Proper nutrition offers many health benefits such as weight control, improved brain functioning, increased energy levels, healthy teeth and bones, and better heart health.
How Proper Nutrition Helps You Stay Healthy
Lean protein, whole grains, and vegetables and fruits are nutrient-rich foods with fewer calories that help maintain a healthy weight. Fast food meals, sweets, and sodas, on the other hand, can cause overweight and obesity. Proper nutrition also helps improve brain health by increasing blood flow levels. Grilled, steamed, and baked foods are better choices than fried ones. Eating veggies and fruits such as cherries, plums, broccoli, spinach, and kale also helps maintain brain health.
Consuming foods that are rich in calcium helps improve teeth and bone health. Foods to include in a balanced diet include soy products, dark green vegetables, and low-fat yogurt, cheese, and milk. Finally, to protect your heart against stroke and heart disease, it is important to consume less sodium, cholesterol, and unhealthy fats. Foods that contain trans and saturated fats include packed snack foods, margarine, palm oil, fried foods, and red meats. Foods that help improve heart health include low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and vegetables and fruits.
To boost your energy levels, it is important to avoid products that are packed with refined carbs, sugars, and trans fats as to ensure balanced blood sugar levels. Refined carbohydrates cause fluctuations in blood sugar unlike fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that contain unprocessed carbohydrates.
How to Eat Healthy
A healthy diet is low in added sugar, sodium, and trans and saturated fats and includes nuts, eggs, beans, fish, poultry, lean meat, low-fat dairies, and vegetables and fruits. Lean protein foods that offer health benefits include lentils and peas, plain yogurt, white-fleshed fish, and white-meat poultry. A healthy diet also emphasizes fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which reduce hunger and lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and bad LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Good sources of polyunsaturated fats are tofu, soy milk, fatty fish, walnuts, and pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Foods that are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats are peanut butter, nuts, olives, and avocados. Products that contain unhealthy trans fats are fried foods such as breaded fish, chicken nuggets, and French fries. The same holds for packed snack foods like chips, microwave popcorn, and crackers. Some oils are super healthy while others are best to be avoided. Oils that fit into a balanced diet are avocado, canola, and olive oil. Avoid ultra-processed vegetable oils as they lack nutritional value.
It goes without saying that a balanced diet is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Some of the healthiest fruits to include in your diet are apples, blueberries, pineapple, and grapefruit. Apples, for example, are packed with potassium and vitamin K and vitamin C, which make them surprisingly nutritious. Research has shown that eating apples lowers the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes and improves heart health. Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and contain manganese and vitamin K and vitamin C. They also help lower the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. Finally, some of the healthiest vegetables to include in your menu are carrots, spinach, kale, garlic, and broccoli.