Today, the question is, why is diet important? Diet is an alternate term for food. Many people like to cook what they love to eat especially foods that enhance their moods.
There are many myths that certain food gives a certain effect on the body. There are some fallacies about certain food combinations too like taking fish and milk together can cause white patches on your skin. Similarly, taking orange juice and milk together can change milk into curd.
There are millions of food chains all over the world that are earning huge because of providing different tastes and variety. Many channels run multiple programs related to food. The prime purpose of these programs is to teach people how to cook good food. Similarly, there are many family shows in which dietitians, doctors, and fitness instructors are invited to teach people what to eat in how much quantity and what not to eat, so you remain healthy.
What is a healthy diet?
Well, today we want to talk about the benefits of a healthy diet. For this, first, we need to know what is a healthy diet? Different cultures have different definitions and perceptions of a healthy diet according to their staple diet and area of geographic distribution. For example, people living near the sea will emphasize more on fish as a healthy diet as compared to people living in the desert.
Similarly, people living in cold countries will consider nuts as a healthy diet as compared to yogurt. Besides these variable factors, the majority agree on the use of fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish as a component of a healthy diet. Similarly, food that is not composed of fatty acids, foods that contain whole grain and foods, which contain fewer carbohydrates are included in a healthy diet. Junk food and refined sugars are a big no while considering a healthy diet. (1)
In medical terms, ‘A healthy diet is a diet which fulfills your body daily demands of proteins, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids’.
One example of a famous healthy diet is the Mediterranean diet. Mediterranean diet is known to be a healthy diet as it contains olive oil, different fruits, a lot of vegetables. If you are following a Mediterranean diet, that means you are using olive oil for cooking and frying. You will eat more fish as compared to red meat and chicken.
You will take whole grains in spite of processed food. If you feel hungry between meals, you will take nuts as a snack. This is a simplified explanation of the Mediterranean diet. If you want to be specific, you can take definite portions of the different components of the Mediterranean diet.
Hence, a healthy diet is the one which includes olive oil, lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish, whole grains, eggs, nuts, oatmeal, dairy products and food low in fatty acids. So if you are taking any of these components in your daily diet, you are taking a step towards a healthy diet.
What are the benefits of a healthy diet?
Why we are talking about a healthy diet today? The reason is, the benefits of a healthy diet are numerous. A healthy diet not only keeps you happy, but it also helps you to maintain weight, maintain your energy levels and deal with diseases. A healthy diet keeps your heart, bones, teeth, and gums strong. It decreases the risk of cancer and many other diseases. It is required for the normal growth of kids. It has a positive impact on fertility. It has a positive impact on your health. A healthy diet keeps you happy and good for mental health.
A healthy diet helps you feel better. A healthy diet helps you maintain normal bowel habits. (2) A healthy diet helps you sleep better and make your memory sharp. A healthy diet helps you keep focused and you can achieve a better quality of life. A healthy diet makes you look good and can add years to life. Some of these benefits are discussed here to give you a rough idea of how a healthy diet can help you in achieving a standard life. For example,
A healthy diet helps you maintain weight
It is a proven fact that a healthy diet helps you maintain weight. A healthy diet helps you in maintaining weight as it provides calories that are required daily. A healthy diet doesn’t exceed calories than required on daily basis thus, helping you to not gain extra pounds. Moreover, a Healthy diet contains either no or less amount of sugars, carbohydrates, and saturated fatty acids. Most of the time excess calorie intake and sugars, carbohydrates and fatty acids in the diet are responsible for weight gain in individuals. So, if you keep on making a healthy diet daily, you will ultimately lose weight. (3) Moreover, a healthy diet will fulfill your body demands of minerals, vitamins, and essential nutrients thus helping you to get rid of cravings for junk food.
A healthy diet keeps you happy
Researches have shown that a healthy diet keeps you happy. When you are taking a healthy diet, you are giving your body a favor by giving it food rich in nutrients. Due to healthy food, your body will be able to fight against diseases and you will enjoy good health. As a result, you will feel happy. Moreover, happiness is more about hormones. There are many hormones in the body that when high leads you to a joyful state.
Serotonin, for example, is a key hormone in happiness. Serotonin levels in the body are associated with different foods. For example, green leafy vegetables mostly spinach is known to increase serotonin levels in the body and make you feel better. Nuts are also known to increase serotonin levels in the body. On the other hand, high sugar foods and junk are associated with depression.
A healthy diet helps you deal with diseases
Different studies have shown that a healthy diet helps you deal with diseases. It does so by boosting your immune system. It decreases the concentration of low-density lipoproteins and very-low-density lipoproteins in the body. On the other hand, it increases the concentration of high-density lipoproteins in the body.
Due to this effect distribution on the body, a healthy diet keeps you protected from diseases that occur because of the high concentration of cholesterol in the blood. A healthy diet provides you with all the nutrients that also include building blocks of the immune system thus helping your body to fight with diseases.
Moreover, many diseases occur due to impairment in body systems. For example, Atherosclerosis occurs due to an increased concentration of cholesterol in the body. Atherosclerosis is the narrowing of vessels in the body due to the formation of plaques. Cholesterol is the main component of plaques formed in the body as a result of atherosclerosis. If you follow a healthy diet, it will maintain your body cholesterol levels, thus, keeping you safe from atherosclerosis. (4)
Similarly, Diabetes type 2 occurs due to obesity as insulin can’t function properly due to the high content of fat in the body. This phenomenon is known as insulin resistance. This whole process can be eliminated by maintaining your weight and not gaining weight. It is possible only if you eat a healthy diet daily.
A healthy diet helps you maintain energy levels
It is observed that a healthy diet helps you maintain energy levels. Your body is dependent on your diet for energy. Your brain needs the energy to think, your heart needs the energy to pump blood and your limbs need the energy to walk. A healthy diet that is rich in fiber and low in carbs will help you maintain energy throughout the day.
Studies have shown that Components of a healthy diet release an appropriate amount of energy and are degraded slowly in the body, thus maintaining energy supply throughout the day. On the other hand, junk food and processed diet will lead to a high blood sugar spike, followed by a rapid decrease in sugar level thus ultimately leading to a decline in energy levels.
Healthy diet decreases the risk of cancer
Different researches have shown that a healthy diet decreases the risk of cancer. For example, taking a healthy diet decreases the risk of breast cancer. On the other hand, different studies have shown that colorectal cancer is common in individuals who take a diet that doesn’t contain fiber at all. Besides, a few types of cancers are dependent on our diet, there are also carcinogens present in highly refined sugars, processed food, and junk food.
For example, Hot dogs, salami, fish that is processed and salted in different countries especially in China are known to be carcinogenic. Similarly, alcohol is a famous carcinogen. So, if you are taking a healthy diet, you are avoiding almost every substance that can cause cancer. So, eat healthily.
A healthy diet helps in maintaining blood sugar level
It is observed that a healthy diet helps in maintaining blood sugar levels. Components of a healthy diet release slow and appropriate amounts of energy throughout the day, thus maintaining your blood sugar levels. Not only this, a healthy diet can lead you to weight reduction and ultimately overcoming insulin resistance in diabetes type 2.
Besides its dramatic effect on diabetes type 2, it is also beneficial in diabetes type 1 by keeping blood sugar levels normal. As a result, if you are a patient with diabetes type 1, it will keep your fasting and random blood sugar in the normal range, thus helping you to avoid complications of diabetes like diabetic retinopathy, diabetic foot, and diabetic nephropathy. So, for diabetics, start your healthy diet today.
A healthy diet keeps your bones strong
Different studies reveal that a healthy diet keeps your bones strong. The main component of your bones is calcium. You get calcium mainly from your diet. In your diet, the main source of calcium is dairy products mainly milk and yogurt. These dairy products are a part of your healthy diet. As a result, if you keep on making a healthy diet, it will make your bones and teeth strong and keep you healthy.
A healthy diet keeps your heart healthy
It is observed that a healthy diet keeps your heart healthy. People who follow a healthy lifestyle and eat healthily are protected from heart diseases. So, if you have a family history of heart diseases, then you need to start a healthy diet at once.
A healthy diet helps you retain things
Different studies reveal that a healthy diet increases your retaining power thus improving memory. It is commonly said that eat almonds for better memory. Besides nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables also improve the vessels in your brain, thus improving your memory and helping you to achieve good grades. Health diet also reduces the risk of stroke, thus saving you from any lifelong disability. (5)
A healthy diet helps you sleep better
It is observed that people who take a healthy diet sleep better. A healthy diet contains a lot of fiber and doesn’t contain a lot of spicy food, it will keep you safe from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Besides GERD, a healthy diet contains food components that fulfill your vitamin requirements, thus helping your body to secrete melatonin and sleep well. Melatonin secretion and regulation depends upon vitamin B. If vitamin B resources are depleted, it can lead to irregular sleep patterns. Thus, eat healthy so you can sleep better.
A healthy diet helps you to maintain normal bowel habits
Different researches have shown that taking a healthy diet daily helps you maintain normal bowel habits. A healthy diet contains a lot of fruits and vegetables and rich in fiber, it will make your food easy to digest thus you will not suffer from constipation. Moreover, due to normal habits, you will not retain water leading to any water retention weight which people in common language say water weight. So, in addition to normal bowel habits, you will look slim.
A healthy diet helps you feel relaxed
It is a tried and tested fact that a healthy diet helps you feel relaxed. A healthy diet contains components that increase your serotonin levels thus making you feel relaxed and happy. On the other hand, processed food and high carbs can lead you to depression and mood swings.
A healthy diet helps you look good
Many dermatologists got this point of view that a healthy diet helps you in looking good. As elasticity and youth of your skin are related to collagen. Different fruits and vegetables in your diet provide you with collagen, thus helping you look young. Similarly, many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants thus protecting your body from aging effects. So, eating healthy not only keeps you in good shape, it makes you look youthful and fresh.
A healthy diet can add years to life
A healthy diet can add years to your life. As you eat a healthy diet, it provides you with a lot of antioxidants thus protecting your body from toxins. Not only this, a healthy diet protects you from cancer and other chronic diseases. You sleep better, you feel better. Different studies have shown that eating a healthy diet promises you a long life. (6)
A healthy diet keeps you in budget
It is a fact that a healthy diet keeps you in the budget. As one of the main components of a healthy diet is fruits, eggs, and vegetables. These food items are not expensive and can be grown in your home garden. Similarly, you can keep hens in your home and have a constant supply of eggs.
On the other hand, for high sugar foods, soda drinks, and junk you have to visit brand chains and as a result, spend a lot. You also have to spend money to deal with obesity and other chronic diseases that will result from taking an unhealthy diet. So, if you want your food to be light on your pocket, go for a healthy diet.
Healthy diet results in healthy babies
Different studies have shown that a healthy diet results in healthy babies. First of all, fertility is enhanced by zinc. Different fertility specialists recommend zinc supplements for conceiving. Dairy products and eggs contain zinc which is a component of a healthy diet. Nuts are also known to contain zinc. So if you are taking a healthy diet, there is more chance for you to conceive as compared to those on junk and processed food.
Besides conceiving a healthy baby, folic acid is essential for the development of the nervous system. Neural tube defects are common in fetuses of folic acid deficient women of childbearing age. Folic acid is present in all green leafy vegetables which is an important component of a healthy diet. So, if a woman is taking a healthy diet before and during pregnancy then this ensures a healthy baby ultimately a healthy family.
A healthy diet keeps your blood cholesterol levels low
It is a time tested fact that a healthy diet keeps your blood cholesterol level low. A healthy diet decreases the amount of low-density lipoproteins and very-low-density lipoproteins in the body. On the other hand, it increases the concentration of high-density lipoproteins in the body. As a result, a healthy diet keeps you protected from diseases that occur because of a high concentration of cholesterol in the blood, for example, atherosclerosis. (7)
A healthy diet helps achieve good growth in kids
Doctors say that a healthy diet helps you achieve good growth in kids. Being a parent, you are concerned about the optimal growth of your kids. When kids are in growing age, they desperately need all the vitamins, minerals and proper nutrients for optimal growth, otherwise, they can suffer drastically. You can observe the side effects of malnourishment in children in third world countries.
Besides malnourishment, many diseases can occur directly from a deficiency of nutrients in children. For example, rickets occurs due to deficiency of calcium and Vitamin D. Rickets is a disease in which there is a deformity of bones. So, if you want your children to be healthy, keep a check on their diet.
The Bottom line
So, today we have talked about why diet is important? What is a healthy diet and how it can influence our whole life? After going through different studies and observations that benefit a healthy diet are numerous from losing weight to fighting cancer, a healthy diet if taken daily can do wonders. So, what are you waiting for, let’s start your journey of healthy diet right now?