Most people have heard the saying, "You are what you eat." While this is not literally true, diet can have a big impact on a person's health.
Read on to discover nine ways you can improve your overall health by improving your diet.
1. Promote Friendly Gut Bacteria
A bacterial imbalance in your gut, caused by illness, medication or diet, can cause allergies, digestive issues, obesity and other health problems. One way to help balance your gut bacteria and alleviate these problems is by promoting the growth of friendly gut bacteria. Cultured or fermented foods, such as yogurt, kombucha, or kimchi contain natural probiotics that can promote gut health. Additionally, there are a variety of probiotic enhanced products, such as Nucific Bio x4 coupon, that can enhance gut health.
2. Lose Weight
Overweight and obesity contribute to several chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer. People who are overweight or obese are usually advised to lose weight by their physicians. While some weight can be lost by exercising or using medications, diet plays the largest role in weight reduction. There are many different philosophies regarding the best diet for weight loss. Your doctor or dietician should be able to help you develop an eating plan for weight loss.
3. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is believed to be responsible for many types of chronic pain and to contribute to many of the chronic diseases that plague Americans. Consuming less sugar, saturated fat and refined grains have been found to reduce overall inflammation in the body. Additionally, foods that are high in antioxidants, such as blueberries, are believed to reduce inflammatory responses.
4. Increase Energy
A poor diet can leave you feeling tired and sluggish all day. A balanced diet of high-quality protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables can provide you with the sustained energy you need to perform well throughout the day.
5. Protect Against Disease
A balanced diet that is high in fiber and low in saturated fat has proven effective at reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Oily fish, such as tuna and salmon, may also improve heart health when consumed in moderation.
6. Strengthen Bones and Teeth
Increasing the calcium in your diet can slow bone loss and protect against tooth decay. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, fish with edible bones, such as sardines and canned salmon, green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, and calcium-fortified foods, such as non-dairy milk, cereal and fruit juice. Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption, so you should consume foods such as oily fish and fortified cereals to boost this nutrient.
7. Lower Cancer Risk
Diets that contain high amounts of fruit and vegetables may be protective against cancer. It is believed that the phytochemicals found in these foods have antioxidant properties that reduce cell damage.
8. Improve Your Mood
Researchers have discovered that diets with a high glycemic load may lead to or worsen depression and fatigue. Foods that contribute to a high glycemic load include refined carbohydrates, such as white sugar or flour. By contrast, whole fruit, vegetables and whole grains carry a much lower glycemic load. However, while improving diet may reduce the symptoms of depression, it is still important for people experiencing depression to receive medical care.
9. Better Memory Function
Vitamins D, E and C, omega-3 fatty acids, fish, flavonoids and polyphenols have been found to have beneficial effects on memory. These effects have led some doctors to conclude that a diet high in these nutrients, such as the Mediterranean diet, can improve cognitive decline and dementia.
Improving your diet can have health benefits from weight reduction to improved mood and mental function. However, before undertaking any major dietary changes, you should always consult with your physician.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Lewis Robinson.