A healthy lifestyle not only includes regular physical activity, but also eating a well-balanced diet. Diet is one of the most important determinants of health. The benefits of healthy eating are numerous, but it can be hard to make the right choices, especially if you aren’t sure what those right choices are.
Here’s the thing: if you concentrate on eating healthy meals consisting of as many nutritious foods as possible, your body will thank you in the long run. It’s worth the time and effort.
Here are just a few of the foods that will support your health for years to come.
Enjoy More Fruits
Fruits are filled with vitamins and minerals, and should be part of your meals as often as possible.
For example, fresh fruits are packed with vitamin C, folate, potassium, and many other nutrients that are critical to your health. Potassium, for instance, can support the health of your kidneys, bones and heart.
Many fruits also contain folic acid. This is a B vitamin that is important in producing red blood cells. A diet rich in fruit can also support healthy blood sugar levels.1
Fruits are not only low in fat and calories, but they have no cholesterol whatsoever. The fiber in fruits help make sure your digestive system works as it should. Fiber also helps you feel full after a meal, making it less likely that you’ll overeat.2
Focus On Vegetables
Vegetables are the best healthy food choices you can make. Many vegetables are high in potassium and folate, as well as fiber and many essential vitamins.
The amount of vegetables you need depends on many factors. These include your age and physical condition. You can ask your doctor what they recommend for you. In general, though, experts recommend you eat one to four cups of veggies a day for optimal health — or even more.3
A lot of vegetables are loaded with vitamins A and C. Vitamin A supports a healthy immune system; it’s also good for eye and skin health. Vitamin C supports the repair of body tissues and is also important for oral health.4
If you want to be healthier, eating nutritious foods, like vegetables, is one of the best ways of going about it. They’re low in calories and also tastes great.
Boost Your Fiber Intake
The benefits of fiber are many. Fiber can support healthy blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar levels spike too high and fall too quickly, that can make you hungry even after eating meals.
Fiber also helps move food through the colon, keeping bacteria and other potentially harmful microbes from accumulating in your intestines. A diet rich in dietary fiber, as stated earlier, helps promote healthy digestive function. Good sources of fiber include leafy green vegetables, beans, legumes, and breads.5
The Dangers Of An Unhealthy Diet
As mentioned, diet is one of the most important determinants of health. Eating a diet filled with unhealthy foods, like cookies, chips, and candy, can cause a lot of problems. It can make it nearly impossible to lose weight, and can lead to other serious issues.
Processed foods, sugar and sodium are major culprits of an unhealthy diet. Americans, in general, consume about twice the amount of sodium and sugar that they should. Processed foods are typically high in saturated fats. These can be detrimental to your overall health.6
Talk To Your Doctor
If you’re having any type of health issue, consider whether your diet may be playing a role. If your energy levels aren’t what they used to be, you might not be getting enough vitamins and minerals. Talk to your doctor to see if they recommend making any dietary changes.
Eating right is part of an overall healthy lifestyle, along with getting plenty of physical activity. A diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and other nutrient-rich foods, can set you on the right path to a healthier lifestyle.
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