When most people talk of good nutrition, the first thing that comes to mind is weight control. The truth, however, is that the benefits of a good diet goes much beyond weight loss. Eating properly has physical, as well as mental, benefits, and it is something everybody should be encouraged to do. The specific benefits of eating a balanced diet include:
Reinforcement of the Immune System
There are several nutrients needed by your body to help it fight diseases effectively, and you can only get these nutrients by eating right. One of the most obvious nutrients needed by the body for this purpose is vitamin C, which is mostly found in oranges. Vitamin C boosts immunity by increasing the body’s production of T- and B-cells (among other white blood cells), and it is these cells that fight foreign microorganisms. The vitamin is not alone in doing this, however, and you need all the essential nutrients to fight these diseases more effectively. Most, but not all, of these nutrients are found in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, grains, fruits and others.
Maintenance of Good Mental Health
You have probably heard of the saying ‘You are what you eat.’ This saying is true in more ways than one. While most people only think of the physical body, what you eat greatly influences your mental well-being too. In fact, it is advisable to eat a balanced diet-with all the food groups represented-in order to keep mood swings and depression at bay. Thus, cereals, lean meat, milk, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, mono- or polyunsaturated oils must feature in your diet. Foods rich in omega-3 are suitable for warding off depression, and there is growing evidence that it omega-3 helps in fighting Alzheimer’s too. Omega-3 is mostly found in fatty fish such as tuna or salmon.
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Good nutrition is also good for maintaining weight. When it comes to weight issues, many people only think of their appearances, but the health repercussions of being overweight are worse. If you have a healthy weight that you wish to maintain, you must burn the same amount of calories that you eat. This means if you take more calories than you burn, you will gain weight, and the reverse is also true. To reduce your chances of being overweight, you need to eat low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and lean meat. You also need to reduce or eliminate your intake of high-calorie fast foods such as regular soda.
Prevention of Lifestyle Diseases
Good nutrition helps to keep many lifestyle diseases at bay. Most lifestyle diseases are related to being overweight, and you can reduce your chances of contracting them by eating right. Examples of lifestyle diseases include hypertension, heart disease, some forms of cancer, diabetes type 2, and others. Here, reduced intake of sugars and saturated fats is also beneficial. Research seems to point to the fact that phytochemicals, which are found in plant-based foods, are useful in the prevention of heart diseases and some form of cancer. Thus, you should eat these regularly to maintain your wellness.
Bone and Teeth Maintenance
People rarely think of their teeth and bones when it comes to eating right, but these parts of the body should also be cared for. Those in their childhood years, teenage years or early adulthood can influence the wellness of their bones and teeth, for the rest of their, lives by eating right. Eat right during these formative periods of your life and you are likely to have a good bone mass for the rest of your life. It is not all gloom for adults, however, because they can still keep their teeth healthy by eating right. It helps to keep away from foods with high cavity risk, such as candy. Instead of sweet and sugary snacks, you can eat healthy snacks such as popcorn or nuts.