and refined foods are often high in sugar and fats while providing little essential nutrients. Vegetables and fruits usually have lower calories than unhealthy food and they also supply the nutrients your body needs. It is easy to get addicted to sugary food and drinks filled with tons of artificial sweeteners which can lead to sugar cravings. The more you take, the more you want while you gain weight at a fast rate. Also, processed foods are often low in fiber which then leads to weight gain.
When eating healthy, you won’t need to be obsessed with keeping track of your calorie intake as healthy food usually contains fewer calories and are digested easily than processed food. A healthy diet ensures your body has a low-fat percentage and has enough healthy fat needed for your body to function properly.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Eating processed foods increases the likelihood of developing certain types of cancer due to building up of toxic chemicals and substances. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables have been proven to help the body stay free from cancer. Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and lycopene which helps in preventing body cells from turning cancerous. In a study conducted by the American Society for Nutrition in 2014, it was determined that fruit and fiber intake was inversely related to the risk of developing cancer in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Fruit intake greatly reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer and having enough fiber in your diet also helps to reduce the risk of liver cancer. It is easier to make an effort to eat healthy food than to pay for cancer treatments and other health issues.
Improved metabolism and digestion
Eating foods rich in dietary fiber helps in regulating digestive processes, fiber also serves as an important probiotic as it helps good bacteria present in the colon. Processed foods meanwhile are often low in fiber and take a while to digest. Even after they digest, excreting the waste is often a strenuous process as the food moves along the colon very slowly which might lead to some gut problems. Sugary and fatty foods also affect gut bacteria and may cause bowel discomfort and gastrointestinal issues. They also increase stomach acidity thereby increasing the risk of developing ulcers and other gut issues.
Maintaining a healthy diet helps the body in digesting food easily and removing waste quickly. You are more likely to have regular bowel movements when eating healthy food than when you eat junk food. This helps in preventing constipation and other intestinal problems.
Diabetes prevention and management
Though type 2 diabetes can be caused by genetic factors, it is also a result of unhealthy eating habits. Overweight or obese people are a greater risk of getting diabetes as the body becomes resistant to insulin when blood sugar builds up to dangerous levels. Eating healthy food will help you maintain a normal blood glucose level thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.
For people who already have diabetes, some types can be managed through a proper diet, type 2 diabetes especially. Following a healthy diet will help maintain a normal blood sugar level usually without the need to take drugs. Healthy foods with a decent amount of carbs help in keeping sugar levels in check. Processed or refined foods meanwhile can cause a spike in blood sugar levels as they are often loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners which are dangerous for a person suffering from diabetes. Also, a healthy diet helps in maintaining proper body metabolism and circulation, this is very important in preventing diabetic complications in persons suffering from diabetes.
Improved mood and overall well being
Recent studies have proven that there is a link between the gut and mental health. Bad eating habits have been linked with mental issues such as depression and also general fatigue. An unhealthy diet will leave you tired and uncomfortable most times, for example, eating too many sugary foods and drinks will lead to an addiction. When you eat a meal with too much sugar, the body goes through what is known as a sugar rush which occurs when there is a spike in blood sugar levels, after this rush, what follows is tiredness and lethargy. Also, an unhealthy diet can trigger several bowel problems which directly affects your mental well being. Maintaining a healthy diet can be linked to higher levels of confidence and self-esteem because you are more likely to maintain normal body weight and have a radiant outlook when you eat healthy which in turn boosts your confidence.
The body successfully combats other diseases more easily and quickly
A healthy diet helps to boost the immune system and helps the body fight infections more easily and quickly. Foods with artificial sweeteners have been known to weaken the immune system and also aid the growth of unhealthy microorganisms. Meanwhile, fruit such as blueberries contains anthocyanin which can help boost the immune system as it has antioxidant features. It also helps in preventing upper respiratory tract infections especially the common cold. Other foods such as Salmon, Tuna, Herring, Turmeric, Broccoli, Sweet potatoes, Spinach, and garlic all have antioxidants which strengthen the immune system and helps the body fight infections easily.
For people suffering from diseases which may compromise the immune system, a healthy diet will also help in boosting the immune system, for example, garlic has been proven to have many antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also helps in reducing cholesterol, helps in treating the common cold, reducing the risk of hypertension and offers cardioprotection.
Increased supply of nutrients
You are more likely to get essential vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet than from eating processed food or junks. The body needs some essential nutrients which is gotten from external sources like plant and animal products. Vitamin deficiency can cause some serious problems if left untreated, meanwhile, you do not have to worry about vitamin deficiency when you follow a healthy diet. For example, sources for vitamin A and C are plant products and citrus fruits like carrots, oranges, lemon, spinach, tomatoes, soy, avocado, etc. Some essential minerals can also be gotten from animal products like meat, poultry, Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Eggs, Dairy, etc. These nutrients are natural and can be easily synthesized by the body unlike in refined foods.
Also, eating healthy food enriches the body with different proteins, healthy carbs, minerals, and healthy fats too. Most junk food usually has a high-calorie content while offering little nutrients. All they do is cause a spike in blood sugar and cause weight gain.
Improved quality of life and longevity
A healthy diet greatly contributes to the general well being and quality of life. A person free from health issues and complications generally contributes more to the society unlike someone battling with one ailment after the other. Studies have shown that people who follow healthy eating habits have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and other health issues. In a study conducted on Okinawa, which boasts of the largest number of world’s oldest citizens with an average lifespan of 86 years for women and 78 years for men, it was found out that their diet consisted of vegetables, fruits, herbs with different healing properties along with whole grains.
The nutritional benefits you’ll get from following a healthy diet are not limited to these ten we’ve listed, there are many more nutritional benefits to gain from healthy eating habits. Eating healthy helps in having a long and healthy life, this has been proven by different scientific studies.