Eat healthy is a way of life. We’ve all heard that a well-balanced, nutritious diet is necessary for good health and to keep your body functioning properly. It’s true; your food choices really do affect your health and impact how you feel.
The right nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle as it has many benefits, it can help you maintain an ideal weight, and even reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Healthy eating includes a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, heart-healthy fats, and vitamins – while limiting the intake of processed foods, alcohol and saturated fat.
Maybe mom was right when she told you to eat your vegetables!
There are lots of good reasons to include fruits & vegetables in your diet.
Vegetables provide numerous health benefits, and supply nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of your body. People who eat more vegetables and fruits may even have a reduced risk for some chronic diseases.
• Fruits & vegetables may reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.
• Eating fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may help protect against certain types of cancers.
• Foods that contain fiber may help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.
• High fiber foods make you feel full faster, so you might eat less, and they also help maintain healthy bowel function
• Potassium rich fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure – these include citrus fruits, white beans, spinach, avocado, white potatoes and sweet potatoes.
The typical American diet consists of too many processed foods, and does not include enough of these important nutrients:
• Vitamin A, C & E
For most people, simple changes to your diet will be enough to give you all the nutrients you need – and you don’t need to buy expensive supplements! By making better food choices, your body will get the nutrients it needs, and you can protect yourself from a variety of health problems.
Nutrients help protect and repair the cells in your body:
• Carbohydrates and fats provide fuel for your body
• Protein promotes a healthy immune system, and helps rebuild tissue.
• Antioxidants in Vitamins A, C and E help protect your cells against toxins
• Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth, as well as heart and nerve function
• Sodium and potassium help to balance blood pressure
• B vitamins help your body use energy from the foods you eat
Don’t worry about counting the amounts of nutrients in everything you eat. Instead, just try to eat a wide variety of foods, focusing on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s the easiest way to make sure you get all the nutrients you need.
Easy changes can help you to you eat healthier:
• Try drinking water instead of high-calorie sodas or sugary drinks
• Eat more whole, unprocessed foods. Processed foods usually have added fat, sugar and salt, and provide less nutrients
• Reduce or eliminate white flour or sugar
• Eat more whole-grains
• Replace processed snacks with fresh fruits and vegetables