Eating well is something that the vast majority of people know that they should be doing! The benefits of a healthy diet are certainly not to be overlooked and today we would like to discuss these benefits, as well as explain some simple healthy eating concepts.

Research has shown that for the typical American, only 12% of their calories come from plant-based foods. An incredible 63% of their calories come from processed and refined foods, and the other 25% come from animal products. This imbalance is clearly something that needs to be addressed if we are to begin to reverse the obesity epidemic in the USA. 

Save Money

Did you know that eating a healthy diet can actually save you money? The common misconception seems to be that choosing healthy produce over junk food will be more expensive. However, when you shop around to find the best deals on whole foods and buy in bulk where possible, then you can consistently save yourself money. Also, limiting the amount of junk foods that you purchase when you are not at home will help you to avoid overspending when it comes to food. 

Better Energy

When you eat a well balanced diet you will be fuelling your body with the energy that it needs to get through each day. Natural whole foods are the best way to keep your energy stores balanced because they help to maintain your blood sugar levels throughout the day. Processed foods, on the other hand, will cause your blood sugar levels to spike and crash, causing inconsistent energy levels as well as an erratic mood. This is especially true of processed foods that are high in sugar!

Protect Your Body

Nutrient dense foods, such as those that are plant-based, provide your body with the vitamins and minerals that it needs to stay well. These nutrients are essential for growth and repair and also boost the immune system - helping to keep illness at bay. You will also be less likely to develop certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, when you embrace a healthy and wholesome diet.

Your immune system can quickly become compromised when you are deficient in key vitamins. The most important ones to watch out for in order to boost your immune system health are vitamins A, B, C, E, selenium, zinc and iron!

Have a Healthier Heart

A healthy diet can help to keep your cholesterol levels and your blood pressure under control. This adds up to good things for the health of your heart and will help to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Live Longer

Studies show that populations who eat a higher ratio of plant-based foods tend to live longer, and maintain optimum health for longer, than those who eat less plant-based options. A healthy diet helps to promote longevity as it supports all of the essential functions and systems in the body. 

Weigh Less

When you combine a healthy diet with an adequate amount of exercise then you will be better able to keep the pounds from piling on. This not only helps you to feel confident about your body, but also helps to keep you healthy in many ways. Excess fat can be harmful to the body and can disrupt your natural hormonal balance.

How Can You Make Your Diet Healthier?

Cutting out processed and packaged foods is a great way to get started on your healthy eating adventure. Lowering your intake of meat, dairy and eggs is also a good step to take.

There is an increasing amount of research to suggest that certain meats are carcinogenic and should be eaten in moderation - if at all. The high levels of saturated fat in many meat products has also been connected to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. 

When it comes to dairy products it has long been suggested that we must consume them in order to reap the benefits of the calcium content. However, we can also obtain calcium from plant-based sources without any of the adverse qualities of dairy. It is worth noting that as much as 75% of the population is intolerant to lactose to some degree!

Eggs are often touted as a health food and in moderation can certainly provide beneficial amounts of protein. However, eggs are also high in cholesterol and are the cause of salmonella poisoning for approximately 100,000 Americans every year!

Remember, as well as paying attention to the foods that you are putting into your body, it is also important to be mindful of portion control. Piling your plate high is generally never a good idea, and it has also been suggested by some experts that eating until you are only 80% full is the best idea for improved health. This can certainly help you to avoid overeating as there is often a delay between the brain and the stomach when it comes to knowing when you are full.

References

1) http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-often-overlooked-benefit-of-the-blue-zones-diet.html

2) https://authoritynutrition.com/is-dairy-bad-or-good/

3) https://breakingmuscle.com/healthy-eating/the-great-egg-debate-4-reasons-you-need-to-stop-eating-eggs