The food you eat has a profound impact on your overall health. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that a mere healthy diet can protect a person significantly from malnutrition and most chronic diseases. In short, from the nutrients you absorb to the energy you have throughout the day, what you put into your body makes a big difference. Here are five real-life examples.
1. Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
The first way that food impacts your health is through digestion and nutrient absorption. When you eat, your body breaks down the food into nutrients that it then uses for energy, cell repair, and other functions. If you don’t digest your food correctly, you can’t absorb the nutrients effectively, which can lead to deficiencies. Additionally, poor digestion can cause gas, bloating, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
This is why the way produce is cooked and processed is so essential. For example, smoked or grilled meat tends to be healthier as it doesn’t require too much oil. For this reason, it might be best for people to invest in a grill instead of a stove. Even a used one will do; just buy Lynx barbecue parts to replace old ones.
On the other hand, raw vegetables are more difficult to digest than cooked vegetables. This is because cooking breaks down the cell walls of the plants, making it easier for your body to access nutrients. Similarly, juicing or blending fruits and vegetables can also make them more easily digestible.
2. Energy Levels
The second way that food impacts your health is through energy levels. What you eat directly affects how much energy you have throughout the day. If you eat a lot of sugary or fatty foods, you may have an initial burst of energy followed by a crash. Alternatively, if you eat foods that are high in protein and fiber, you’ll have sustained energy levels throughout the day.
For instance, foods like coffee, chocolate, and energy drinks can give you a quick boost of energy, but they won’t last long. On the other hand, foods like oats, quinoa, and salmon will provide you with sustained energy levels without the crash.
In addition, how you eat also affects your energy levels. If you eat large meals, your body will have to work harder to digest the food, which can lead to fatigue. Alternatively, if you eat smaller meals more frequently, your body will have an easier time digesting the food, and you’ll likely have more energy.
3. Mood and Mental Health
The third way that food impacts your health is through mood and mental health. What you eat can affect how you feel, both physically and emotionally. If you’re not getting enough of certain nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, or magnesium, it can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety.
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is key to maintaining good mental health. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish, while magnesium is found in dark chocolate, nuts, and leafy green vegetables.
Additionally, if you eat a lot of sugary or processed foods, you may experience a sugar high followed by a sugar crash, which can lead to irritability and mood swings. Alternatively, if you eat a healthy diet, you’re likely to feel more emotionally stable.
4. Heart Health
The fourth way that food impacts your health is through heart health. Eating a healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats, sugar, and sodium can help lower your risk of heart disease. Conversely, eating an unhealthy diet high in these substances can increase your risk of developing heart disease.
Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is key to maintaining a healthy heart. To incorporate more of these into your diet, consider adding a side of fruit or vegetables to every meal. In addition, try to cook with whole grains instead of processed ones, and use olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter.
Finally, avoid overeating salt as it can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Avoid processed foods and cook with fresh ingredients instead to reduce your sodium intake.
5. Weight Management
The fifth and final way that food impacts your health is through weight management. What you eat dramatically affects how much weight you gain or lose over time. If you consume more calories than your body needs for energy, those calories will be stored as fat.
On the other hand, if you consume fewer calories than your body needs for energy, it will start to break down stored fat for fuel. So if you’re trying to lose weight, eating a healthy diet with fewer calories is key.
Additionally, if you eat a lot of sugary or processed foods, you’re more likely to gain weight. These foods tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients, so they don’t fill you up and can lead to weight gain. Alternatively, if you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you’re more likely to maintain a healthy weight.
Food plays a crucial role in our overall health in many different ways, from digestion and nutrient absorption to mood and mental health. What we choose to put into our bodies will either build us up or tear us down—literally! Be mindful of the types of food you’re eating and how they make you feel both physically and emotionally to ensure that you’re nourishing your body in the best way possible for optimal health and wellness!