There is an old saying that says, “you are what you eat.” while this saying is not literally true, it is meant to impart an important lesson: The importance of proper diet. In fact, it is literally true, in some ways. A person who eats a lot of fat will probably become fat, while a person who eats a lot of meat will tend to become meaty (meat is muscle, for those of you who don’t know). There are so many benefits to healthy eating that we could never hope to list them all. Thus, we will focus on our top five reasons, presented in no particular order.
1. Better Immune System Function
It might surprise you to know that your diet can have a significant effect on your likelihood of disease. It is well-known that diet has an effect on heart health, but you might be surprised at how many other health problems can be traced directly to your diet.
Take this study as an example. In this study, researchers sought to determine the effect of a certain diet on a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. The diet in question is known as the Mediterranean diet, and it has become quite popular in recent years.
The study found that a Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. They also cite other studies to show that this diet can also decrease your chances of acquiring cancer, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, abnormal glucose metabolism, heart disease, and death in general.
2. More Energy
Throughout the day, the body goes through cycles of low energy and high energy. Most of us don’t even give it much thought, but most would agree that it’s good to have more energy. More energy allows you to accomplish more tasks in a shorter time, and that’s why so many people drink caffeine before work.
However, there is always a crash at the end of the ride. When the energy rollercoaster goes up, it must eventually come down, just as Newton would have predicted. Because of this, it’s a good idea to stick with foods that offer a high nutrient value.
High-nutrient foods give your body a lot of fuel with which to work. It uses all the nutrients present in food to power your various bodily functions, although different nutrients are used for different things. Low-nutrient foods, on the other hand, displace other foods and leave your body with something that just doesn’t have what it needs.
It is essential to avoid foods that act like stimulants by giving you a huge rush of energy followed by a drop (and quite possibly a nap). Processed flour, sugary foods, fried foods, and other low-nutrient junk will do this, and the result is that you feel energetic for a couple of hours without gaining any real nutrition.
3. Weight Loss
Low-nutrient foods tend to be very high in fat and carbs. After all, there are only so many things that the body can digest. If a food doesn’t offer protein, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other healthy things, it will often be made of filler. Carbs and fat are added to many processed foods. This is done in order to make a person feel “full” even though their body is starved for nutrients.
High-nutrient foods, on the other hand, tend to be higher in protein. This is important because of the fact that high-protein diets have been shown to aid weight loss. They do this by promoting a greater feeling of “fullness,” which helps a person to avoid snacking. At the same time, protein is also more difficult for the body to process than fat or carbs. This means that the body has to work a little harder to get the job done, and that means less energy that will later be converted to fat.
4. Increased Performance
If you want to understand how a good diet leads to increased physical performance, you can think of your body as a racecar. If you give it the wrong kind of fuel, it will surely lose the race. You need high-octane fuel If you want that thing to run like a cheetah. Although you obviously don’t need the same things that a car needs, you can’t expect to achieve maximum performance with inferior fuel.
You might think that you need a really lean diet, but this study says otherwise. Although they did find that it was beneficial to keep your fat intake at or below 25%, they also found that there was no benefit in going lower than 15%. Thus, a low-fat diet can be helpful, but only to a certain extent.
5. Longer Life
The human body begins to deteriorate as it ages. You can’t stop this process, but you can certainly slow it down. That’s where a proper diet comes into play. Many scientific studies have established that a good diet leads to a longer life. At this point, it’s such an obvious fact that it requires little proving, anyway! This study, for instance, found that they could isolate the metabolic pathways by which diet regulates lifespan.
This is only a sampling of the many good reasons that you should work to cultivate a good diet. Without a good diet, you will never be running the machine that is your body at its best. Unless you are happy with being unhealthy, we suggest that you take this advice to heart and think about the contents of your diet. We also suggest that you follow us on Facebook for more educational articles like this one.