Need some motivation to kick-start your healthy lifestyle? Here are the Top 5 Reasons to Eat Healthy, starting today!
1.) Some repudiate the fact that we are what we eat.
No one wants to picture themselves as a greasy pile of french fries or a sloppy slice of pizza.
But, did you know that everything we eat is converted into the materials used to manufacture new cells in our body?
In one study illustrated by the –, a group of volunteers had samples of their hair analyzed. From just their hair, researchers were able to determine what types of food that person had eaten in the past.
“As you might have guessed, the kind of food you eat is reflected in your body. Almost all the food you digest is used for energy- as fuel to keep you going,” writes the author of the study. “But a small amount is used to build the cells of your body. So if you eat meat, for example, the material to build your cells comes from that meat.”
“All the different parts of you, all the different types of cells that make you, are built from whatever foods you eat,” the study’s author explains.
2.) Processed foods come with some unhealthy caveats. While eating frozen or ‘processed’ foods can have its benefits (such as a longer shelf-life and less waste), certain kinds can contain insufficient nutrients. This means that indulging in sugary beverages or potato chips too often could take a toll on the body’s equilibrium.
“Processed foods can get a bad rap because people focus on the particular processed foods that are high in things we try to discourage and low on the nutrients we try to encourage. So, the “treat” foods. But shamefully, more than half of American adolescents get their calories largely from sugar-sweetened beverages and grain-sweetened desserts, like cookies, cakes and candies, says Dr. Connie Weaver, PhD, Nutrition Scientist and Head of the Department of Nutrition Science and Purdue.
According to dietitian Brittany Chin, RD, LD, processed foods can be considered ‘energy dense’ while raw foods, such as fruits and vegetables from the garden, are ‘nutrient dense.’
“Nutrient dense foods provide nutrients for your body such as fiber, vitamins and minerals with low added sugar and fat,” she explains. “While energy dense foods, or high calorie foods, provide many calories with little value to your body.”
3.) According to TIME Magazine, a study released in 2013 showed how vegetarians had a lower risk of death by 12-percent when compared to their meat-eating counterparts.
While eating healthy does not mean limiting your lifestyle to only eating vegetables, this portrait of eating behavior can be telling of how what we eat affects our body.
Several recent studies have determined a strong link between longevity and healthy eating.
With the leading cause of death in the United States being cardiovascular failure, it is not hard to determine why these two concepts should be so closely connected.
4.) Healthy foods often contain high amounts of antioxidants and other beneficial components known to benefit skin and other aspects of an individual’s health.
According to a recent study published by NBC News, more than 80-percent of teenagers develop acne in the United States, while in more remote areas, such as the hunter-gathering village of Kitavan Islanders in Papua New Guinea, no one suffers from acne. To eliminate the factor of genetics, the study’s author, Loren Cordain of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, examined individuals who come to the United States from other cultures.
“While it’s possible that good genes help these populations have clear skin, he (Loren) says, other groups of Pacific Islanders and South American Indians who move to areas where Western diets are common develop acne. Previous observations have indicated the same thing happened when Eskimos started eating Western foods,” reports NBC News.
5.) Besides preventing disease and promoting general wellness, eating right can make you just plain happy.
“We now know that the foods that you eat directly influence communication within the brain,” says Alan Logan, author of The Brain Diet.
“Of special interest are the fatty acids that come from fish (omega-3s), which help improve cell function, and those from olive oil (monosaturated fatty acid), which are thought to help the mood-regulating chemical serotonin bind to its receptors,” reports Best Health Mag.