Whether you want to lose weight, are happy with your weight as is, or just want to improve your overall wellbeing, eating healthy is where it’s at. Having a diet that’s high in antioxidants, fibre, and other essential nutrients has some great payoffs not just for your immediate health, but for your future health too. Below are some of the most important reasons why healthy eating is something everyone should adopt, and how having a healthy diet can benefit you in both the short and long term.
It Boosts the Mood
Did you know that what you eat can also affect your mental health? If you didn’t, then you do now. Foods that are processed, packed with trans-fat, sugar, or high in carbohydrates can throw off the mood-regulating chemicals in your brain, triggering symptoms of depression such as feelings of helplessness, irritability, and reckless behaviour. To combat depression, Dr. Ali Ghahary – a family physician and strong advocate of healthy eating – recommends consuming foods that contain creatine, omega 3’s, and vitamin D. These health-promoting nutrients can be found in things like grass-fed beef, fish, and dairy products.
It Improves Brain Function
The term “brain food” isn’t just a saying – it’s fact. Over the years, consumption of foods that contain saturated and trans fats (such as fast food) can actually shrink the brain and reduce your cognitive abilities. Foods such as avocados, fish and walnuts can help keep the brain functioning at a higher level.
It Gives You Energy
You’ve most likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this is true. Eating a good, healthy breakfast every morning not only gives you the fuel needed to get you through your day, but it can also improve performance at school or work. Without breakfast, you’re more likely to feel irritable, tired, and in some cases even restless. If you’re someone who doesn’t typically eat breakfast and aren’t quite sure what to have, Dr. Ali Ghahary has compiled together a small list of some healthy breakfast ideas here.
It Helps You Sleep
People who skip meals, don’t eat healthy, or snack late at night are more prone to developing poor sleeping habits. However, according to a 2013 study, if you eat right you’re more likely to sleep better. In addition, you’ll also make healthier food choices. Unfortunately lack of sleep can also be much more than just a matter of changing your eating habits. For more information on sleep disorders, including insomnia, click here.
It Boosts Your Immune System
If you’re someone who catches colds easily, you might want to take a look at what’s on your plate. Things like sugary foods, carbonated and/or sugary beverages, processed and/or fast food are some of the worst things for your immune system, as they provide little to no nutritional value. In order to nourish and support immune function, you should consume foods that are free of additives and chemicals. Some of the best foods that can boost your immune system are those that contain vitamin C (such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons and limes.) Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells, which boosts your immunity and helps ward off viral and bacterial infections. Fresh garlic, ginger, sunflower seeds, poultry, shellfish and green tea are also great immune-boosting foods to consider having more of.