7 Reasons Why Eating Healthy Is Important

a picture of fruits

You're probably familiar with the "eat healthy" chant, but can’t imagine making such a huge lifestyle change. Yes, eating healthy does require conscious effort especially since quick and highly processed foods are constantly being displayed in our faces everywhere we look.

The good news is, eating healthy is a great lifestyle to adopt and that's what this article is about. Let's see what it means to eat healthy and seven reasons why it's important to do so.

What eating healthy means

Eating healthy simply means consuming a variety of highly nutritious foods on a regular basis. This involves building a diet that includes carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and water. There's no specific universal ratio of the percentage of each food type you should consume per day, but a conscious healthy mix here and there can suffice.

Reasons why eating healthy is important

The popular advice to eat healthy isn't just an out-of-the-blue trend with no scientific or relevant basis. It's a lifestyle practice that can improve your life and here are seven ways it can:

  1. Lowers risk of diseases

  2. Consuming healthy foods lowers risks of health complications such as heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, stroke and cancers. On the other hand, eating processed foods like artificial sugars, salts and unsaturated fats increases the likelihood of developing such diseases.

    Consider replacing such with fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, dairy products, fish and beans. Now, I know that you may consume a large bottle of coca cola and a bag of cookies every night and you're completely fine. The point here is the increased probability since not everyone will develop a heart disease or diabetes from drinking soda every night.

    It's kind of like smoking. Not every smoker will come down with lung cancer, but smoking increases the chances of developing such cancer. Since there's no way to know who'll get lung cancer and who won't, it's best to advocate against smoking altogether, isn't it? Yes, that's the point.

  3. Strengthens bones

  4. How would we live without strong healthy bones? No, I don't want to know. Consuming foods rich in calcium and magnesium helps to preserve the integrity of the bones and limits the risk of osteoporosis. Foods like bony fishes, eggs and milk contain calcium. Nuts, green vegetables and whole grains contain magnesium.

  5. Contributes to a healthy skin

  6. The nutrients we gain from fresh colourful fruits and vegetables also contribute to the health of our skin. Fruits and vegetables are rich in beta carotenes, polyphenols and antioxidants which helps protect our cells against free radicals.

    When trying to improve your skin health, your first thought may be to purchase some quality, organic skin care products. While you’re on that route or planning to experiment like me (for over a year), maybe try investing in foods like potatoes, oranges, avocados, vegetables, nuts, diary and other healthy options.

  7. Improves mood

  8. Researchers suggest a relationship between diet and mood in recent studies. They say foods with high glycemic content such as sugary drinks, cookies and cakes are linked to symptoms of fatigue and depression in obese people.

    Foods lower in glycemic content like vegetables and whole grains seem to be healthier for one's mental health. The Mediterranean diet for instance is an eating plan that mainly includes fruits, vegetables. Scientists believe such a diet is healthier even for the mind. We already know it's great for the body.

  9. Maintains a healthy weight

  10. To reduce or maintain a healthy weight naturally is a matter of diet and physical activity. I know there are some special humans whose weight won’t increase no matter how much they eat. Variation in body weight is an interesting phenomena, thanks to genetics, metabolic rate and some factors I don't know about yet.

    However, limiting consumption of processed surgery and fatty foods can help people maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a risk factor for multiple health conditions, including coronary artery disease and stroke. Controlling food choices is a way to manage obesity or at least, prevent gaining extra pounds.

  11. Enhances immune system

  12. You know the immune system that protects our bodies from harmful substances? Yes, it also benefits from a healthy diet just like other cells in our bodies. We need to preserve their vitality so they protect us, don't we? The immune system relies on a variety of nutrients like vitamins and protein function properly. You can enhance the performance of your immune system by switching out unhealthy foods with nutritious options.

  13. May influence attitude to life

  14. I believe that taking efforts to improve one area of your influence may influence how you handle the others. It's no surprise that people who wish to improve their diet may seem organised and physically fit.

    I mean, it takes determination and consistency to plan and consistently eat healthy meals. To swap out soda for healthier options won't happen by mistake, will it? Taking control of your diet may build a character that encourages you to try improving something else in your life.

Tips to improve eating habits

Doing anything worthwhile is a continuous journey and some us really just take things one at a time, here are some tips you I try to implement that you may find helpful:

  • When you get thirsty, drink water first. You may forget your soda craving.

  • Snack on fruits or nuts. It can be an easy choice for starters, a fruit you like. Right now, oranges and avocados are my go to. They're everywhere and affordable too.

  • Try to include fresh ingredients when cooking. Tomatoes, fish, vegetables.

  • Invest in home cooked meals. It is cheaper in the long term and you also get control of what you include in your meal.

  • Experiment. You may think you can't do without coca cola every other day, but you can. From a repenting soda lover to you, experiment with staying off a particular unhealthy drink or food for a day, a week, a month.

Parting words

I think learning the potential benefits of an action or lifestyle can inspire us to give it a go. So there you have it, seven reasons why eating healthy is important. If you'd like to share your experience with eating healthy or talk about other benefits I missed, you can leave a comment on Twitter.