Self-care depends on being able to achieve an overall wellness. Because diet influences so many parts of your health, taking control of it often yields serious benefits to your quality of life. While eating junk food can be tasty and enjoyable, it ultimately can make you feel sick and even impact your emotional health. Here are a few reasons why eating healthy will help you feel better physically and mentally.
- Brighter smile
It’s no secret that what you eat has an effect on your oral health. What you may not realize, however, is that your mouth is one of the first areas of your body to decline in health if you consume a poor diet. To help prevent tooth decay, ditch foods that are high in sugar, and focus on healthier food options like leafy greens, yogurt, and almonds. Such foods work to clear out unhealthy bacteria in your mouth and bring in necessary nutrients like vitamin A and calcium.
The state of your dental health is also connected to your mental health. A healthy smile can increase your self-esteem and improve your mood. In addition to eating healthy foods and brushing and flossing every day, make sure you regularly visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings. If you need to find a dentist, you can do an online search for a trusted and highly rated one near you.
- Increased energy
An article from Harvard Medical School recommends eating small, frequent meals that are loaded with veggies. These frequent meals are one of the best ways to boost energy. If you’re feeling a little lethargic, try crunching on a couple of carrots with some hummus. Or you can get some celery and eat it with some peanut butter.
You can get creative with the small meals you eat as well. Try eating a variety of vegetables throughout the day and get at least five different types of fruits and veggies. This can keep you from getting bored with your diet and increases the likelihood of sticking to your newfound habits.
- Stronger cognitive function
Research suggests that dietary choices can impact neuronal function and influence important parts of brain physiology like synaptic plasticity. If you eat better, your brain functions better. This is great for whatever phase of life you’re in. If you’re a student, eating healthy can improve your studies and help you absorb information more effectively. If you’re working, a healthy diet can impact your work life. If you’re a caregiver, you can work through problems and solve them more easily. No matter what you do, eating healthy can give your brain an extra boost.
- Improved mental health
New research shows that the food we eat and the microbes in our body can intimately influence mental health and other psychological processes. Maybe you can’t change the microbes that you’ve got, but you can change the food that you eat.
If eating healthier is a challenge, find ways to incorporate healthy foods into your life. Try replacing your pasta or bread with whole-wheat and whole grains. You can get little snack foods of vegetables, like baby carrots or cucumber slices or cherry tomatoes to eat during the day. Find what tastes good to you and experiment.
- Healthy heart
Taking care of your heart has been shown to be important. It’s not just important for cardiovascular health, but mental and overall health as well. While doing some extra cardio will do your heart good, eating healthy will help as well. Some heart-healthy foods include fish, nuts, berries, and vegetables. Fish are high in omega-3 fats, which can help lower the risk of heart disease. Some good nuts include walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts. You can also start incorporating more spinach into your salads and sandwiches. If it’s difficult to find time in your schedule to head to the local grocery store, you might benefit from subscribing to a meal delivery service, which will ship fresh food right to your door. In addition to getting quality food and helping you gain better control of your portions, you won’t have to stress about making time for a shopping trip.
- Quality sleep
Eating foods low in fat and high in fiber have been demonstrated to help promote restful, quality sleep. You still need the “good fat” in your diet, but high fiber will help you sleep better. Vegetables are an excellent source of this, although fruit is really useful too. Some fruits include apples, bananas, oranges, and strawberries. However, the fruit highest in fiber is raspberries, so go berry picking and enjoy.
To start healthy eating habits, do simple things. This can include cooking with more herbs and spices. You can work on slowly decreasing sugar intake. Another thing you can do is not multitasking while eating. All these can help you feel more full and take advantage of the profound benefits of eating healthy.