It does not matter who you are, where you come from, or how you live, nutrition plays a key role in everyone’s life. The benefits of eating right are overwhelming; a diet change can alter someone’s entire life.
Many people ask the question, “What benefits can I expect if I start eating healthy?” Well, the list of the positive side effects of eating right is very long. The top ten benefits you can expect from proper nutrition are listed below, so read on to see what you have to gain.
Follow the Food Groups!
Before you see how healthy eating can benefit you; it is important to know what optimum nutrition looks like and why our body reacts in such a positive way to eating right. The truth of the matter is we need a variety of different foods in our diet; each one plays a special role and provides specific nutrients.
Examples of important nutrients:
- Vitamins and Minerals
USDA Recommended Daily Servings:
- Meat Group: 2 to 3 servings (includes, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts)
- Fruit Group: 2 to 4 servings
- Bread and Cereal Group*: 6 to 11 servings (includes, pasta and rice)
- Dairy Group: 2 to 3 servings
- Vegetable Group: 3 to 5 servings
*Please note that the bread, cereal, rice and pasta group is best in the form of whole grains, as white starches are not the best choices for good health. Whole grains are good for heart health and healthy weight management as well, as opposed to the white varieties that tend to pack on the pounds.
Each one of these food groups plays a crucial role in the way your body works, same as fuel and oil for your car, it is a sensitive machine that needs all of the right components to keep running efficiently!
It’s also important to watch calorie intake and stay within the appropriate limits for your body and activity level to ensure good weight management.
The Benefits Of Proper Nutrition
1. Strong bones come from eating a diet rich in calcium: Foods rich in calcium come from the dairy group, and also from green vegetables, such as, spinach. If you are going to be getting your calcium from dairy products look for something with extra Vitamin D as it will help your body take in the calcium easier.
Calcium is also an essential nutrient to prevent Osteoporosis in women as they age, that is caused by weak bones that turn brittle. Make sure to choose low fat and nonfat dairy products, such as, cheese, milk and yogurt to maintain good heart health.
2. Weight control: As long as you are eating properly with a diet rich in lean proteins, low in fat and high in vegetables and staying active you will continue to maintain a healthy body weight.
3. Heart health: If you are concerned with heart health, as all of us should be, the optimum nutrition to that end is a diet that is rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruit and low in unhealthy fats. When your heart is healthy you can avoid heart disease, high cholesterol and premature death, the fact that heart attack is one of the leading causes of death in the United States makes it one of the most important reasons to eat right.
4. Healthier immune system: When you are eating right you are increasing your high-density lipoprotein, or as it is more commonly known as, good cholesterol. This helps boost the body’s immune system. Also, regular intake of all essential vitamins and minerals goes a long way to preventing various ailments, such as, the common cold.
5. Cancer prevention: There are many triggers for cancer; many of them can be associated with an unhealthy diet. Antioxidant rich foods play a significant role in preventing various cancers. Vitamin C that is found in a lot of fruits and vegetables, including, oranges, grapefruit, bell peppers, and broccoli facilitate the prevention of the growth of cancer-causing nitrogen compounds. Additionally, berries, sweet potatoes and other antioxidant rich foods help with cancer prevention as well.
Also, foods rich in Vitamin E, such as, peanuts, almonds and various seeds have been shown through various research data to reduce the risk of stomach, colon, lung, liver, and various other cancer diseases.
6. Good nutrition improves the mood: The truth is that by eating healthy your brain is getting all of the nutrition it needs and your body is satisfied, and this improves your overall mood. Hunger is a major mood killer. Also, eating empty calorie foods, such as, cookies on the other hand, may give you a sugar rush, but when you crash you take your mood with you. Chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain and that greatly improves mood.
7. Brain health: Your brain is one of the most important parts of your body and should be cared for at all times. If you eat properly, you will be fighting off the chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. There are also brain healthy foods, like, walnuts and salmon that can help to maintain optimal memory levels. Dark chocolate provides powerful antioxidant properties, and caffeine that promotes concentration and focus.
8. Good nutrition is good for digestion: Maintaining digestive health is another great benefit of eating a healthy diet. A diet rich in fiber helps with whole grains, and green leafy vegetables being your best sources along with drinking plenty of water each day will ensure that you will not experience the typical issues that can occur with the digestive tract.
9. Increased energy levels: When you eat right, your body is getting the fuel it needs to function properly. This means that all of your organs are working properly, and when everything is working properly, you just feel better and have more energy. Imagine how you feel after you eat a donut versus a salad, there is a noticeable difference when the food is nutritious versus empty sugar.