Food is one of the basic fuels of the body, it helps to power everything from mental and cognitive processes to muscle movement and strength. Proper nutrition is important to all living organisms to source the energy needed for growth, body maintenance and reparation.
Not only is a healthy diet key to avoiding illness but it also contributes to a host of other processes that are vital to the body’s development; a balanced intake of nutrients, calories, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates helps to support all aspects of human development.
Over the past several decades there has been an exponential increase in diet-related diseases(lifestyle), particularly in developed Western countries. The unhealthy trend of being overweight/obese will significantly increase the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and problems caused by lower bone density among other health issues.
The increase in diabetes has been largely blamed on poor lifestyle and dietary choices, as a result, some places are beginning to take drastic action such as increasing taxes on foods that have been proven to be low in nutrients. Processed foods are also to blame for the low consumption of needed vitamins and minerals while the calorie-rich foods are attributed to the rise in obesity.
A diet rich in fibre and lean proteins have been shown to help promote weight loss and remove the need to count calories. Dietary diseases that are becoming so prevalent are actually entirely avoidable. All one needs to do is simply make better food choices and be physically active, to achieve the best balance try to include fruits and vegetables at every meal as part of your regular diet and avoid processed foods.
Science has shown a direct correlation between obesity and the risks of developing cancer. Once more a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can help to significantly decrease the chances of problems occurring, especially in the Gi Tract. Additionally, those fruits and vegetables supply fibre, and they all play a role in reducing the risk of rectal and liver cancers, plus they also are rich in antioxidants which will help to protect from cell mutations and free radical damage.
Even for those diagnosed with diabetes maintaining a healthy diet is essential. One must monitor sugar and salt intake and avoid highly saturated foods as well as trans fats. Not only will a healthy diet help with these, but it will also help to manage weight, keep blood glucose levels in check, maintain cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and it can help to prevent other diabetes-related complications such as the loss of sight.
A healthy diet can help to prevent osteoporosis which is primarily caused by a lack of calcium and magnesium, which are also essential for healthy teeth and gums. Deficiencies are fairly common and easily overcome by consuming the right food choices such as cauliflower, broccoli, legumes, seeds, nuts, tofu, cabbage, dairy products, and even supplements.
Eating healthy even has science to support it helping to improve our moods and cognitive skills. A diet that is rich in carbohydrates can help to improve brain processing skills, and it has been revealed that food with a high glycemic content can actually increase depression and fatigue.
Cardiovascular, heart disease and other blood-related health issues are among the top problems facing the world today. Around 80% of premature heart disease cases or strokes are estimated to be avoidable by sensible lifestyle changes. Improvements to diet and physical activity can drastically reduce these risks.
It is believed that there is a direct link between the ingestion of trans fats and coronary heart disease. Foods rich in vitamin E are suggested to help reduce the risk of developing blood clots which left untreated or undetected could pass further through the system to cause a heart attack or stroke. These are two more examples to support a healthy diet.
Along with passing on genetics parents also pass along habits whether that be for the good or bad. By teaching children through examples of how to eat well they will learn at an early age how to live a healthy lifestyle. Starting young will arm them with the practices, habits, and greater understanding of the respect and importance of diet and lifestyle as they grow up.
Having regular mealtimes at home and encouraging the family to eat together can help you monitor what children are eating and as an added benefit promote a stronger family bond. Studies have shown that children who eat at home with their families on a regular basis go on to eat less sugary junk foods later in life and have a higher intake of vegetables.
Not only does food help to improve physical health but there is significant evidence to suggest that it helps to enhance cognitive abilities; vitamins C, D and E have been proven to help keep the mind healthy and reduce the risk of dementia as well as other age-related mental problems.
The body is teeming with bacteria, with the most residing in the colon where the bacteria are essential to metabolism, digestive processes, and to fighting off other unwanted bacteria and viruses. Diets rich in pre/probiotics can help these beneficial bacteria in the gut and digestive system thrive to promote better overall health and improved digestion including regular bowel movements which can help reduce the risk of cancers.
A wealth of information is available to help anyone find information on how to improve diet and nutrition as well as research information to inspire a healthier lifestyle. Be wary of fad diets and stick with science-backed evidence-based approaches that have been proven to be safe, effective, and sustainable over the long haul such as a Mediterranean style diet.