Food is the basic need of any living thing. We are what we eat. To keep the functioning of our body in the optimal place, we must choose healthy food that can provide us with the best nutrients. Nutrients are the substances that help the human system stay active, grow and have a healthy immune system. But, nowadays, processed fast food has hastily replaced healthy eating habits with junk. Obesity, laziness, heart problems, and an increasing rate of diseases are because of junk food. This article, penned down the importance of healthy food, aims to provide you with information that can help you have a healthy and stress-free life.
Why is it necessary to eat?
The living organism needs to feed itself to live. The nutrients you get from healthy food enable you to cope with daily activities. But the role of diet goes much further: recent advances in nutrition have allowed us to determine the importance of a correct diet in promoting physical and mental health, preventing diseases, and, in general, improving our health and overall quality of life.
Essential tips for healthy eating
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a healthy diet does not exclude certain nutritional groups since all are necessary for our bodies to a greater or lesser extent. The WHO well teaches the importance of healthy food.
After knowing the risks of not following a healthy and balanced diet, we already know how important it is to take care of your diet; for this reason, we will provide a series of tips to follow a healthy and careful diet.
Our good or bad eating habits determine the functioning of our bodies. To prevent diseases and prompt good health, one must ensure and adapt the habit of taking the best nutrients. How does diet influence the importance of healthy food and our quality of life, and why is it important to eat well? We will tell you more about it.
An adequate diet provides nutrition according to the body’s requirements in terms of energy and fitness. A proper diet meets all its needs so that it can function correctly. There is no suitable universal diet. However, it must be adapted to each person according to their characteristics and lifestyle. A balanced diet will not be the same for a child as for an adult or a pregnant woman, for a person who practices sports regularly or for a sedentary person. It can vary from person to person. However, the essential components of a healthy diet are as follows.
Fats and carbohydrates
Fats and carbohydrates have the primary function of obtaining the energy necessary for the body to perform vital functions such as pumping blood, lung function, or maintaining body temperature.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals regulate the body’s processes so that they work correctly and possible disorders and diseases are avoided.
Fibre promotes the proper functioning of the body’s waste evacuation systems. Whole grains have the advantage of including fibre, making you feel full sooner and promoting intestinal transit.
Servings per Day
These foods help prevent cardiac disease, certain types of cancer, and strokes. According to the WHO, you should consume five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Thanks to this intake, enough dietary fibre is obtained.
As the saying goes, “eat everything.” In general, this variety is used as an excuse to introduce foods that are far from being healthy options. It should be borne in mind that in addition to trans fats and the high sugar content, there are multitudes that are also harmful to our health. Like, for example, preservatives and stabilizers or the increasingly popular flavour enhancer.
When it is said that a diet should be varied, it refers to healthy foods that explicitly tell the importance of healthy food. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, etc. This does not mean that exceptionally you cannot eat something outside these parameters. But after knowing the importance of a healthy diet, the chosen foods must be healthy. Therefore, include the following items.
The consumption of whole grains, such as rice, oats, rye, or spelt, is present in practically everything we consume. However, since carbohydrates are transformed into glucose in our body for energy, you must adapt the amount you consume to your energy expenditure. To verify if a product contains, read the ingredient label, not the front one. Discard all those with wheat flour and 5% of other cereal advertised as a comprehensive alternative.
Legumes are an excellent source of carbohydrates and protein, so they are a good option if you want to cut down on meat. Nowadays, they are straightforward to prepare, as they can be purchased semi-cooked. However, cooking them raw from home is always preferable to avoid additives.
Fruits and vegetables
The simplest way to improve your diet is to make vegetables the main protagonists of your dishes. In addition to being lighter than other foods, they are a source of vitamins and minerals, essential for the proper functioning of the body. Fruits can help you if you get hungry between meals or as an alternative to pastries for breakfast. It is advisable to include vegetables in all meals.
Reduce fat intake
The WHO recommends reducing your total fat intake to less than 30% of your daily caloric intake, as this reduces the risk of being overweight or obese. But not all fats are the same. Therefore, the consumption of saturated fats should be limited to 10% and Trans fats to less than 1% of the total daily intake.
However, not all fats are harmful; olive oil is one of the healthiest fats, and other foods, such as avocado and salmon, rich in Omega-3, are heart-healthy. Olive oil’s quality is superior. Opting for it will help you obtain nutrients and enrich your dishes with their flavour.
Consumption of salt and added sugars
Salt is a necessary micronutrient but should be consumed in moderation, about 5 grams per day. Its excessive consumption is directly related to the formation of arterial hypertension. Similarly, the consumption of added sugars should be limited to the maximum since they should not represent more than 5-10% of the total intake. So, you must base your diet on natural foods and consume minimally processed foods.
Benefits of a healthy diet
A balanced diet allows our body to function normally, meet our basic physiological needs, and reduce the chances of diseases. Although it is not a direct cause-effect relationship, it does contribute to increasing the risk of the appearance and development of these diseases. In fact, according to the WHO, 2.7 million people die every year from not eating a good diet and abusing fried foods and batters.
Some of the benefits of eating a balanced and healthy diet
- Strengthen the immune system.
- Lower risk of chronic diseases.
- Improves blood circulation.
- Slows the ageing process.
- Avoid cardiovascular diseases.
- Obtain a healthy weight.
- Prevents chronic fatigue and tiredness.
- A positive state of mind
The importance of healthy food has been explained in detail. Also, it has been proved that a person who eats healthy lives longer than someone who consumes junk. Being careful about what you eat can make a difference in your diet habits and living style. The quality of your life can be improved so that you choose the best to eat. Knowing the benefits of foods and nutrients, you will get from eating can help you stay healthy.