A healthy diet can make all the difference when it comes to your mood and your overall health. While it sounds cheesy, you are what you eat, and for this reason, it's probably best to skip out on overly processed plastic-wrapped American cheese slices. Below are some ways how nutrition can help you feel better, both in your body and in your mind.
Gain More Energy
It's no secret that eating heaps of junk food can make you feel sluggish or even sick. Eating too much fast food, candy, or soda can wreak havoc on your digestive system. When you eat like this, you're more likely to be motivated to head towards the bathroom, rather than to the gym.
If you want to have more natural energy, rather than energy from sugary snacks and drinks (which will only make you crash later), try eating more foods made of complex carbohydrates and proteins. Some of the best foods that can give you more energy include salmon, sweet potato, eggs, beans, and quinoa.
Learn New Recipes
As for a mental health benefit of having a more nutritious diet, learning new recipes is a great way to encourage a love of eating healthy meals. However, when some people talk about "healthy meals" they immediately think of things like kale salad or vegan "meat" loaf. Of course, not all recipes need to taste like leaves to be good for you. With some recipes, you need only to replace one unhealthy ingredient for another. For example, these cassava waffles have all the flavor and fluff of normal waffles, the only difference is that they are made with cassava root flour instead of wheat flour.
Lose Stubborn Fat
Diet and exercise work together when it comes to weight loss. In fact, having a healthy diet is more important than exercising. For example, if you eat a high-calorie fast food meal and then exercise for an hour, you are not likely to lose more calories than you gained. If you have a low-calorie meal and do not exercise, then you will gain a few calories. The best-case scenario is eating a healthy diet and exercising to both take in only a little bit of calories while burning off a lot. This is what leads to weight loss!
Lower Depression Levels
Certain foods have the ability to lessen the chances of feeling depressed or shorten depressive episodes. One of the foods that can do this is fish and other seafood, as it contains omega-three fatty acids. If you do not eat meat, then you can still benefit from omega-threes by eating seeds and nuts.
Strengthen the Immune System
Eating the right foods can also help to boost your immune system, which can make it less likely you will fall ill with things like the common cold. If you do become ill, then you are likely to heal or recover faster. Some great foods to add to your diet that can help to boost your immune include garlic, ginger, red wine, flaxseed, oats, honey, coconut, kale, oranges, and many more.
Reduce Disease Risks
One way proper nutrition can help make you feel better in the long-run is by preventing future health complications. Eating a poor diet for your whole life can lead to varying health problems like high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, and a number of other complications. By having a healthy diet, you can lower your risk for these health complications and others. No doubt, living a life without suffering a heart attack or stroke will make you feel much better!
These are just some of the ways in which improving your nutrition can better your life. Even making small changes over time can help to improve your health in a big way in the long run. Remember, you are what you eat, so try your best to eat a balanced diet full of protein, fruit, vegetables, good fats, and complex carbohydrates!