The term "diet" has become almost inextricably linked to the idea of losing weight. While weight maintenance and even weight loss are in fact two of the perks of eating a healthy diet, they are far from the only benefit. In fact, it’s much better to focus on a healthy eating plan that brings about benefit in a number of different areas. Aside from weight loss, here are 5 unexpected benefits that come from eating healthy.
1. Improved Mood
It turns out that our "moods" are actually created by neurotransmitters in our brain that have to be produced. The building blocks or material your brain uses to produce these neurotransmitters are called amino acids, which are found in foods. Your body also needs certain critical vitamins and minerals to convert these amino acids into neurotransmitters. In short, your body can't create mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine out of thin air, they "create" them out of the nutrients found in whole, healthful foods.
2. Better Sleep
We all know that caffeine can keep us awake at night, but so can sugar. In fact, a number of different foods can both keep you from sleeping as well as draining your energy. Changing your diet can literally change your life.
3. More Energy
Eating a diet that is high in sugar and simple carbohydrates found in most pre-packaged foods can cause sugar highs and sugar crashes, not to mention robbing you of the most vital forms of protein and causing visceral fat and liver disease. Protein takes longer for your body to process, but will keep you going several hours after you have eaten. A good mix of protein, unsaturated fats, and complex carbohydrates will keep you going all day long, without causing too much weight gain or irritability.
4. Vein Health
According to Minnesota Vein Center, “Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through weight management, exercise and dietary considerations is foremost for one’s vein health.” Spider veins and varicose veins often develop as a result of poor diet or obesity. Controlling calorie intake and balancing nutrients will help prevent these issues and encourage healthy circulation.
Studies are numerous that a healthy diet can not only help you live longer, it can actually help you enjoy a better quality of life in your golden years. If you want to stay busy and active in your elder years, not to mention being mentally alert, now is the time to develop good eating habits.
Nothing tastes as good as it feels to be healthy. Healthy habits impact every corner of your life, including mental health, skin health, vein health, and athletic performance. And it can be delicious, too. Besides exercise, the best thing we can do for our health is to cook healthy foods at home and avoid the high trans-fat, high carbohydrate processed food that make up a bulk of your intake when you eat out.