If you had a nickel for every time someone told you to eat healthier, you’d be rich. But why should you? Some of us struggle to see the benefit, especially those with a fast metabolism who never gain weight.
It seems much easier (and tastier) to reach for the ready-made, highly processed, super greasy goodies that satisfy your cravings rather than spending hours in the kitchen making a healthy home-cooked meal.
The truth is that eating a healthy, balanced diet is easier than you think, and it has a major positive impact on virtually every facet of your health.
Instead of leaving you with the vague mantra of “eating better is good for you,” our Prime Choice Family Clinic & Urgent Care team in Frisco, Texas, shows you exactly how positive diet changes directly impact your health and wellness, now and in the long run.
1. Healthy eating supports your heart
Nearly half of adults in the United States have some type of cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure (which can lead to heart attack, heart failure, and stroke) is also on the rise.
However, experts declare that mindful eating combined with increased physical activity and lifestyle changes can prevent up to 80% of premature heart disease.
Eating foods that are high in fiber and low in certain types of fats, like trans fat, controls your blood cholesterol levels and lowers your blood pressure, which reduces your risk for heart problems.
If you want to eat a diet aimed at fortifying your heart, try the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
2. Healthy eating reduces your risk for cancer
The presence of harmful organisms called free radicals in your body increases your risk for cancer. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that enter your system in various ways, including smoking, environmental pollutants, certain drugs, pesticides, industrial solvents, ozone, and UV radiation.
They roam your body looking to attach to healthy molecules and wreak havoc on your health.
But if you eat foods packed with antioxidants, the molecules that seek and neutralize free radicals, you can reduce the number of volatile free radicals in your system.
You can find antioxidants in familiar foods, including berries, pumpkins, carrots, nuts, seeds, and dark, leafy greens.
3. Healthy eating improves your mood
Researchers have identified a close relationship between diet and moods. Diets that carry a high glycemic load (that is, include many refined carbohydrates like soft drinks, cakes, and white bread) increase symptoms of depression and fatigue — this event occurs in people who are otherwise healthy.
Diet can also impact your blood sugar levels, immune system, and gut microbiome, all of which alter your mood.
Vegetables, whole fruits, and whole grains have a much lower glycemic load and help your mind and body stay balanced.
4. Healthy eating improves your memory
If you get enough vitamins D, C, and E and omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, and polyphenols, you could see a delay in cognitive decline and dementia as you age. Many have turned to the Mediterranean diet for brain health.
5. Healthy eating helps you manage other health problems
If you’re looking for an all-natural way to manage your existing health problems, such as diabetes, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, the first place you should start is with your diet.
Simple changes like limiting sugar, alcohol, and caffeine intake and prioritizing whole, nutrient-dense foods can make controlling your symptoms much easier.
6. Healthy eating improves your bones and teeth
Have you ever heard that a glass of milk daily strengthens your teeth and bones? It’s not just an old wives’ tale. Calcium in milk and other foods like kale, broccoli, and fortified cereals helps your teeth and bones remineralize and avoid degenerative later in life.
How do I get started?
The best place to start your healthy eating journey is in our office. Schedule a wellness visit and talk to us about your goals. Our team can help you design a diet and nutrition program tailored to your needs.
But before you get to us, here are some basic rules of thumb for healthy eating:
- Drink herbal teas and fruit-infused water instead of soft drinks
- Include fresh produce with every meal you eat
- Opt for whole grains over refined carbs
- Opt for whole fruits over fruit juices
- Limit your consumption of red and processed meats
- Eat smaller portions
Some of our patients have benefited from an introductory cooking class to learn the fundamentals of food preparation and nutrition.
When you’re ready to start your health journey, call 214-550-0911 or book an appointment online with Prime Choice Family Clinic & Urgent Care today.