Incredible Benefits of Healthy Diet: Here’s What Happens Inside Your Body When Your Follow a Nutritious Diet
Not sure if you should be following a healthy diet? Take a look at these 5 amazing health benefits of following a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
Nutrition is nourishment that impacts every aspect of our lives, from our physical health to our overall well-being. The relationship between the foods we consume and their impact on our bodies is essential. While many of us are familiar with the basics of a balanced diet, the world of nutrition is far more complex and fascinating than we might imagine.
5 Interesting Facts About Nutrition
To understand it better, Ms. Salini Somasundar, Consultant Dietician, Manipal Hospital , Kharadi Pune, shares five interesting facts about nutrition that not only provide a deeper understanding of its power but also empower us to make more informed choices about the foods we consume:
Food as Medicine
The foods we eat contain a wealth of bioactive compounds that can have a profound impact on our health. For example, many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help in improving the body’s immune system and combating oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Some foods, like turmeric, contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds. Garlic is enriched with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antistress, antidiabetes, anticancer, liver protection, antioxidants, and wound healing properties. By choosing a diverse and nutrient-rich diet, we can potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support overall well-being.
Gut Microbiome and Health
The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiome. These tiny residents play a crucial role in our digestion, metabolism, and even our immune system. Alterations of the gut microbiome are implicated in many diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Probiotics may restore the composition of the gut microbiome and introduce beneficial functions to gut microbial communities, resulting in the prevention of gut inflammation.
A diet high in fiber promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can lead to better digestion and improved overall health. This connection between diet and the gut microbiome highlights the importance of choosing foods that nourish our internal microbial communities.
Nutrition isn’t just about individual nutrients; it’s also about how these nutrients interact with one another. The concept of nutrient synergy emphasizes that certain nutrients work better together, enhancing their overall effectiveness in the body. For example, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, making them a powerful duo for bone health and also involved in cholesterol metabolism. Vitamin C is essential for the better absorption of non-heme iron in our body.
The foods we eat can impact our mood, cognitive function, and even our risk of mental health disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, for instance, have been associated with improved mood and a reduced risk of depression. Conversely, excessive consumption of sugary and highly processed foods has been linked to an increased risk of mood disorders and cognitive decline. This connection between nutrition and mental health underscores the importance of a balanced diet for overall well-being.
Complex carbohydrates, lean protein, fresh fruits, and vegetable intake can increase the availability of the chemical serotonin which influences happiness and memory.
Food Labelling and Marketing
Food labeling and advertising often use terms like “natural,” “organic,” or “low-fat” to influence our food choices. However, these labels can be misleading, and the nutritional quality of a product may not always align with its marketing claims. It’s essential for consumers to read food labels carefully and prioritize whole, minimally processed foods when possible. Understanding the nuances of food labeling empowers individuals to make informed choices about what they put on their plates.
Tracking Portion size, calories per serving, added sugars, saturated fat content, and sodium level all should be checked on reading food labels. Low fat doesn’t mean low calorie, check on food allergies.
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