Although many of us automatically think of losing weight when it comes to how we eat, good nutrition has a host of other benefits. Here are four surprising benefits of a healthy diet:
1. Mood Support
From feeling a bit out of sorts to full-blown depression, what you eat plays a crucial role in how you feel as well as your ability to fight off a bad mood. Traditional medical methods treat symptoms with medication and therapies centered around brain function. However, since our brains are part of our bodies, it makes sense that our brain is affected by what we eat. This doesn’t mean a bad diet is the sole cause of depression or that you can avoid talking to a professional about any mood issues you are experiencing. It is important to realise, though, that a nutrient-rich, low preservative, low sugar diet can have a positive impact on our mood and brain function.
Some especially important nutrients include Omega 3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna or in krill oil supplements), selenium (found in Brazil nuts), and tryptophan (found in turkey, chicken, and bananas). These nutrients work by raising serotonin levels and fighting inflammation in the body.
2. Self Control and Decision Making
Do you notice that it is harder to go to the gym after a long day at a stressful job? This is because willpower usually decreases in the afternoon and evening, a time when many people find themselves binging, drinking, or smoking rather than heading to the gym. The good news is that proper nutrition can increase your willpower. When we are hungry or low on nutrients, or willpower suffers. Alternatively, a well-fueled body can equate to stronger willpower and wiser decision making. Try planning ahead by keeping healthy snacks on hand to ensure you never get too hungry.
3. Ageing and Quality of the Skin
A nutrient-dense, well-balanced nutritional approach can help you age as gracefully as possible. Foods such as pomegranates, blueberries, dark chocolate, dark leafy greens, and salmon are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help support collagen production, decrease inflammation, and fight free radicals. This means softer, healthier, more youthful skin than an individual that eats a diet full of sugar, preservatives, and low-nutrient foods.
You wouldn’t give your dog junk food and expect him to be energetic or skip putting gas in your car and expect it to run. Our bodies work the same way. A poor diet can leave you feeling unmotivated and sluggish.
Fortunately, a diet full of high-quality carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes or squash, dark leafy greens, fatty fish, eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables gives your body a vast array of nutrients. These foods fuel your body with B Vitamins for energy, Vitamin C for antioxidant protection, protein for muscle building and repair, and so much more! With these nutrients, you’ll be able to tackle tasks with energy, motivation, and determination.