Healthy eating can make a great difference in our lives. It is worth to know and fully understand the important role that nutrition and healthy habits play in living our lives abundantly. It is, after all, our responsibility to take health into our own hands and not just totally depend on doctors and other medical professionals to tell us what we need to do about our bodies, about diseases, what we should and should not eat, etc.

You might have heard the expression, “you are what you eat,” but what exactly does that mean? Dr. Joel Robbins, in his audio teaching, Attitudes and Health, explains, “Our physical body can and does reflect our thoughts and attitudes – scientific evidence bears this out.”

Dr. Robbins adds, “Our body can speak to us through our physical ailments. It can inform us of wrong attitudes and thought patterns we are harboring and hiding which are not just creating physical discomfort but robbing us of much joy, peace, and fulfillment in all areas of life.”

Have you ever wondered whether those extra-large bags of chips and a lack of fresh fruits in your diet really make a difference? They do; they have a massive impact on your physical, mental, and social health.

Physical health

A diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables and whole grains can boost your immune system against chronic diseases and illnesses. They can prevent hypertension, vision problems, and digestive disorders; reduce the risk of heart or cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart disease; and prevent many types of cancer.

Healthy eating also has a positive effect on your blood sugar. Eating healthy foods helps keep your appetite in check, maintain high energy levels, and prevent sudden blood sugar spikes.

Recent studies have also proved that a high consumption of fruits and vegetables has been associated with good quality sleep. Researchers found out that poor or short duration sleepers consume fewer fruits and vegetables but more carbohydrates, which establishes the link between high carbohydrate intake and poor sleep quality. Poor or short duration sleepers were also found out to have lower levels of total carotenoids, beta-carotene, and lycopene, which increase their risk of diseases.

To add, healthy eating and better sleep play an important role in weight control. It is no secret that eating raw, fresh fruits and vegetables can do more wonders to the body than just shed those excess pounds and prevent obesity-related health problems.

Staying hydrated also contributes to better physical health. Drinking water throughout the day, rather than only when you are thirsty or during mealtimes, helps you stay alert and prevents lethargy and fogginess.

That being said, healthy eating should not stop with breakfast, though it is the most important meal of the day to miss. Every meal time should be the best time to fuel our bodies so we could live life and do the work God has for us to do.

Mental health

What if we concentrate on eating more raw, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds? What happens to our bodies when we stop eating animal products and processed foods? The health of people would abound… naturally. We would see a rapid decline in cancer rates, strokes, diabetes, and heart attacks, as well as many other ailments. Even the mental state of people would be healthier.

Healthy eating plays a crucial role in brain development. It helps improve your mood, give you more energy, and help you think more clearly.

What measures can you take to ensure your mental health? Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and lentils. Forgo sugary foods, processed foods, and foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol.

Studies found out that people consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit juices or vegetable salads every day report no daily mental health problems, compared to those who report daily mental health problems. A diet full of whole foods can reduce the risk of depression.

Sweets, sugary drinks, and alcohol make your blood rise and fall rapidly. The sugar in these foods quickly absorbs into the bloodstream, thus causing a surge of energy that soon wears off as the body increases insulin production. This causes mood swings and makes you feel tired.

Eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains because the sugar in these foods is absorbed slowly into the bloodstream. These foods are more nutritious because they contain vitamins and minerals that mediate the mood and inhibit pain and inflammation.

Thiamin (B1), which is found in whole grains, nuts, cauliflower, oranges, and potatoes, has been associated with control of mood. Folate (folic acid) and zinc, which is found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts, and seeds have been shown to improve the mood of people suffering from depression.

Certain foods also impact the brain proteins that help increase connections between brain cells. Foods such as blueberries, avocados, nuts, and green leafy vegetables help improve memory, boost learning, sharpen mental focus, and boost alertness. On the other hand, a diet high in saturated fats and refined sugars damage the brain proteins.

Social health

Unhealthy foods do not only increase your risk of diseases or shorten your lifespan; it also stops you from enjoying life with family and friends. Diseases rob you of wonderful times you could have spent with the people God has placed in your life.

Healthy eating helps you feel better physically and mentally. When you look good and feel good, you develop better self-esteem and, in the process, become more positive about your body. You eventually learn to socialize better and enjoy more social activities.

There is no better or more refreshing food than the foods God created to not only sustain us but to keep our bodies in great health so we could live and enjoy life and do the work that God has planned for us. Such is the impact that healthy eating has on our overall health.

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