The effect of good nutrition on your body and mind are seemingly endless. As the popular saying goes “you are what you eat.” Diets high in processed foods, fast foods, sugar, sodium and trans fat promote disease and obesity, whereas a balanced diet high in nutrient dense foods promotes energy, clear mental function, and defense against disease, as well as a good physique.
One of the most noticeable effects you may see, particularly when switching to a healthy diet, is an increase in energy. Nutrient dense foods provide everything the body needs to function at its best. Harvard Medical School also notes that there are some simple, specific, dietary tips you can follow, to increase your energy levels. They include eating smaller meals more frequently -- particularly at lunch -- avoiding very low calorie diets and alcohol, and drinking enough water.
Better Mental Function
Supplying the brain with the healthy fats and nutrients it requires will boost your mental power. Approximately two-thirds of the human brain is made up of fats, which means a diet rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is vital to a well preforming brain. These healthy fats exists in health foods such as fish, nuts, seeds and avocados.
Combat Aging and Disease
A 2008 study published in “Nature Reviews Neuroscience” notes that food was once considered just a means of supplying energy, but now it is finally being recognized for its ability to prevent disease. AARP reports that cruciferous vegetables support the body in fighting cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids combat inflammation. Berries contain flavonoids that slow aging and avocados lower your bad cholesterol.
Less Chance of Getting Sick
A strong immune system is important, not only for staying free of disease, but free of common illnesses as well. If you don't enjoy catching a cold or the flu, a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, can help with that. According to Harvard Medical School vitamins A, B2, B6, C, D, E, zinc and selenium may all play roles in supporting immune function.[A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, including healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates will include each of these nutrients.
A healthy diet can keep your weight in check and help build an attractive physique. By eating foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, you will consume fewer calories but more nutrients, which cuts your body's fat storage opportunities. Many athletes, including Crossfit athletes, follow this type of plant -based diet, with the addition of animal protein. A common thread among these athletic diets is the omission of processed and refined carbohydrates.