Welcome to this series about Healthy Eating. Enjoy the commonsense precepts and principles. Enjoy the many benefits of Healthy eating.
The fight against ill-health and many diseases starts with eating a healthy diet. So many modern medical cures are really attempting to undo the damage caused by poor dietary choices.
Of course, there are people who can’t eat healthy foods due to their environmental or financial circumstances. Too often though, lack of finance is given as an excuse for not eating healthy foods. Far too often the real culprits are:
- Not taking the time to educate one’s self about real nutrient requirements.
- Letting taste buds define food choices.
- Taking the easy, convenient, processed option.
This is mainly because processed foods are readily accessible and just as prevalent, or more so, as healthy food choices. The trouble lies in trying to resist the ease and convenience that fast foods provide, and this is the root cause of so many health problems.
A healthy diet really should be the number one priority in a person’s life so that a healthy mind and body happens automatically! If the mind is healthy, happy relationships can form. If the body is healthy, disease has a harder time to set in. If the mind and body are both healthy all good things are possible, and certainly far more likely.
This is self-evident. A healthy balanced diet makes managing your weight easy. For people wanting to win against the battle of obesity, a good start is to cut back on high carbohydrate content food.
Make good dietary choices a lifestyle, not a short-term fix. You are in this for life! Go for a diet that is lower in calories but high in nutrients. Eat some fruit and increase vegetable consumption. Animal meat and poultry products provide excellent protein, but eat them as close to natural as possible, don’t lather them with sauces and crumb coatings. Stay away from foods that contain simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pastries, cakes and candies.
Our diet must provide the right amount and type of nutrients containing good calories for us to have enough energy. This energy will be used by the body so that thought, healing and growth processes will be able to function properly. Healthy foods greatly improve performance, alertness and brain health.
Failure to observe a healthy diet puts anyone at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other serious illnesses. Your diet should not contain too many foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, as these are known to be linked to an increased incidence of stroke and heart attack.
Saturated and trans fats can be found in cookies, vegetable shortenings, some margarines and any other foods that are fried using partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats increase your risk of coronary heart diseases. Use olive oil when cooking and if using margarine choose one made from olive oil too.
The right foods can do wonders in improving your mood. However, do not succumb to emotional eating. Emotion-driven food binges will almost certainly be poor dietary choices and the effects will be very temporary – leading to repeated bad patterns of behavior.
Foods that contain important nutrients such as vitamin B folate help in combating anxiety and depression. Foods that are rich in B vitamins help in the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can affect behavior and moods.
Better Mental Performance
Studies have shown that people who eat foods that are rich in vitamins B, C, D and E, plus omega-3 fatty acids have better performance in several cognitive tests compared to those who did not eat fruits, vegetables and fish.
Researchers are providing more and more evidence that having a healthy diet will help prevent diseases related to brain-shrinkage.
Take Control of Your Food Choices
Make a lifelong habit of basing your daily food intake on mindful healthy choices. This will help avoid developing many of the lifestyle illnesses that will cause ongoing health problems in your life.
There are far more food choices on offer than most of us need. In most cases, mindful eating comes down to what we don’t eat – that is, avoiding foods that we know aren’t good for us. There are plenty of foods that are both tasty and healthy.
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Nick Thorne is the founder of NicksDigitalSolutions Limited a company that specialises in Education, Training and Writing. He lives in Levin, New Zealand