We all know we should eat healthy, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Understanding the benefits of a diet that mostly incorporates whole foods though can help us make better choices daily. Below we talk about some of the big benefits you reap by eating a mostly healthy and wholesome diet as well as provide some resources to get started on making more healthful choices.
From the time we are young we are constantly reminded to make sure we “eat our fruits and vegetables.” As we get older and have more responsibility—places to go and people to see, it can become easy to skip over the wholesome food our bodies really need in favor of quick food options. The problem with this is most of our fast food and processed snacks lack the necessary nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy and fit. This isn’t to say every bit of food you put in your mouth has to be a whole food, but making a conscious effort to have them be 60-70 percent of your daily diet can do wonders for your overall health.
Some of the benefits your body will reap from intaking higher amounts of fruits, vegetables and grains go far beyond being simply being healthier. When you eat well it also affects your mindset, how you look and feel on a daily basis.
When you eat a diet high in whole foods it has the potential to help lower your risk of heart disease largely because of the fiber content it provides. Along the same lines, your blood sugar levels will stay at a much steadier with a diet high in whole foods. Interestingly enough, most animal foods contain insulin growth factors that can mess with your blood sugar levels causing cravings and moodiness.
Overall bone health is another great benefit of eating a diet high in whole foods. You can significantly decrease your risk of bone breaks and osteoporosis by consuming vegetables that are rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K. A big bonus is these minerals are much easier for your body to digest in plant form than other ways it comes in such as meat and vitamins.
In the "making you feel better category", eating a whole foods rich diet can have major impacts on your mood. Studies have proven trans fats found in processed, fast food can increase your stress levels, irritability, and aggression. By cutting these unnatural fats out of your diet and replacing them with a more organic diet you instantly cut your cortisol stress hormones allowing you to feel more relaxed and happier day-to-day.
Lastly, a diet high in whole foods can improve your appearance by making your hair healthier and keeping your skin looking young and supple. Most grains within a diet rich in whole foods provide your locks with necessary zinc and vitamin B2 that help build hair and create skin. Red and orange vegetables are a great source of lycopene which helps prevent sun damage and that can mean less wrinkles in your future. Other fruits and vegetables help provide your body with vitamin C—an important ingredient your skin uses to produce anti-aging collagen protein that slows down in production as we age.
If we have sold you on eating more whole foods and now need some tasty ideas to start incorporating them into your diet follow the links we have provided below for easy and healthy recipes you can try at home: