You’ve heard of the saying “you are what you eat”. We already know that there exists a strong link between healthy eating and staying fit. To make proper adjustments to your diet, it will help to know what healthy foods are and what constitutes a healthy diet.
When you make the decision to make some lifestyle changes in order to stay healthy, one of the biggest factors to consider will be the quality of your diet and the possible changes you can make to it. Losing weight or gaining weight is strongly linked to what you eat, how you eat, and when you eat. As such, your diet plays a major role in maintaining a healthy body weight.
Importance Of A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is one that provides the body with essential nutrition. This consists of required fluids, macronutrients, micronutrients, and adequate calories. It is a diet that helps maintain and improve overall health.
Healthy foods mostly consist of natural foods that are either plant-based or animal-based. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and so on. These healthy foods will provide the body with protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, water, and other nutrients. All these nutrients are necessary for the body to carry out its activities and prevent diseases.
Highly Nutritious Foods You Should Know About
Most natural foods are good for the body. There are healthy foods considered to be highly nutritious and contain large quantities of nutrients that are very beneficial to the body.
Vegetables and Legumes
Vegetables are the world’s most concentrated source of nutrients. They usually contain fewer calories and are loaded with vitamins, as well as macro and micro nutrients. Examples of nutritious vegetables that you should try include:
- bell peppers
On the other hand, legumes are a great source of plant-based protein. Examples include:
- green beans
- kidney beans
Like vegetables, fruits are an excellent source vitamins and minerals. Some fruits can be especially beneficial in a healthy and balanced diet. They also make great snacks between meals.
One basic yet popular fruit that many praise for its health benefits are apples, as they’re high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Avocados are also loaded with healthy fats and fiber, while bananas are a superb source of potassium. Besides the aforementioned, other healthy fruits to incorporate into your diet include the following:
Some may argue that cutting out dairy from your diet and replacing it with more plant-based alternatives will be better for your health. In reality, it all boils down to moderation. As with many things, moderation is key, and this applies just as well to your consumption of dairy products.
Dairy is a great source of animal-based protein, vitamins, and some minerals. Most notably, dairy is a common source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Other than milk, other dairy products to incorporate in your diet can include cottage cheese and yogurt.
No balanced diet is very truly complete without some lean meats. Not only is meat a good source of protein, but it is also very filling and can be a good replacement for carbohydrates if you’re looking to shed a few pounds. Some good meat examples include:
- chicken breasts
- lean beef
Fish and Seafood
Fish can be especially rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, it’s a great source of iodine and other vital nutrients such as vitamin D and B2. Examples of fish and seafood to consume are:
For an inexpensive and accessible source of protein, go for some eggs. Eggs are one of the easiest healthy foods to include in your diet and are rich in vitamins D, B6, and B12. They are also a great source of minerals such as iron and zinc.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are great to snack on when you need to keep those pesky hunger pangs at bay. They contain a good amount of fiber and vitamins as well. Some nuts and seeds that are good to have in your diet include:
- chia seeds
- macadamia nuts
Grains are a great source of healthy carbohydrates, which is one of the primary sources of energy for your body. Go for wholemeal and wholegrain breads to include a healthy amount of grains in your diet. Other good examples of grains are:
- brown rice
- wholegrain pasta
Junk food includes food products that contain a lot of calories, sugar, and salt, and are very low in nutrients. Highly processed foods like candies, ice cream, most baked goods, salty snacks, and some soft drinks fall into this category.
The rate of consumption of junk food is on the rise, which makes it even more important to watch your diet and cut down on the consumption of these foods. Unhealthy food choices place you at risk of chronic illnesses, deficiencies, malnutrition, and many other unwanted conditions. In addition, unhealthy foods provide empty calories and almost no nutrients. Staying away from these kinds of food is ultimately a step towards staying fit.
Benefits Of Healthy Foods
A healthy diet does more than just control your weight. It benefits the whole body overall. If done right, a healthy diet can drastically change your lifestyle for the better. When you eat healthy, you stand to gain the following:
Increased Energy Levels
Healthy foods boost your energy and keep you up throughout the day. On the other hand, junk food satisfies you for only a short amount of time, after which hunger pangs and tiredness tend to resurface sooner than later.
Improved Mood and Mental Health
Healthy foods rich in B-vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats help to nurture your brain by balancing its chemicals that regulate your mood.
Help With Weight Control
It goes without saying that a healthy diet is key in maintaining a healthy weight. Studies show that people who eat more highly processed food or junk food are more likely to pack on unhealthy weight than those who don’t. Healthy foods help keep your weight in check, keeps you fit, and ultimately boosts your self-confidence.
Eating healthy food is the best thing you can do for yourself if you’re looking to clear up your complexion. The nutrients in healthy foods work to nourish your body from the inside out, resulting in clear, fresh, and glowing skin.
Drinking enough water is essential in keeping your body systems running smoothly. Certain fruits and veggies have a high water content, which is just what your body needs. With the intake of healthy foods like these, you supplement the water you take, which helps keep your body hydrated.
When you eat better, you feel better and you sleep better. This is especially with the consumption of healthy foods that are high in vitamin B, as vitamin B can help regulate melatonin. In case you’re not aware, melatonin is a hormone that regulates your body’s sleep cycles. As such, incorporating foods that are rich in vitamin B can help you get a good night’s sleep if you’re someone who struggles with quality Zs.
Increased Productivity and Attention
Since healthy foods make you feel more energized, this in turn helps you feel more awake. Thus, healthy foods can help you feel more productive and efficient at work or at school, as you can focus better on whatever task is at hand.
Prevention of Infections and Diseases
Healthy foods supply the body with the necessary nutrients to suppress and fight infections. For example, certain vitamins are a great boost for the immune system to protect your body from easily falling sick.
When you eat healthy foods, you fortify your body with all that it needs to function and to fight infections. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is one of the first steps to staying healthy and living a long and productive life. Making changes to your diet does take some getting used to, but over time, you will find that it’s definitely worth it in the long run.