Eating healthy is essential for maintaining a good physical and mental health. By eating healthy, whole foods, you can improve your overall health, lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, have more energy, and feel better mentally and emotionally. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of eating healthy, unprocessed, whole foods.
What is Healthy Eating?
When you eat nutritious, whole foods, your body is able to function at its best. If you’re not eating well, your overall health will suffer and you may find yourself prone to a number of health problems down the road.
Now here is the tricky part – what do you consider healthy eating? For the purposes of this article and others on this blog, I am going to stick with what I know; Whole30, Paleo, and Keto. They are all very different lifestyles, but they all focus on eating whole foods that come from nature, not a factory.
Food that is as close to its natural state as possible. Processed foods have taken over in the 20th century, and the Western diet has shifted more and more toward ready-to-eat meals. Not surprisingly, there is far more nutrition in real, whole foods than in the factory created foods that we have become so used to eating.
Why focus on eating whole foods?
- Whole foods are more nutrient dense.
- They do not contain added sugar which leads to metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
- It is good for your skin. Most skin issues are caused by your bodies response to foods it cannot process correctly.
- Low carbohydrate and low sugar foods help to lower triglycerides which directly leads to developing diabetes.
- Real foods like fatty fish, avocado and nuts contain healthy fats rather than dangerous trans-fats found in vegetable oils and spreads.
- They contain antioxidants (compounds that help fight free radicals), which are unstable molecules that can damage your body’s cells. Plant foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes have the highest levels, though unprocessed animal foods also contain antioxidants.
- Real foods that function as prebiotics (like garlic and asparagus), may be beneficial for your gut microbiome – aka gut health.
- Processed food increases the likelihood of overeating. It is filled with empty calories, far too much sugar and added flavorings.
- It promotes better dental health. Carbonated beverages and sugary foods promote dental decay by feeding the plaque-causing bacteria that live in your mouth.
- Reduces the cravings for sweets. Once your body adapts to eating whole, unprocessed foods your body will crave those foods less frequently.
- Focusing on eating balanced meals that focus on fruits and vegetable instead of the latest diet craze can help you become more mindful of your eating habits, and is a much more sustainable and enjoyable way to live.
- It is better for the planet. Transporting fruits, vegetables and meats across the country is one thing, but turning genetically modified, RoundUp covered plants into Franken-food is far more damaging. Underground water becomes polluted and runs downstream to the oceans and lakes. Nutrients in the soil become depleted, and the added energy to process and package pseudo-food is wasteful.
Eating more real food will definitely go a long way toward improving your health and overall wellbeing. Of course frequent exercise, reducing stress levels, and focusing on self-care should be part of the equation as well.
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