Home guest articles How a Healthy Diet Can Do More than Slim You Down

How a Healthy Diet Can Do More than Slim You Down

written by Guest Blogger August 30, 2014

Want a few more reasons to choose healthy foods over processed junk that appears to be food? Keep reading today’s guest post by Anita for several very good reasons to maintain healthy choices in food EVERY DAY (a.k.a. the REAL meaning of “diet”). 

Whether you have a high metabolism or you’ve spent the better part of your summer working off some extra weight, being thin doesn’t mean you get to eat whatever you want. Your diet affects more than the numbers on your scale; it also affects your energy and stress levels, your risk of disease, your eyesight, and your physical appearance.

Energy

Do you skip breakfast and struggle through work in the mornings, wishing you could go back to bed? Does eating lunch make you feel like you need a long afternoon nap? If you are eating a healthy diet, you are more likely to feel energized and alert instead of sluggish and distracted.

To increase your energy levels, avoid snacking on food full of fast-burning sugar. Unfortunately, most junk food falls into this category. Find healthier items to snack on such as carrot sticks, nuts, or fruit. If you want your meals to give you energy and keep you full, protein-rich snacks, fiber, and complex carbs will be your best friend. Of course, energy has to do with the amount of sleep you get as well, so combine healthy eating habits with a healthy sleeping routine.

Stress

Eating a balanced diet gives you energy to deal with life’s problems and helps your body produce the right hormones to keep your mood stable and stress-free. Sugary snacks, on the other hand, may increase your mood while you are eating them, but that feeling fades as your blood sugar levels crash and your energy levels drop. When you feel lethargic, your ability to deal with stress suffers.

Foods that reduce your ability to handle stress include:

  • drinks with caffeine
  • fast food and takeout
  • alcohol
  • sugary drinks
  • sugary foods
  • fatty foods

Disease

The food you eat on a daily basis contributes to your risk of certain kinds of disease. If you eat a lot of fatty, high-cholesterol foods, for example, you increase you risk of heart disease—even if you exercise regularly. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins will help you steer clear of heart disease.

Eating a balanced diet also keeps you in a healthy weight zone, which helps you avoid diabetes and the increased risk of cardiovascular, pulmonary, and eye disease that comes with diabetes.

Many studies show that diet can help prevent or slow cancer growth in our bodies. These foods include the usual list of healthy foods—vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, along with substances like pectin (found in oatmeal) and phytochemicals (produced by plants).

Eyes

If your mother taught you that carrots were good for your eyes, you already know that nutrition contributes to eye health. Carrots aren’t the only food that provides nutrients and decreases the risk of eye disease; Dr. Bishop & Associates, doctors at an eye clinic in Calgary, recommend getting plenty of antioxidants, vitamins E, C, and A, and essential fatty acids.

Vitamins and antioxidants are found in fresh fruit and vegetables. Essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 acids, come from foods such as fish, vegetable, fish, and flaxseed oil, beef, and dairy products.

Appearance

Besides slimming your waistline, a healthy diet also brightens your complexion. Giving your body the right combination of vitamins and minerals helps your skin stay bright and clear and keeps your hair and nails strong. Skin, hair, and nails all have keratin, a protein your body produces, in them. So it’s important to make sure you get enough protein in your diet to promote keratin production. Protein comes from foods such as meat, eggs, and beans.

Antioxidants also improve your complexion by slowing the effect of free radicals in your body. Antioxidant-rich foods include pomegranates, blueberries, dark chocolate, beans, apples, raspberries, and other berry-like fruits.

Eating healthy affects your body in a variety of ways that don’t necessarily have to do with your weight. Keep your diet balanced, and it will show in all areas of your life. For personalized diet advice, consult a doctor or nutritionist who can evaluate your specific nutritional needs.

About the Author

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO and often writes about health, family, home and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing. 

Do you have any additional benefits to maintaining a healthy diet that Anita hasn’t mentioned? 

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