diet, table of food juice, yogurt, fruit

It goes without saying that many people follow a healthy diet in hopes of achieving short-term goals like losing weight or improving their mood. While these are indeed wonderful benefits to reap from making good nutrition choices, your diet actually plays a vital role in determining in your body’s overall health in the long run. Below, we take a deeper dive into how your everyday food choices affect you in the grander scheme of things.

Prevents Chronic Disease

Did you know the CDC has found that six in ten Americans have at least one chronic disease? Combatting a chronic disease can be a lifelong struggle with costly effects not just on your wallet, but also on your quality of life. To this end, you can protect yourself from developing one by simply eating right. Indeed, our resident writer Nicole Akers previously shared here that nourishing your body with food that’s low in sugar and fat (such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Alternatively, other chronic diseases — particularly, heart disease and diabetes — often stem from eating too much fat and sugar. That being said, following a proper diet can do a world of good for chronic disease prevention.

Maintains Fitness Level

A balanced diet is key to fueling our body for high energy levels that help you perform optimally. Nutritionists have outlined time and again just how crucial it is to load up on carbohydrates before breaking a sweat, as these help top up energy stores. As explained by Everyday Health, carbs are the body’s first source of energy. On that note, it’s best to keep your pantry well-stocked and your kitchen ready for meal prep. Getting in some carbs pre-workout is a great way to boost your energy levels, with culinary writers at WeKnowRice recommending relying on your handy rice cooker to prepare a few servings in advance for meal prep. Whether it’s rice cakes or brown rice salad bowls, refueling with right carbs beforehand ensures that your body is always up for any physical challenge. Overall, building this habit attunes your body to breaking down and expending energy efficiently.

Enhances Childhood Development

If you have children, be sure to pay close attention to what they eat. This is because proper nutrition helps them build a strong foundation during their formative years. For one, Harvard Health notes that key nutrients such as protein, zinc, and B vitamins are essential for supporting healthy brain development. Eating a well-balanced diet also helps lower the risk of developing childhood obesity, and therefore encourages an active lifestyle. Lastly, teaching them to make the right food choices early on can guide them into following a proper diet throughout their lives. While kids love snacking on junk like chips and chocolate, steering clear of them can make all the difference for their development.

Promotes Better Mental Health

It’s important to note that effects of your current diet go beyond the physical, as it also goes hand-in-hand with good mental health. According to a study published in the PLOS ONE journal, following a Mediterranean diet — an approach focused on fresh and whole food sources — can greatly decrease symptoms of depression over time. On the other hand, unhealthy food staples like processed, sugary food were associated with depression scores in the “moderate severity” range. In this regard, you should always remember that investing in the right food sources can positively influence your psychological state. And eating a healthy diet is one step closer to creating a better place in your mind.

For more on walking the talk on all things health, be sure to explore our articles here on Wetalkhealthy.

Article specially written for wetalkhealthy.com by Regina Mason