The Importance of Nutrition
You may have heard the sayings, “food is fuel” or “you are what you eat.” That is because your body needs calories and nutrients to function properly. When your diet is deficient in those areas, your health is likely to suffer the consequences.
What you put into your body directly impacts how you feel. Therefore, eating a nutrient-rich diet improves your body both physically and mentally. However, if you eat foods that are unhealthy, you may notice that you feel more sluggish or less energized.
Foods that are considered nutrient-rich include:
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Whole grains.
- Lean meats.
These foods are labeled as high in nutrients because they are full of necessary vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that improve your overall well-being.
Health Benefits of Proper Nutrition
Here are some health benefits a well-balanced diet can provide:
Improved Energy Level
Eating healthy contributes to you feeling healthy overall. When you feel your best, you are more likely to get an adequate amount of high-quality sleep. In turn, this will make you feel more energized throughout the day.
However, specific foods are known to give you more energy. Athletes and those who dedicate a lot of time to exercise and fitness are familiar with the strategy of eating carbs and protein right before a workout. This is because it gives them more fuel and energy to have better athletic performance.
Try incorporating snacks such as a banana with peanut butter, berries, grapes, oranges, and nuts into your daily diet to improve your energy level.
Your body isn’t the only thing that benefits from eating healthily; your brain does as well. What you choose to eat directly impacts your brain’s overall function. If you choose foods identified as “brain foods,” you may notice yourself feeling more focused, alert, and productive. Some of these “brain foods” include blueberries, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, and avocado.
By incorporating these foods into your daily diet, you may also notice a reduction in any symptoms of anxiety and depression. Vitamins play an important role in synthesizing neurotransmitters that have a connection to your overall mood.
Improved Immune System
Pumping your body full of essential nutrients strengthens your immune system to keep common illnesses away. Adding vitamins and minerals reduces your overall risk of getting sick and increases your body’s ability to fight disease. Eating healthy can also help prevent the development of more chronic illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes.
Risks of Poor Nutrition
Just as eating healthy provides many benefits to your health and wellness, eating a poor diet can have numerous negative impacts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most Americans do not have a healthy diet. The CDC estimates that fewer than 1 in 10 adults eat enough fruits and vegetables. This is because most people fill their diets with processed foods, sugary drinks, saturated fats, and excessive amounts of sodium.
Some health risks of eating an unbalanced diet include:
- Heart disease.
- Poor brain development.
Tips for Eating Healthy
Eating healthy can be challenging, especially when it isn’t a natural habit for you. However, there are ways to incorporate it into your daily routine to make it a bit easier for you. Setting goals like prioritizing cooking at home, cutting out sugary drinks, making grocery lists, staying hydrated are all great ways to get started.
It is important to understand that changing your diet is a lifestyle change, and those take time, patience, and effort. It is okay if things don’t go perfectly, as long as you continue to make progress.
Lifestyle Counseling at PrimeHealth Asheville
At PrimeHealth Asheville, we are proud to offer lifestyle counseling services for those looking to seek guidance for a healthy, balanced, and well-managed routine. Our board-certified family doctor and chronic care health coach work collaboratively to address your physical activity, diet, and other lifestyle choices to guide you on the path to a happy, comfortable, and relaxed schedule.
If you would like more information on our lifestyle counseling services, contact us online, or call us at (828) 705-3520 today.